One day my kid wants to be a Lottie doll, the next a scientist and most recently she wants to be a palaeontologist. She pronounces it better than I ever could too. I had to google the spelling just to continue typing this article. Anyhow, I’m playing with her most recent obsession and finding fun things to do in Ireland with a Dinosaur theme and here’s some of the best days out that I could find.
Here are Terrific Places to see Dinosaurs in Ireland.
Places to see Dinosaurs in Ireland
There aren’t tons of dinosaur places in Ireland but there are a few hidden gems tucked away, enough to satisfy any dino fans in the house.
Dinosaurs at Ulster Museum
Amongst the thousands of fossils found at the Ulster Museum in Belfast your budding palaeontologist can get up close and personal with various dinosaur remains.
On display is the skeleton of an Edmontosaurus and in the Deep Time gallery you can WOW your child with the only dinosaur bones ever found in Ireland.
Dinosaur Dash at Tayto Park
Dinosaur Dash at Tayto Park is a thrilling ride for budding dinosaur enthusiasts! They can get up close and personal with Raptors, T-Rex, Triceraptors and more! Travel back in time in a safari jeep carriage and soar to the skies before dashing under the tail and head of a Apatosaurus Dino! Sweep through the twists and turns avoiding the grasp of Raptors, but be aware of a bubbling swamp underneath waiting to explode…
The Hidden Museum at NUI Galway
Often called ‘Galway’s Hidden Museum’, the James Mitchell Museum is entered by the staircase in the south-east corner of the Main Quadrangle of NUI, Galway. The museum is not very big, it has collections of rocks, minerals and fossils, and for those Dino fans, the south facing wall of the museum has specimens of the large Jurassic marine reptiles Ichthyosaurus along with replicas of Cretaceous dinosaurs from the Isle of Wight, including the skulls of Megalosaurus and Iguanodon and a complete Hypsilophodon. The musuem is open year round from 10am to 4pm (currently closed for renovations).
And while you are on campus did you know NUI Galway has its own Dead Zoo? Its collection includes four specimens once owned by the famous naturalist Charles Darwin.
Dinosaur Nest at the Celtic Prehistoric Museum, Kerry
Did you know you can see a nest of dinosaur eggs at The Celtic and Prehistoric Museum at Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula? Not only does the Museum have Ireland’s only intact Woolly Mammoth skull, with its tusks still attached, it also has the only complete dinosaur skeleton (of a baby dinosaur), and a Cave Bear Skeleton as well as the nest of dino eggs on display.
Tetrapod Prints on Valentia Island, Kerry
It’s not quite dinosaurs but you can see prehistoric tetrapod footprints predating dinosaurs at the Tetrapod Trackway on Valentia Island at the end of the Iveragh Peninsula, more familiar to many as the location of the Ring of Kerry.
On the island you will find one of only 4 sets of prehistoric footprints in the world! The footprints give an invaluable view of the transition of life from water onto land.
Ireland’s Jurassic Park at Kells Bay Gardens, Kerry
Step back in time at Ireland’s Jurassic Park in Kells Bay Gardens on the Ring of Kerry. Here you will find life-size dinosaur sculptures created from fallen trees and see what dinosaurs ate while you explore the primeval forest on your very own dinosaur walk.
Kells Bay Gardens are open daily all year round.
Dinos at Banba Toymaster, Mary Street Dublin
Lurking at the rear of the Banba Toymaster store in Mary Street, Dublin, you will find a large dinosaur guarding her eggs! Watch them hatch and listen out for the prehistoric sounds they make. A big hit for kids of all ages.
‘Jurassic Newpark’ at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny offers life-sized, robotic dinosaurs that move and roar including T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Velociraptor. You may spot some dinosaur eggs, too.
The experience will be free to hotel guests, with tickets otherwise available to book in advance.