I’ve got a 3-year-old who struggles to pronounce words like “different,” “favorite” and “princess.”
But ask him to tell you about dinosaurs, and he’s quick to rattle off words like Tyrannosaurus rex, Brachiosaurus and Triceratops with clarity.
So our recent trip to the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden was like dropping him right in the middle of his own personal nirvana.
The park is situated at the mouth of Ogden Canyon, with the Ogden River and accompanying Ogden River Parkway Trail running along its northern border. Made up of paved walking trails, the park features more than 100 life-sized replicas of dinosaurs on display atop hills, diving for fish and tending their young, among other scenes. Sound effects are heard throughout the park as well.
Three-year-old Caleb, armed with the park map, was wowed each time we came upon a new dinosaur, though he was desperately looking for his favorite, the Brachiosaurus — what I had always known as a Brontosaurus, but like planets and other scientific things, Brontosaurus was renamed an Apatosaurus at some point, and Brachiosaurus is now considered the largest of all dinosaurs.
We saw a Stegosaurus and her baby, a Tyrannosaurus rex baring its teeth over its recently caught prey, Pteranodons, what laypeople might refer to as a Pteradactyl, and lots of other beasts with varying features such as claws, scales, plates, etc.
Most of the park is like an outdoor museum. You can’t touch the dinosaurs, and much to the dismay of my 5-year-old, you certainly can’t climb on them.
However, there is a playground, featuring dinosaur slides and creatures to climb on and explore. Benches, picnic tables and large trees make it an excellent site for a picnic lunch. An indoor museum featuring fossils and other artifacts is part of the park as well.
The great part about the park is you can go through it at your own pace. A quick walk-through will take about an hour, but you could spend the day learning, exploring and playing.