Don your safari hats, gather your young explorers, and head to Glen Rose for a fun weekend of animals and adventures.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a 9.5 mile drive-through safari park featuring hundreds of exotic and endangered animals. Far from a zoo experience, your family will view animals roaming freely on wide-open ranges. For the most engaging experience, make sure to purchase the optional bag of feed so the animals will come right up to your car window and maybe even peek right in. The gentle giraffes can be fed by hand. The highlight of my family's trip was when a friendly giraffe put his head right into our minivan and we each got to feed him out of our hands. In addition to the giraffes, we loved seeing the crazy ostriches, beautiful zebras, and graceful antelope. Because the wildlife center is popular and can get crowded, we recommend you visit first thing in the morning.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Young explorers will revel in the opportunity to hunt for real dinosaur tracks which are located in the Paluxy River bed in Dinosaur Valley State Park. There are several tracks that can be easily viewed by all members of the family. The crystal-clear waters of the Paluxy River are also open for swimming, and on a hot Texas day splashing in the cool water is a must for every family. Hiking around the park is beautiful. We recommend taking the "yellow trail" to the scenic overlook. It was our children's first time to gain elevation in a hike and experience the breath-taking beauty of a bird's eye view.
If your children love dinosaurs, Dinosaur World is the place to be. With over 100 life-sized dinosaur replicas situated along the Dinosaur Walk, children's imaginations come to life as they picture a time when these awesome creatures roamed the earth. Dinosaur World, which also features a museum, fossil dig, playground, and gift shop, is your family's source for dinosaur fun.
Tips to make your trip even more educational and fun:
- The week before the trip begin "researching" dinosaurs as a family by reading books about dinosaurs found at your local library.
- Make a dinosaur craft. (See http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/dinosaurs/ for ideas.)
- Pack dinosaur-themed snacks for the trip.
- Have your child choose one animal from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center on which to become an "animal expert" . When you get to that animal during the safari drive-through, let that child educate the family about their animal.
Where to Eat
For a totally Texas experience, eat at the Loco Coyote just outside of town. Burgers as big as Texas with an atmosphere straight out of a country and western song make "the Coyote" Texas Family Travel's favorite hole-in-the-wall. Please know before you go: restaurant does not have high-chairs and food is cooked to order so wait time can be lengthy. This unique experience, though, is sure to be a favorite of Dad.
Watch our quick video for a glimpse of a weekend in Glen Rose.
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Where to Stay
If you decide to make a weekend of it, there are many lodging options available in Glen Rose. Though Glen Rose is known for its adorable B&Bs, we don't feel like they are the best option when travelling with young children. There are, also, some fun guest ranches in the area that we would love to try on another trip. But, because our schedule was packed, we decided to stay at one of the many new chain hotels in town. We chose America's Best Value Inn and Suites and would recommend it as a comfortable, yet no frills stop on your weekend of explorations. With a heated indoor pool, complimentary breakfast, and very reasonable prices, it is family-friendly and low-stress.