5 Dinosaur Museums of the Western United States

If you live in or are planning a visit to the Western United States and you and your children are interested in dinosaurs, there are many places on the West Coast where you can take your family to see dinosaur fossils and museum exhibits.

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Pacific Science Center

The Pacific Science Center is located in the Pacific Northwest near the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington. The Pacific Science Center features an exhibit called “Dinosaurs: A Journey Through Time” that includes eight half-size and full-size dinosaur models.

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dinosaur museums

In addition to the life size dinosaurs, they also maintain a miniature diorama collection, and children can even touch a real dinosaur bone fossil.


The dinosaur exhibit at the Pacific Science Center is a permanent exhibit, so you can go and see it at any time. For more information see http://pacificsciencecenter.org/.

Burke Museum of Natural History

The Burke Museum of Natural History is also located in Seattle, on the campus of the University of Washington.

The Burke Museum offers a variety of family days throughout the year, including a dinosaur day, so make sure to check out their web site for event dates.

The Life and Times of Washington State exhibit includes a life-sized saber-toothed cat skeleton, in addition to mastodon and stegosaurus skeletons.

For more information see http://www.burkemuseum.org

Museum of Northern Arizona

The Museum of Northern Arizona, located in Flagstaff, Arizona, has more than 600,000 artifacts on display for its visitors. Included is a collection of dinosaur, plant fossils, reptile, and rock specimens that represent a broad range of geologic periods of the Columbia Plateau.

Tours of the museum are held once a month, and children must be 10 or older to tour the museum.

For more information and to see when tours are being held see http://www.musnaz.org

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Science is located at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.

Included at the center is the Kimball Natural History Museum. This museum has a life size Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil on display. The museum also has a research laboratory where you can watch Academy scientists at work.

For more information see http://www.calacademy.org/.

University of California Museum of Paleontology

http://ucmpdb.berkeley.edu/. View their fossil gallery online here: http://www.paleoportal.org/.

The UCMP is used mainly for research, however, once a year they hold an open house where their collections are open to the public. They do have some dinosaur fossils on display in the Valley Life Sciences Building, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil, that can be viewed any time. Viewing of these fossils is free of charge.

For more information, see http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/.

If you and your family are looking for a dinosaur museum to visit, the Western United States has many great museums and science centers you can visit. Many now offer options to visit them both in person and online. Plan your visit today.

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