You might miss the giant T-Rex standing guard beside I-65 near the Cave City exit on your way north, but you’ll have a harder time ignoring the triceratops and pterodactyl once you get off the highway on the way to Mammoth Cave National Park. A string of yellow flags along with the giant reptiles give this attraction maximum visibility, the location and hype needed in this tourist town filled with competing enterprises with names like “Historic Diamond Caverns,” “Kentucky Action Park” and “Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo.”
The boys’ curiosity grew on every trip past the giant gates. They really had asked for so little on our Big South Fork/Mammoth Cave trip, and so we promised to take a look online and entertain the possibility of stopping on our last day in Cave City. With the promise of “150 life size dinosaurs to see and discover” even dad was intrigued – and so it came about that we pulled into the parking lot with about two hours left until closing.
The attraction covers 20 acres. The entrance gift shop opens into a courtyard surrounded by activities: a museum, a playground, the fossil dig, “touch and tell,” the boneyard, a movie cave, a gem mine and the dinosaur walk, a path leading visitors through the woods past all the giant dinos. A 4 and 5-year-old’s dream!
We managed to do it all: mine gems, dig for fossils, glance at the movie, and of course walk the dinosaur walk. The boys were in paradise, as even the playground was dinosaur themed; we even made it out to the giant T-Rex that you can see from the highway. As far as touristy places go, this one isn’t bad: the facilities were clean, the dinosaurs of better quality than expected, and the staff were friendly enough. Our stop was entirely for the boys after their patience in the car and multiple hikes at Mammoth Cave, but we parents enjoyed it as well; it’s hard to begrudge a tourist trap that receives such an euphoric response from the boys!