Yesturday as a part of our Earth Scouts, we went to our local Dinosaur Museum...it was awesome (and it only cost a grand total of $7 for all 3 of us!!!!!!) We watched a really bad movie on the t-rex. Well it wasn't bad, it was just much more geared to adults than children - analyzing the debate between paleontoligist on wether t-rex was really a predetor or a scavenger....boring!
But the kids had a fabulous time. The museum itself isn't much more than a dome. See about 2 decades ago a plot of land was being cleared for a building. But the contractors came upon a fabulous find. Almost the entire plot of land was covered in dino footprints!!! They were everywhere. So the state purchased the land from the private company and built a dome over the find. They've added some info on local geology, and they added some life size dino replicas but that's pretty much it. There are extensive nature trails which have been set up in the Messozoic perion with plantlife, and picnic areas.
I think the kids' favorite part was the mining for fossils. You purchase a bag of' soil in the gift shop, and outside the set up a waist high 'stream'. You use net boxes to dump in the soil and water runs through cleaning out the soil and leaving behing about a ziper bag full of stones and a single fossil (like a little tooth or shell or something). The kids absolutely LOVED it.