Who Needs Jurassic Park? We’ve Got Field Station: Dinosaurs!

Without owning a time-traveling DeLorean, taking a trip to Field Station: Dinosaurs is the easiest way to go back to the Mesozoic Period. I think it’s safe to say that most of us were fascinated by dinosaurs at one time in our lives and many of us still are, including myself. When I read about a new dinosaur-themed park opening up in Secaucus, NJ, I couldn’t wait to go and mingle with my old pals Hadrosaurus and T-Rex.
You already know T-Rex, but you may not know that Hadrosaurus is the official dinosaur of New Jersey. Haddy roamed around Jersey during the late Cretaceous period and has made his return to the Garden State at Field Station Dinosaur. In addition to Haddy, the attraction boasts over 30 life sized roaring dinosaurs, including the largest animatronic dinosaur ever made, the Argentinosaurus which is 90 feet long! It’s quite a site to see.

Field Station Dinosaurs

Last weekend I scooped up my niece and nephew and headed to Field Station. We all had a fun time and the kids waltzed right into workshops and got involved in the various little activities going on. The kids both sat front and center and interacted in a seminar about avian dinosaurs and my niece also got a dinosaur tattoo. Aside from the towering animatronic dinosaurs, Field Station offers dinosaur meet and greets, fossil digs, shows and games. With all that stuff it’s easy to forget your kids are actually doing something educational.

Field Station is closest thing we’ll have to Jurassic Park in New Jersey. It’s very cool concept and it’s awesome that it’s so close to home. At some point I’d like to see the park expand to include a dark ride and possibly other theme park attractions. According to their website, the park closes down on November 11th and these additions would keep them open through the winter months. I’d really hate to see this park go extinct.

If you have kids and live in the NY/NJ/PA area I highly recommend making a day of Field Station. The walk through park isn’t anywhere near as scary as the Dinosaur! ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so the kids won’t be petrified. Plus, you can even go on a rainy summer day and avoid crowds because the park is still open and free ponchos are provided.
Their official websites offers discounted admission:
Laurel Hill Park, One Dinosaur Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094

Terra Nova in New Jersey: The Hadrosaurus Foulkii

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NwXn5C6S8Q?rel=0]

Earlier tonight our love affair with dinosaurs continued with the premiere of Terra Nova on Fox. I have yet to watch the show because it’s on my DVR awaiting me to check it out sometime this week. In the meantime, in a state filled with highways, refineries, and shopping malls, it’s fun to think about how dinosaurs ruled the area at one time.

We’re actually lucky enough to have an official state dinosaur in New Jersey, the Hadrosaurus Foulkii. If your state only has a state bird or state dance, then you’re really missing out. Write a letter to your congressmen! So, how does a state get it’s own dinosaur you ask? Well, in our case, back in the Cretaceous period, Haddy roamed the land that now features a putrid smelling Turnpike, an infamous guido infested shore, and the same land that I call home. But seriously, 80 million years later a teacher and her students in Haddon Township helped get the creature made into our official state dinosaur.

Here’s a little background on the dino: Haddy was about 25 feet long and weighed nearly 8 tons. Since it was a herbivore it wasn’t ferocious – according to WikiDino, it only ate “twigs and leaves.” Back 1838, in Haddonfield NJ, the first remains of Haddy were found, but it wasn’t until 20 years later that it was officially documented as the most complete set of dinosaur bones unearthed in the world at that time. In 1868 it became the first ever mounted dinosaur skeleton.

How pissed have you been your whole life that dinosaurs are extinct? You really wanted to hang with Haddy didn’t you? Well, you still can! Sculptor John Giannotti created his own version of the Hadrosaurus which has resided in the center of the business district in downtown Haddonfield since 2003. For photos of the sculpture and all the info you can ever want about the creature, you can visit Haddy’s official site here: http://hadrosaurus.com/index.shtml