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On Walkabout At: The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Basic Information

  • Name: Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center
  • Where: Woodland Park, Colorado
  • Price: Adult $11.50, Children $7.50 (more info)
  • Hours: Open 7 days a week except holidays (more info)
  • More Information: RMDRC.com

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Narrative

My kids like watching Dinosaur Train on PBS and like many kids this has developed a fascination with dinosaurs.  So a place we have been going to twice a year to give our kids their dinosaur fix locally has been the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (RMDRC) in Woodland Park.  The RMDRC cannot be missed when driving into Woodland Park from Colorado Springs since it is located right along Highway 24 and is easily visible:

The RMDRC building appears to be the largest in Woodland Park and on the outside there are a few dinosaur models that can be seen.  Even when not stopping by the RMDRC by daughter gets excited whenever we drive through Woodland Park just so she can see these dinosaurs in front of the building that are easily spotted from the highway:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Once inside the museum the first thing that has to be done is to pay for tickets.  For $30.50 I can get my wife and I plus our two kids into the museum, which I think is a reasonable admission price.  After paying for tickets we go inside the museum which I believe is quite well done and it obvious a lot of money and care has been put into the RMDRC:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

The museum has regular free guided tours through the museum that we found to be of interest since they helped explain various facts about all the dinosaur fossils on display:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

After the guided tour through the museum we then went back and read all the displays on our own.  The guided tour really did help us learn more at the displays to include this one of a Tyrannosaurus Rex:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Could you imagine having this thing chasing after you?:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Something I did not realize was how small some of the dinosaurs were:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Some of them were about half a foot tall:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Here is one that is a little bit bigger:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Here are a couple of dinosaurs with wings:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Then of course there are the really big dinosaurs to see such as this triceratops:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

My daughter had fun touching this life size model of the head of a albertosaurus:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Scientists have no way of confirming the color of a dinosaur’s skin, but by looking at modern day reptiles they are able to imagine what their skin might of looked like.  Besides having fossils of the dinosaurs that used to roam on land, the museum also has a lot fish fossils as well:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

To include this very large shark jaw:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Sharks are living breathing descendants from the era of the dinosaurs.  If you can believe it they once roamed what is now Colorado about 95 million years ago when the ocean covered the state:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Here is another modern day survivor from the time of the dinosaurs, turtles:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Crocodiles are another well known descendant from the age of the dinosaurs as well:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

The fact that these species are still alive while all the other dinosaurs went extinct shows just how tough these animals are to survive all these years.  Not everything in the museum was from the age of the dinosaurs they also had this small mammoth on display as well:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

The mammoth was named Dima and was probably less than a year old.  The remains of Dima were found in the permafrost of Siberia back in 1977 and is one of the best preserved remains of the mammoth ever found.

At the back of the museum is where visitors can view through this window employees of the museum preparing dinosaur fossils for display:

Picture from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

This is the major business of the museum.  The employees will take fossils, restore them, and then turn them into models that are then sold to museums around world.  The fact the museum has such a laboratory that does this kind of work explains how the museum has such high quality fossils skeletons on display itself.  I asked the guide why of all places Woodland Park has such a laboratory and she said it was simply because the owners of the museum just love living in Woodland Park.  I can’t blame them, Woodland Park really is a nice little town to live in.

Conclusion

Overall we have had a good experience each time we have been to the Dinosaur Resource Center.  There is plenty to see and do there and the staff is very knowledgeable about all the exhibits.  There is also a dinosaur themed kids play area in the museum that my kids enjoy.  Considering that to see exhibits like this we would usually have to travel to a museum in major city like Denver the price of admission I thought was very reasonable.  So for people that live in the Pikes Peak region and have kids that love dinosaurs I highly recommend driving up to Woodland Park and checking out the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center.

Note: To add something unique to your visit to the museum I also recommend walking across the street and grabbing lunch at the Mangia! Mangia! restaurant that was made nationally famous by being featured on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” television show.

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