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ROAR With Family-Friendly Dinosaur Events

Come face-to-face with dinosaurs and watch your child’s passion for prehistoric creatures ignite!

Dinosaur events are for kids who have a passion for dinosaurs! You can encourage your child’s love and fascination for these prehistoric creatures by taking them on a little trip through time.

Middle Tennessee currently has several places where kids can see life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, replica skeletons, life-like statues, hands-on fossil digs and other fun activities for kids. Something as simple as a walk-through will thrill them. Here’s a round-up of events and nearby places to check out.


Dino Trek

Nashville Zoo
3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville
March 11 – July 31
Journey back in time and come face-to-face with 20 Jurassic beasts along a hidden path at Nashville Zoo’s third installation of DinoTrek. Watch as these giant life-sized animatronic dinosaurs hiss, spit, move, and roar on this wild prehistoric adventure! $4 per person. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Zoo’s Entry Village and at the entrance to the exhibit. Buy tickets.


Jurassic Quest

Williamson County AG Expo Park
4215 Long Ln, Franklin
March 11 -13
Observe a herd of life-size, animatronic dinosaurs including Apatosaurus, Spinosaurus, T-Rex and an incredible 50-foot-long Megalodon. Interact with trainers, baby dinos and watch a live raptor show. Explore dinosaur rides, giant fossil dig, inflatables, fossil science exhibit, “Triceratots” soft play area and more. Tickets are $26. Buy tickets.


Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice

Smyrna Outdoor Adventure Center
100 Sam Ridley Pkwy E, Smyrna
March 1 – May 8
Created for children ages 3 – 10,  this exhibit features two distinct environments and a variety of activities. Step into the role of paleontologist by uncovering fossils with brushes and more. Adults are $6, kids are $5. Buy tickets.


When Instruments Roamed the Earth with the Nashville Symphony

When Instruments Roamed the Earth

Schermerhorn Symphony Center
1 Symphony Pl, Nashville
March 26
Come out for this perfect all-ages introduction to the exciting sounds, people and experience of a symphony orchestra concert. Hear the hilarious “research” of paleo-musicologist, Sir Humphrey Treble-Clef, who believes that today’s modern instruments are actually the descendants of giant, dinosaur-like creatures like you’ve never seen before. These are strange creatures that exist in the hot, mysterious, swampy jungles of Sir Humphrey’s unusual imagination. Buy tickets.



Dino & Dragon Stroll

Williamson County AG Expo Park
4215 Long Ln, Franklin
May 21 – 22
Newest & Biggest dinosaurs and dragons touring North America! Only tour that lets you walk-thru and get up close to life-size and life-like dinosaurs and dragons. Created with animatronic and sound technology that brings these amazing creatures to life.

Nashville Dinosaur Festival

Bicentennial Mall State Park
600 James Robertson Pkwy., Nashville
June 22 – 24
Get up close to gigantic, moving prehistoric creatures in a walk-through setup, in addition to fossil excavation, a play area and jumping castles. Adults are $15, kids are $12. Buy tickets.



Dinosaurs?! Earth Experience Reopens in Murfreesboro - Nashville Parent

Earth Experience: Middle TN Museum of Natural History

816 Old Salem Road, Murfreesboro
34-minute drive from Nashville
This is the first natural history museum in Middle Tennessee and features displays from all over the world as well as a very large number of items from Tennessee. You can see a T-Rex replica and other dinosaurs, fossils, gems, minerals, rocks and archeological relics. Cost is $7 ages 12 and older, $3 ages 4 – 11, free ages 3 and younger. Hours are Thu – Sat 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Cave City, KY - Dinosaur World

Dinosaur World

711 Mammoth Cave Road,
Cave City, KY | 270-773-4345
One-and-a-half-hour drive from Nashville
Enjoy viewing hundreds of life-sized dinosaurs outside. There’s even a dino-themed playground. Head indoors where kids can enjoy hands-on activities like a fossil dig, dino gem excavation, and digging at the bone yard. Then, take a stroll through the indoor prehistoric museum featuring an assortment of real and cast prehistoric fossils. Cost is $12.75 ages 13 and older, $9.75 ages 3 – 12, free ages 2 and younger (admission plus excavation pass is $18.95 ages 13 and older, $16.95 ages 3 – 12). Hours are daily 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Discovery Park of America | Union City | United States | Tennessee | AFAR

Discovery Park of America

830 Everett Blvd., Union City, TN | 731-885-5455
Three-hour drive from Nashville
Several large dinosaurs and a large illuminated projection globe are the focal points of the Natural History gallery. See a huge Apatosaurus, T-Rex as well as explore the Mesozoic Era with dinosaurs and more. Cost is $14.95 ages 13 and older, $11.95 ages 4 – 12, free ages 3 and younger. Hours are Tue – Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (open Memorial Day, Labor Day and the fourth of July).


Gray Fossil Site - Wikipedia

Gray Fossil Site & Museum

1212 Suncrest Drive, Gray, TN
Four-hour drive from Nashville
Get up close and personal with an active Miocene-era fossil dig site where scientists have uncovered a saber tooth cat, alligator, tapir, rhinoceros, short-faced bear and a mastodon as well as hundreds of plants and other animals. The fossils at this site are said to be dating back 4.5 – 7 million years ago. Museum cost is $10 ages 4 and older, free ages 3 and younger (add $3 for dig site tours). Hours are Tue – Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun 1 – 5 p.m. (Mon 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the months of March, June, July and August only).


Creation Museum (Petersburg) - 2022 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Creation Museum

2800 Bullittsburg Church Road
Petersburg, KY | 800-721-2298
Four-hour drive from Nashville
Encounter life-size sculptures of many varieties of dinosaurs from the little raptor to the big, scary T-Rex. Learn all kinds of facts about these incredible creatures. Cost is $35 ages 18 and older, $25 ages 13 – 17, $15 ages 5 – 12, free ages 4 and younger. Hours are Mon – Sat 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun 12 – 6 p.m.


Backyard Terrors and Dinosaur Park, Bluff City, TN | Flickr

Backyard Terror’s Dinosaur Park

1065 Walnut Grove Road, Bluff City, TN | 423-391-7017
Four-and-a-half-hour drive from Nashville
More than 40 life-sized prehistoric creatures line the trail for viewers to see and take pictures with. There is no admission charge, but they rely on donations to support the attraction. Hours are weekly from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and dependent upon weather.

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.