Discover the Dinosaurs Review
We are back! I mentioned yesterday that we would be going to Discover the Dinosaurs at the Knoxville Convention Center today (if you are not in Knoxville, check HERE for upcoming exhibits in other cities). Overall I/we were pleased with the experience. My girls are especially interested in dinos so there was not much chance of this being a failure ;). Cost wise it may be slightly on the steep side – but not totally outrageous(as long as you have set a budget before you go). It is separated into 2 areas – the exhibit area and the activities area. When we entered we had our picture taken, there is a dinosaur image added to the background and you have an option to purchase the picture at the end of the exhibit area, the cost is $15 – it was cute but we passed. The exhibits are pretty cool and the kids can press buttons to activate different parts of the dino – several move and make noise which was pretty neat. If you have a little one with you, you may want to take a minute before entering to reassure them that these are not real and will not hurt them. It is pretty dark and the sounds can be a little on the loud side. Our 3 yr old had a few fearful moments but was fine after we had a little talk.
You can also do the scavenger hunt and answer questions about the dinos – this really encouraged us to slow down and read about each dinosaur which the girls really enjoyed. It would have been pretty easy to rush through which was a drawback. Since you are on your own you have to make this what you want, you have to make sure to set the pace for your kids otherwise you just run right through it and over to the side that gets you to spend all your money. As I mentioned, my girls are really into dinosaurs so we made sure to read all we could and really try to get all we could out of it.
We hit the gift shop which was in between the two areas. I was not wanting to spend more than $5 each so they each picked out something small and we headed to the activities. There are some free activities and some you have to pay/use tickets for. You can purchase 12 tickets for $20 – this is what we did and we let the girls pick out 2 activities each (activities are 3 tickets each). You could forgo the tickets though and still have plenty of fun with the free activities.
Overall we really enjoyed it, I would not consider it a once in a lifetime sort of event so don’t break your budget if this will be a stretch for you. However if you have a little extra in the family fun budget, this was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon with my family. All told we spent $80 (including admission) and spent about 3 1/2 hours there. Do make sure that everyone eats before you go or stash some drinks or snacks in a backpack or stroller – the Convention Center Cafe is open and the prices are outrageous – I am sure that will be the case at any venue where this is held. Keep in mind that you may have to pay for parking depending on where your event is being held. I was familiar enough with downtown Knoxville to find free parking and then make the short walk to the Convention Center. I am hearing that Saturday’s are packed and crazy so I would recommend going Friday if you can (it was not busy at all) or first thing on Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. Head over HERE to purchase tickets online and check out the hours.
Hopefully this info will help with your decision to go or not to go. There are several comments below so make sure to check those out and also feel free to add your own thoughts and experience!
If you are looking for some FREE weekend activities then make sure to check out my Family Friendly Weekend Activities Round-up that I post every Friday. You can always subscribe for FREE email updates here – get great ideas for family friendly activities and crafts, and all the latest restaurant and retail coupons sent to you each week!
No children were harmed in the making of this photo 😉
We had to stop by the Sunsphere while we were there it was nice little FREE bonus.