to the dinosaur place

4.1.22 ~ The Dinosaur Place
Oakdale, Connecticut

Kat’s last day with us turned out to be the season’s opening day at the Dinosaur Place. We were there when the doors opened and were the first visitors of the year! It was a chilly, dreary day and we were sprinkled with occasional raindrops, but we had fun in spite of the dismal weather.

First we spent a lot of time watching Kat play in the T-Rex Tower at Montyโ€™s Playground. While we were waiting for the attendant to dry off its surfaces we played a couple of rounds of hide-and-seek with our granddaughter. I can’t remember the last time I played hide-and-seek!

Then we started walking on one of the trails, noticing along the way just some of the 50 life-sized dinosaurs lurking in the woods. Kat followed the signs to Carnivore Cavern.

The first time through Grandpa was brave enough to go with her. They came out smiling but Kat was covering her ears and reported that it was VERY LOUD in there.

Then Kat announced that she was going to go through all by her self, and she did. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then we found the A-MAZE-asaurus maze, complete with an observation deck, from where Grandpa and Grammy watched Kat try to make her way through. After a bit we offered suggestions. Good thing she knew her right from her left.

The exit turned out to be a tunnel slide, with a dinosaur mouth to pass through. Too bad we couldn’t scramble over there fast enough to see her at the top or landing at the bottom.

Then we followed the map to find the secret treasure, a large piece of quartz in the ground.

And some petrified wood…

And then Kat wanted to return to Carnivore Cavern to take me through. So I got a picture of inside the entrance.

And then it got very dark and then the dinosaurs in there roared. I managed to get a picture of one of the beasts!

After we that we followed another trail. I couldn’t resist getting a picture of a skunk cabbage down in the swamp.

It’s fun seeing dinosaurs outside and getting a walk in the woods in at the same time.

Kat resting with Grandpa
waiting for Grandpa and noticing a lot of moss behind her
observing an abundance of mosses and lichens
the king of a rocky moss-covered mountain

On the way out Kat and her grandpa got some ice cream at The Village Ice Cream Shoppe, the first customers of the season. ๐Ÿ˜‰ A perfect way to end the day. I hope we will be bringing Finn here, too, someday soon. ๐Ÿ’™

It was almost nine years ago that Tim and I came here with our grandnephews, Julius and Dominic. I’m glad to have pictures and memories from that fun day, too. Pictures here. Those little guys are teenagers now!

30 thoughts on “to the dinosaur place”

  1. What a fun day with the dinosaurs. Glad you got out alive. Ha Ha Such a nice place to visit whether you are young or old. Loved the pictures of the boys. Some of those big creatures looked mighty mean. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Thank you, Peggy! I’m glad we got out alive, too! ๐Ÿคฃ I love that every dinosaur in that park is life-sized. Especially standing near the brontosaurus gave a great sense of perspective. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. It was great fun and a wonderful memory to have and to hold now. Thanks for stopping by, Jeff!

  2. Glad you had a fun day despite gloomy weather. The dinos were interesting but the skunk cabbage is a beauty! You are lucky to have so many good day trips nearby.

    1. Thank you, Anna! I’m glad someone appreciates that gorgeous skunk cabbage as much as I did. ๐Ÿ˜Š We are pretty lucky to live in a tourism area, except for the summer traffic jams.

  3. The dayโ€™s climate condition and natural wooded landscape with the erratic rocks truly gives your photos an eerie feeling, Barbara! Iโ€™m glad that you couldnโ€™t resist getting a picture of a skunk cabbage down in the swamp because it too is a great eerie feeling maker. Although more pleasant weather may have been preferable, this is a great playscape outing for the three of you!! Thank you for your lovely story. It gives me smiles today.

    Iโ€™m curious about how many other brave humans were about while you were there?

    That maze is TERRIFYING!!!

    1. You’re welcome, TD, and thank you so much for your kind words! It was a rather mysterious world we found ourselves wandering around in. I’m happy that you appreciated the skunk cabbage photo, too. ๐Ÿ˜Š There was another family that came after us and had two younger boys who played in T-Rex Tower at the same time as Kat. And once we spotted another family in the distance on one of the trails. But the rest of the time we were all by ourselves.

