Take a step back in time, back millions of years actually, to when dinosaurs roamed Texas. That’s right… dinosaurs in Texas!
There are some pretty amazing places in the Lone Star State that showcase these prehistoric creatures whether it be through naturally embedded fossils, exhibits at various museums, or other dinosaur attractions.
Dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages will delight in exploring these places to experience dinosaurs in Texas!
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Embedded Trace Fossils of Dinosaurs in Texas
If you need real evidence that dinosaurs once roamed Texas, then maybe some well-preserved tracks and fossils in their original location will do the trick.
There are a few sites in Texas that allow you the unique opportunity to literally walk in the tracks of dinosaurs.
Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose
For the ultimate Texas dinosaur experience, make your way south of Fort Worth to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, where you can see exactly where dinosaurs once roamed.
At the park you can find actual dinosaur tracks! Ancient dinosaurs left footprints in the bed of the river, now known as the Paluxy River, and they have been preserved for us to marvel at.
Do note that the dinosaur tracks in the riverbed are not always visible, but besides finding dinosaur tracks, you can also picnic, hike, or bike 20 miles of trails, swim, fish, paddle in the river, bird watch, or find a geocache.
The park has programs and workshops as well.
You can even make a weekend trip out of your visit and stay at one of their many campsites. Dinosaur Valley State Park will definitely make for an exciting trip.
Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country, Canyon Lake
The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country in Canyon Lake has over 200 dinosaur tracks and 28 trackways that they work to preserve and also share with visitors.
Admission to the park includes the museum exhibits, and a Docent-led Boardwalk Tour around the dinosaur trackways, the Cretaceous Garden, and the aerial walkway.
During the tour, guests learn the history, geology, and details about the dinosaurs that once inhabited the Texas Hill Country.
This is an educational experience for the entire family to enjoy.
South Gabriel River Tracks, Leander
If you want a real adventure, set out to Leander to the South Gabriel River to seek out a set of dinosaur tracks made by an Acrocanthosaurus.
The river bed is not inside of a park but is on public property, so it is possible to make the hike and seek out the tracks when the river is dry.
North of where 183 and 183-A come back together, there is a bridge over the river, and the tracks are found on the south side, about a half-mile downstream from the bridge.
Seeking them out and finding them on your very own will be a great adventure!
Government Canyon State Natural Area, San Antonio
Government Canyon State Natural Area, located on the outskirts of San Antonio, is another great place to view some pretty amazing dinosaur tracks.
The tracks were left by Acrocanthosaurus and Sauroposeidon dinosaurs over 110 million years ago.
It is quite a hike–about 5 miles round-trip–so come prepared, but will definitely be worth it for dinosaur enthusiasts.
The park also has 40 miles of activities including camping, hiking, biking, and looking for birds and wildlife.
Educational Texas Dinosaur Exhibits
Texas is packed full of museums that showcase dinosaur fossils, prehistoric artifacts, and engaging exhibits.
Do not miss out on these museums that provide a truly educational experience about the history of dinosaurs in Texas.
The Witte Museum, San Antonio
A trip to San Antonio will take you to the famous Witte Museum that features the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery.
The exceptional gallery centers on dinosaurs and creatures that once lived in Texas.
They feature a life-size Acrocanthosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, as well as many exhibits and artifacts from the era.
Visitors can also experience what it is like to be a paleontologist in the dinosaur lab where you can excavate and study fossils.
Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston
The Morian Hall of Paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science has a wonderful display that is sure to amaze.
With more than 60 major fossil displays, the exhibit is one of the largest paleontology collections in the United States.
What makes it stand out, even more, is that the dinosaurs are all in action telling a story; eating, chasing, flying, and attacking.
Highlights include three Tyrannosaurus rexes, a Diplodocus, and a Triceratops skeleton.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is also home to one of the largest trilobite collections.
Texas Memorial Museum, Austin
Head to the Hall of Geology and Paleontology at the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin for yet another stunning exhibit dedicated to dinosaurs in Texas.
Fossil displays featured by the museum include an Alamosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Kritosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus rex as well as several other specimens including the Onion Creek Mosasaur.
Also on display are a large collection of animal fossils, plant fossils, and meteorites.
