Here’s What You’ll Find at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha

If may sound crazy, but one of our favorite family day trips from Milwaukee was to luxurious, exotic, exciting… Kenosha!

It’s a 50 minute drive from Milwaukee, and home to some interesting places like the Dinosaur Discovery Museum and Mars Cheese Castle.

The Dinosaur Discovery Museum is most definitely a small museum, but it’s a worth a visit as long as you know that ahead of time.

And, it’s close enough that we consider it one of 15 free Milwaukee museums!

Outside, you’ll find dinosaur sculptures by Milwaukee metalsmith Kent Knapp, that were featured on the History Channel. The artist met with the museum to learn about the anatomy of a T. Rex and how it would balance itself.  The sculpture is now a permanent fixture outside the museum.

Inside, the museum is comprised of the main gallery, a foyer, a gift shop, a play area in the basement with kids crafts and activities, and an on-site laboratory in association with the Carthage Institute of Paleontology.

The main gallery is one large room filled with impressive dinosaur skeletons that are casts of actual fossil bones.

Each dinosaur is accompanied by information about what they were like, and panels on the gallery wall tell how they behaved and what happened to them.

The T. Rex Stan is one of the oldest of its kind ever found. He has a broken middle toe, many broken ribs, and a hole in the back of his skull the size of a silver dollar, which may have been a bite injury from another T. Rex.

Stan is named after Stan Sacrison, the amateur paleontologist who found him in South Dakota in 1992.

After exploring the main gallery, you can head to the lower level, where your kids can learn more about fossils and do some hands-on digging.

Besides the miniature dig site, there are also floor puzzles and other art projects to create.

You can also peek into the on-site laboratory where there is currently a triceratops skull – a real one! – being studied and restored.

The Triceratops is affectionately nick-named ‘Maddie’, and you can see her skull through the window of the lab.

Throughout the year, the museum offers Sensory Friendly Days to give visitors with sensory sensitiviies a safe, comfortable environment to explore the museum. There is no cost to participate, or pre-registration required. Visit their website for the upcoming schedule.

After your visit, you can also stop by the Kenosha Public Museum, which our readers have said they enjoyed.

On the way home, stop by the Mars Cheese Castle for some dairyland snacks.

For more day trip ideas, visit our Day Trips Page.

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