With our MOSI passes, we get a 50% off discount at Dinosaur World, but I consider it too far to drive as a morning trip with the boys (they would certainly fall asleep on the way home from Plant City, ruining their usual naps.) But then one Saturday in March, Keith had a clergy retreat in Lakeland so I decided it would be a great time to check it out instead of hitting up the crazy busy Strawberry Festival in Plant City.
Henry thought it was awesome! There’s a fun, dinosaur-themed playground surrounded by picnic tables where he was immediately drawn to…because we never go to playgrounds or anything. Haha. I managed to direct him towards the fossils first with the promise of seeing some moving dinos at the end of the fossils. He asked what each and every labeled item was and moved on to the next until the moving dinosaurs (all 3 of them) appeared. Then, he totally freaked out and jumped into my arms. At least he tried to, but I was holding Elliot (no strollers in the building) so he couldn’t. We rushed past them, while I reassured him they weren’t real and we would be fine. I don’t think he believed me.
The playground helped relax him again so we hung out there until it was time for the fossil dig. Each kid had the opportunity to dig for three fossils buried in sand troughs. Henry took his time selecting the three best ones; shark’s teeth do not fall in that category, apparently.
Next up was our leisurely walk into the Florida jungle where gigantic dinosaur sculptures lurked. A lot of the paths were on boardwalks, which I really like. It felt like dinosaurs could live there, if it were millions of years ago and Florida wasn’t buried under water and all. Toward the back of the park were the especially graphic dinosaurs eating other dinosaurs. Henry didn’t really notice all the fake blood, but I did – gross.
We finished with their Bone Yard tour, where guides teach everyone how they dig for dinosaurs to protect the fossils. Henry was uninterested after about 10 minutes so we left early to look at more of the dinosaurs.
You can bring food in to picnic, or even pick up a pizza to bring with you as I saw a smart family do. I’m sure it gets hot, humid, and buggy in the summer, so I’d save this for cooler temperatures. Overall, it’s a cute little park that I recommend, especially if you aren’t paying full price. If it were a city park I would go all the time based on the playground alone.