[Note: This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom to two young children.]
Looking for a getaway without actually getting away? Consider an excursion over to DC’s National Harbor for a dinosaur safari overlooking the scenic marina. For us, it was just the escape we needed from the daily playground scene.
Dino Safari, running now through April 11, brings prehistoric times to pandemic times, offering a drive-thru, no-contact yet immersive experience for you and your little ones. You may be familiar with these Jurassic Park-inspired attractions, which feature life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Dino Safari is unique in its “Passport to Pangea” theme, transporting you through all seven continents — which were formerly one supercontinent, Pangea, in dinosaur times.
Upon arrival, you’ll be handed your passport, instructed to enable your in-car audio, and given an “egg” to keep warm for T. Rex. Then off you go on your self-guided journey, soon learning everything you never knew you didn’t know about dinosaurs. Each continent brings its own story and featured dinosaur types — from the Spinosaurus in Africa, to the Hadrosaur in Antarctica. The history lesson is detailed enough to impress a dinosaur buff, and the roars and tail whips are captivating enough for a two-year-old.
My preschool aged kids are not as into dinosaurs like some of their peers, but even they were engaged the entire time, heads out the windows and sun roof. They love recounting the outcome of their egg assignment, and my daughter is very proud of her new paleontologist knowledge.
Afterwards, they were roaring with excitement to head down to the waterfront where they spied The Capital Wheel and DCA airplanes flying from afar.
Dino Safari at National Harbor
Where: 29B Waterfront Street | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Now through April 11
Hours: Mon – Thurs, 12pm-8pm; Fri – Sun, 9am-9pm
Admission: $49.95/vehicle (up to 7 occupants); $59.95/large vehicle (8+ occupants)
Purchase Tickets Here
* We arrived at 12:30pm on a weekday and with no wait, it took us about 30-45 minutes to complete the safari. However, the set-up may be more exciting to view at night.
* Dino Safari is recommended for all ages, and there is certainly much for all ages to learn, but it will have more appeal for elementary school age kids and younger.
* To add to the educational experience, watch this introductory video.
* Make the Harbor part of your visit, either before or after the safari. There are dozens of restaurants and shops, a waterfront full of seagulls and geese, and The Carousel is expected to open again this weekend, March 27. Read more about all of it here.