Have you ever daydreamed about walking with prehistoric creatures? It sounds like an impossible dream — until now. This exciting park in Michigan will give you a firsthand look at what the world was like when dinosaurs ruled the land. Grab your camera and get ready to experience one of Michigan’s most unique and educational roadside attractions.
Located on 40 acres of land near Ossineke, Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo is a one-of-a-kind attraction for children and adults alike. Don’t let its name fool you: this “zoo” is like no other zoo you’ve ever visited.
The park is dotted with life-size dinosaur reproductions, which will transport you to a prehistoric time when these massive creatures roamed the earth. The photo-ops are plentiful: have your picture taken with a T-Rex or snap a selfie under the wings of a pterodactyl.
The Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo was first opened in the 1930s, when Michigan native Paul Domke brought his vision of a dinosaur park to fruition with the construction of the first life-size statues. He experimented with several building materials before settling on a solid combination of cement, lime, sand, calcium, stearate, and liquid asphalt. The dinos are repainted and maintained on a regular basis, but their foundations remain the same.
Throughout the years, the park made its way through multiple owners, each of whom gradually expanded the Dinosaur Gardens and added their own personal touches. Today, the park includes a mini-golf course and a charming frozen yogurt bar featuring 50 topping options.
The land on which the Dinosaur Gardens sit also boasts a wide range of natural scenery. Visitors will appreciate the cedar swamp and stunning views of the nearby Devil River, while bird enthusiasts might spot a unique flying friend or two within the park.
Children will be especially pleased to know that Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo prides itself on a “no boundaries” rule: this means that visitors are free to touch and pose with the dinosaur exhibits to learn more about the creatures firsthand.
For those who prefer a more personalized visit, guided carriage tours are available. The park also welcomes private parties — an exciting opportunity for dinosaur-lovers who want to celebrate with their favorite creatures.
So if you’re looking to experience a walk through Michigan’s own “Jurassic Park,” you’ve come to the right place. History and nature meet in a unique way at Ossineke’s Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo — and you won’t want to miss it.