Dinosaur Expedition - Chicago Children's Museum (and Navy Pier)

This is a great room featuring a dinosaur expedition. The main feature is a series of “fossils” buried under “dirt” (actually pieces of shredded tires) from a Suchomimus dinosaur. There are tools to dig, and even after dozens of trips, my kids are still excited when they find one of the many bones nicely laid out in the ground. The skeleton is nicely laid out, so kids can try to orient themselves and figure out what each kind of bone is, plus guess where more bones may be.

For elementary school-aged kids, you may want to get to this room early when much of the dinosaur is still covered. Younger kids will find the uncovered pieces helpful when searching, and will probably enjoy just digging in the dirt even if there’s not much dinosaur left to find.

There’s also a truck that kids enjoy climbing in, Suchomimus and T-Rex skulls, and short videos talking about the expedition. The room is nicely set up with only one exit and so you can easily see just about the whole room at one time, so it’s easy to sit down and let kids have a little more independence. There are several chairs set in front of the dig—they’re light so you can easily move them around if you want to keep an eye on kids in the truck instead.