Texas Through Time, Hillsboro
Housed in a historic building in downtown Hillsboro, Texas Through Time is a nonprofit fossil museum located in Hillsboro, TX specializing in fossils from Texas and the surrounding states.
General admission to the museum is completely free and includes hundreds of authentic fossils on display as well as animatronic dinosaurs, fossil replicas, dinosaurs, prehistoric reptiles, amphibians, sharks, and beyond.
They even have fossils from the newly discovered genus and species of dinosaurs on display that are the only known examples in the world!
Texas Through Time often has special exhibits as well as many public events throughout the year, including their “Night at the BOOseum” where they turn the museum into a dinosaur-themed, family-friendly haunted house!
They have free Dino movie nights regularly, an annual Hill County Fossil & Mineral Expo, an annual Jurassic Park Motor Pool Car Show, scientific lectures, and more.
Texas Through Time is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Dinosaur Science Museum and Research Center, Keene
Another great museum that showcases everyone’s favorite prehistoric creatures is the Dinosaur Science Museum and Research Center in Keene.
When visiting the museum, lucky guests get to see one of the largest dinosaur fossil collections in the United States.
Over 30,000 dinosaur bones have been cleaned, cataloged, and preserved here.
Tours are given by student paleontologists walking guests through the process of excavating, cataloging, and preserving dinosaur fossils.
Guests are also given the opportunity to clean actual fossils.
Bandera Natural History Museum, Bandera
Also showcased are 18 other life-size dinosaurs, fossils, artifacts, and extensive murals.
There are fossil digging play stations as well where guests can complete a dinosaur skeleton.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas
To discover more about dinosaur life, check out the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
Visitors get the opportunity to see the Paleo Lab, where you can get real-time views of the museum’s paleontologists processing fossils directly from the field.
Make sure to take the chance to view the only full-body reconstruction of Nanuqsaurus Hoglund in the world that was brought to life in the museum’s own lab.
You will also find a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Tylosaurus, an Alamosaurus, and a new species discovered by museum paleontologists Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum.
Young children can even dig for replica fossils in the museum’s outdoor dig area.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth
One more museum that features dinosaurs is the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
There you can learn all about the dinosaurs that once roamed the earth.
On top of the typical fossil displays, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has some nice interactive experiences.
They have a DinoLab where you can explore fossils of dinosaurs native to North Texas, and a DinoDig which is an outside experience where visitors get to be paleontologists for the day digging for fossils in a replica field site.
You can also enjoy DinoGlow, a 3-D interactive Stegosaurus that guests can design using a variety of textures and colors.
Quirky Dinosaur Attractions in Texas
For those that can not get enough of dinosaurs, there are some pretty interesting tourist attractions that are all about these ancient creatures.
These locations are sure to excite dinosaur lovers of all ages.
Dinosaur World, Glen Rose
It is no wonder why Glen Rose is known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World.
The small city is not only home to Dinosaur Valley State Park, but they also house Dinosaur World.
Dinosaur World is a 20-acre park that you can venture through and view 100 life-size dinosaur statues.
Think of it as a dinosaur safari!
Dinosaur admirers will love being able to read about, see, and get their photos taken with as close to the real thing as possible.
There are also plenty of activities for the children, including a dinosaur-themed playground, fossil digs, and sluice mining.
They have a museum as well, and of course a gift shop with plenty of keepsakes and artifacts.
Austin Nature and Science Center, Austin
If you ever dreamed of becoming a paleontologist, a trip to the Austin Nature and Science Center is a must.
The center houses the Dino Pit, which is an exhibit designed to teach visitors about paleontology through hands-on experience.
The outdoor massive pit acts as a dig site where guests can dig up fossil casts and lay them out.
There are also 19 oil paintings that depict the specimens that can be found in the pit.
Other highlights of the exhibit are dinosaur trackways and an observation deck.
Dinosaur Park, Cedar Creek
Right outside of Austin, in Cedar Creek, you will find Dinosaur Park.
Life-size realistic dinosaur replicas complete with skin and color are spread out along a nature trail giving you a chance to take a walk with the dinosaurs.
Statues range from the small 2-foot Compsognathus to the massive 123-foot Diplodocus.
Visitors will also find a fossil-dig, picnic area, playground, and a dinosaur store.