You know that Salvador Dalí painting with the melting clocks?
Dinosaur Land in The Middle of Nowhere, Virginia is exactly like that. But with dinosaurs. Non-melting dinosaurs.
This place is amazing. I am a HUGE FAN. But it is clearly not, like, a research institution. Drive eighty miles east to the Smithsonian for that kind of dinosaur experience. Dinosaur Land’s target audience is obviously children. Or maybe Collectors of Odd Experiences. The dinosaurs are made of fiberglass that looks like paper maché. There are even little dinosaur families with dinosaur babies. But then there are BATTLE SCENES and dinosaurs eating other dinosaurs. WHAT. WHY.
Babystar said that one of the dinosaurs was sleeping. I went along with her version of events.
This place is an hour and a half away from D.C. in decent SAHM traffic. It is definitely worth a visit if you live within two hours of Dinosaur Land, because you won’t find many other places like this in your life. Admission is $5 for ages 2-10 and $6 for ages 11 and up. (I paid $22 for two adults and two toddlers. Then my friend bought the girls dinosaurs on the way out.)
Side note: my most favorite non-child-related SAHM perk is the LACK OF RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC. Highly recommend. Four stars.
Dinosaur Land is NOT worth a visit if you are simply visiting Washington D.C. for the monuments and museums. Dinosaur Land is a novel roadside attraction. Imagine that you live in the country and the old dude on the corner has a bunch of dinosaur statues in his backyard. Dinosaur Land is exactly like that. And approximately that size.
Oh, plus there is a giant King Kong and you can climb in his hand for a picture. And there is a giant shark that you can play in. BUT DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING ELSE.
If you do make the trek, take a friend. The drive is long and it helps if you can sing along to some 90s music on the way.
Also, take a picnic lunch even though you may NOT eat in Dinosaur Land. (Dinosaur Land is really big on rules.) Head west on Route 277 and there is a really cool park about five minutes away. Sherando Park has about a million picnic tables including a few shorty tables that are perfect for toddlers. There is a small playground that is toddler appropriate (but doesn’t have the baby swings). And just a short walk across the gravel road, there is a really cool FREAKING GIANT play structure that will give parents of toddlers a mini heart attack. But it DOES have baby swings. It also has a smaller toddler size play structure but why would any self-respecting two-year-old want to play on that when they can climb to the top of the world and almost fall but not fall and — oh, sorry. Everything’s ok.
Adults: make the climb and slide down the highest slide at Sherando Park. It is NO JOKE. Do it. You’re welcome.
We stopped at an adorable farmer’s stand on the way home and I bought a giant cookie for Babystar and a tomato that she poked her thumb into because toddlers love experiments. And a soda. ($4.25.)
RAISING BABYSTAR: $22,749.39