This is a fun place to go with kids who are into dinosaur's, even those who may not be too into it will have fun. Grab the bus if you're not up for the hike and if you'd like a tour guide to give you the details. The guides are both very knowledgeable and entertaining... You can also do both - the tour guide and then hike back up the paved road (shut off from cars). If you do the hike though watch out for snakes in the summer. Most are bullhead snakes, which won't hurt you but the area is known for rattle snakes.
Located a quick stop off of 470 in Morrison, just outside of Denver/Littleton, Dinosaur Ridge is a fascinating find. At their ticketing/welcome center, there is a nice outdoor play area with a "dino dig" feature for little ones. The interpretive center is the only place where you pay an admission fee, otherwise, it costs nothing to hike the trails. You can hike the Dinosaur Ridge trail, which is about 1 1/2 miles long, to the bone quarry (where you can touch actual dino bones) on your own, or pay for a guided tour. There is a Triceratops Trail, as well, which I've not visited, nearby in Golden that features fossilized dino footprints (such as a T-Rex). It is also about 1 1/2 miles long, total. Depending on how you are traveling, it may take up to two hours to do either trail, unless you and your kids are exceptionally speedy! This is really a hidden gem on the edge of Denver that you shouldn't miss if you're in the area and have the time to spare. I noticed also that they offer birthday parties, which might be a really unique and fun option for little dinosaur lovers!
Dinasaur ridge is a great experience that the children can see real dinasaur prints outside of a musuem. This experience has been enhanced by the fact that they recently closed off the road to through traffic so that one can safely walk ro ride a bike while looking. The best way to do the ridge is definatly with a paid tour for a small fee they have tour guides and the kids can touch the foot prints of the dinasaurs.
This is the coolest attraction! Yes, it is small, but how cool is it that you can actually TOUCH a dinosaur bone, see dinosaur footprints & learn that this part of Colorado was once under the ocean?
There are two ways to visit Dino Ridge. First, you can do the free, self-guided walk. Second, and the one I HIGHLY recommend, you can pay $4 for the shuttle bus tour. Our guide was amazing & we never would have learned the things we did had we done a self-guided tour. The bus makes stops & the driver gets out with you & shows you the actual bones (which can be hard to spot on your own). He also explains all about the rock & sediment formations, prehistoric history of the area, as well as the history of how Dino Ridge was discovered. Well, well worth the small fee.
This is a little gem right on the edge of Denver. Since they closed Alameda Pkwy you can walk on the street for a nice hike or take the tour from the center. We like to hike and talk about the fossils while enjoying the view. Beware that this is rattlesnake country, but don't let that stop you. The bookstore has nicely priced trinkets that satisfy young kids at prices parents appreciate. I can buy things for all four kids and come out under $10-the cashiers will count the shark teeth in a way to make sure you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get everyone a souvenir. We love this place, especially on Saturday mornings or unexpected days off. Best in the cool of the day or fall/spring.
Self guided tours and inexpensive guided tours available, as well as a free visitor center, make Dinosaur Ridge a very fun day trip. You do have to be careful with young children as the tracks are right along the highway. Although the website is not currently updated with "Dinosaur Days", there are certain days when the highway is closed, and it is safer for kids to visit. Great for kids who love dinosaurs or during a unit study of geology and fossils!