    1. Thank you, Eliza! My kids would have loved this place, too! They were all adults by the time it opened in 2001.

  4. Barbara, on our local news TV channel they showed a โ€œBlue Dragonโ€. This is new where we live here on our beaches! Tiny beautiful creature, but venomous. Size of a thumb.

    So I did a search and this came up on CNN dot com with the title, โ€œMan caught a venomous ‘blue dragon’ sea slug along the Texas coastโ€. You might enjoy taking a look at it. If Kat is still visiting you, she may be interested too!

    1. Yikes! It’s so pretty (blue is my favorite color) but is venomous. Erick Yanta is very lucky he didn’t get stung when he scooped it up and filmed it. I would have been very wary of any unknown creature I discovered. Thanks for sharing this story.

    1. Thank you, Donna! If your grandsons’ family ever comes to vacation in southeastern CT I hope they won’t miss this attraction. I’m already picturing Kat as Finn’s tour guide. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. It sounds as if this was a great outing, Barbara. Glad you braved the cavern … and snapped the pictures to prove it! There’s something about mazes that can make me feel panicky, particularly when, like this one, the walls all look the same. I’d have probably welcomed your “right and left” suggestions, too, ha!

    1. Thank you, Debbie! Mazes make me nervous, too. I once got caught by a sudden thunderstorm in a corn maze with a couple of friends. We were frantic and couldn’t find our way out. I was trying to protect my camera, too, from the downpour, walking hunched over it and having no idea which way to go. No pictures to post about that adventure!

    1. Fun it was! Living in the middle of a tourist destination has its perks when it comes to entertaining guests of all ages. ๐Ÿฆ•

  6. This looks like a fun place to go and it’s nice that it is a permanent exhibit. I know when the traveling Jurassic World tour comes to Michigan, it is always a sellout and is here several days. Kat really looks like she enjoyed herself as did you and Tim.

    1. Oh cool! I had to look up Jurassic World Live Tour because I never heard of it before. Turns out it will be in Providence, Rhode Island, about an hour away from us, in March 2023. I wonder if Kat’s spring break will coincide? Or if we’ll even feel safe enough from covid to go inside an arena with a crowd…

      1. That would be great if Kat’s spring break was the same time – in 2023 can we hope there is a chance to feel carefree and confident of no COVID worries? A fellow blogger has a young daughter and son – the daughter has a heart condition. Even before COVID, Esther home-schooled both kids. They both love dinosaurs, so in Detroit in 2020 and 2021 we had an event called “Jurassic Quest” which was a huge success and was entirely a drive-thru event. So I looked and the event was in California where they live, so they went and felt confident going to the event with no COVID worries. I just Googled “Jurassic Quest” for 2022 and can’t tell if it is indoor/outdoor but it is in MA this year, not in our area though. I know I’m not doing anything with a crowd this year; I’ve signed up for two 5Ks – one is virtual and the second one you can show up or do your own thing and I’m doing my own thing.

        1. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for Jurassic Quest in the future. Apparently it was just in Hartford, CT (about an hour away) back in December and January and will be in Worcester, MA (about an hour and a half away) now in April and May. But inside an arena. Too soon to do indoor events for me…. Looks like it will be in several places in NC this year, too. I don’t blame you for not doing anything with a crowd, even outdoors. Cheering you on for the two modified 5Ks! It’s good you’re making the best of things.

          1. Yes, I am being careful to the nth degree Barbara and trying to decide on whether to get the second booster. I had an appointment for this past Monday, then a friend posted a news article on FB saying it was wise to wait unless immuno-compromised. So I canceled, but now rethinking sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t mind doing the Mutt Strut for the “Friends of Animals of Metro Detroit” but the 2020 was virtual so I went, but 2021 was in person, so I didn’t, even though it is outside. I know that drive-thru Jurassic Park was a big hit here.

          2. Our governor recommended the second booster for everyone over 50 here, and four months out from the first booster. We were happy to comply. (It was 6 months ago for us.) Won’t hurt, might help. Our positivity rate jumped to 6.5% yesterday. Sigh…

  7. What fun! I wrote a long comment to you yesterday on the ipad but it didn’t go through. So will just say–how very wonderful you, Tim and Kat were able to do this together.

    1. Oh no! I would have loved to read a long comment from Kathy! It was a wonderful day, a wonderful three days, with our little Kat. Her mom says we might make this an annual tradition. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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