Go Back in Time, A Day at Field Station: Dinosaurs

Last summer the boys and I decided to check out the newest attraction in our area Field Station: Dinosaurs. The boys really love dinosaurs and they had a blast. It’s easy to get to and the park is big enough to enjoy all of the attractions yet small enough to not cause your littles ones to complain about walking too much. It makes for a great day trip!

I have to say, I was impressed by the dinosaurs. There is a lot of attention to detail.  They are big, moved and roared. The boys thought they were “cool.” There is a nice selection of dinosaurs, in all different shapes and sizes.

Go Back in Time A Day at Field Station Dinosaur Go Back in Time A Day at Field Station Dinosaur

What To Do and See:

When you enter the park you are given your credentials which allow you to enjoy all the activities they have to offer. When you visit different areas and activities throughout the park the Park Rangers will stamp you in! This added to the adventure for my boys as they were on a search to see where they could get their stamps. It is also a nice, free souvenir.

Go Back in Time A Day at Field Station Dinosaur      Go Back in Time A Day at Field Station Dinosaur

LEGOS

There was an area where the kids could build and play with LEGOS. Of course, my boys did not want to leave this area. It was a bit crowded, but they have a few tables and different Lego pieces so everyone had a chance to play.

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The Dig

This is an area where you get to be a paleontologist.  The park provides shovels, brushes and other tools for the kids to dig and discover dinosaur bones. All the kids were having a lot of fun and were so excited when they found some bones. But on a hot, sunny day it would be nice if it was a little more covered. However, they did have a covered area for the parents to sit.

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Crayola Art Area

This was an area sponsored by Crayola. They had crayons, markers and activities for the kids. The kids got to color dinosaur pictures and other dino related crafts.

Go Back in Time A Day at Field Station Dinosaur

Shows and Games

They have the Dinosaur Meet and Greet, where you meet the dinosaur babies.  This was really cute. There is also an amazing dinosaur puppet. The show has “handlers” to teach you about the dinosaur and even try to feed it. There are also game shows such as Raptor Feud and T-Rex Games. These games aim to educate children about dinosaurs. The park had something to see about every 30 minutes which I thought was great.

Dinosaurs

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Well, we can’t forget the main attraction! There are 31 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, in different areas of the park. These areas are Base Camp, The Quarry, The Plateau and The Lookout. Each dinosaur also has a sign that has the name and information about that dinosaur.  I liked how they were displayed in different setting representing what the dinosaurs ecosystem might of looked like. For example, the Velociraptors were a bit hidden in the reeds, but you could hear them. I felt like I was in the “Jurassic Park” movie.

How To Get There:

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The park is located at 40 Fort Lee Rd, Leonia right off Interstate 95, Exit 15X.  You can drive or even take the NJ Transit Train. If you take the train, the park is a short 10 minute walk from the train station. Also, during the summer there is a free shuttle from the train station to the park  You just have to confirm the pick up times. If you decide to drive, parking is $10.  The park is open in the spring through the beginning of fall.  Make sure to check out their website for exact hours and days they are open!

Overall, Field Station: Dinosaurs is a fun day! Make sure you wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing some walking. The trails are smooth and stroller friendly for a stroller, but it can be a bit bumpy. You can bring snacks and drinks in to the park, but they also have a snack bar. Beware when you are leaving the park as they make you go through the merchandise tent. Needless to say, I did not get out of there without opening my wallet. But I know the boys and I will be headed back there again.

Check Out The New LEGOLAND Discovery Center

legoland discovery center westchester

Over spring break the boys and I made a trip up to the new Legoland Discovery Center which recently opened in the new Westchester’s Ridge Hill Shopping Center in Yonkers. There are several other LEGOLAND Discovery Center locations in the US including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Kansas City. Needless to say the boys were very excited to check it out.

2013-04-09 13.50.42     entrance to legoland

From where I am in New Jersey it is a quick 20-30 minute ride over the George Washington Bridge to get there. It is also close to my beloved Stew Leonard’s as well. It was suggested that we buy our tickets in advance on-line as they stagger admission so it will not be too crowded.  We could not get a ticket until 2 pm, because I bought the day we wanted to go, so I suggest buying a day in advance. Walk Up ticket prices for a scheduled date and time are $29.95 adults and children. However if you buy online, you can save $5!

Upon entering you are directed in to the Lego Factory. The lab technician gives the kids a lesson in how legos are made. It is a nice interactive space with buttons push, levers to pull and more. Before you make you way to the next room, the lab technician gave the boys a special lego.

lego lab     lego lab tech

lego lab painting     Legoland special lego

After the lab you make your way to the Kingdom Quest ride. It reminded me of the Buzzlight Year ride at the Magic Kingdom. You have to hit the targets and save the Princess. It was cute and I thought the design and video elements were well done. They boys were just happy to be playing a video game.

kingdom quest ride     kingdom quest ride 2

Once you are off the ride you make your way to Miniland.  Of course, our Miniland is all about NYC. It is so well done. I am always amazed at the level of detail. There is Yankee Stadium, Times Square, the subway and more.

miniland NYC     2013-04-09 14.01.27

miniland subway     miniland builder

After Miniland, you walk into the main area of the Discovery Center. We first made our way to Lego Races: Build and Test. I was not so impressed with this section, as we could not find any wheels for our racers. The boys liked being able to build, but I did not think it was very organized.

lego racers build and test     lego racers build and test 2

Next to Lego Racers, there is the Earthquake Table where you can build and then turn on the table to see if it can stand up to the earthquake. Next, the table is the Lego Master Builder Academy.  I think it is great for the older kids who want to learn new building tricks.

Earthquake Table     Lego Master Builder Academy

Next to the academy there is the Duplo Village.  This is a great area for the little ones, ages 1-5. They can climb around and there is also a little slide.     Also, not to leave the girls out of the mix there is the Lego Friends area.   It is a cute little house for the girls to play. They even have karaoke.

duplo village     Lego Friends

Next up, is Merlin’s Apprentice. Yes, there is actually another ride here. The kids can peddle their flying boom to make it go up and down. I like that even the little guys can ride as well. There is also the Lego 4D Cinema.  We saw 3 Lego movies, each about 10 minutes long.  The 4D is there are wind, water and bubble (snow) effects. I thought the movies were well done and the boys were thoroughly entertained. The movies we saw were: Clutch Powers, a Lego Racer movie and a Kingdom Quest.

Merlin's Apprentice     Lego 4D Cinema

There is a nice little cafe with seats so you can sit enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids play. They have the usual snacks at the cafe. You can purchase a Kids Meal Deal which includes a sandwich, bag of chips, & a drink for just $7.00! Add a LEGO Lunch Box for an additional $5.

lego fire academy     2013-04-09 16.02.21
lego cafe lunch

Overall, we had a fun day. I was impressed with the space and thought it was very clean.  It made for a great afternoon with the boys.

ridge hill mall

I also really liked the new Ridge Hill Mall.  There are a lot of great stores and restaurants. On a nice day you can take a walk, get something to eat and enjoy the little playground they have as well. Though I have to say a metal playground with no shade covering, maybe not such a great idea.