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The average American, when he thinks of a Florida vacation for his family, knows about Disney World, and Sea World, and some of the big Hollywood theme parks. But Dinosaur World, near Plant City, is probably below his radar screen. Yet, though it's not a sumptuous or a grand place, for kids in the age range of four to nine, it can provide a super adventure, and at a price that doesn't wipe out the family bank account.
Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont
Placed along walks that run through a Florida forest are dozens of dinosaur statues, which presumably have been constructed to scale. They're all made of a form of fiberglass, and some appear more realistic than others -- though I guess it's absurd to talk about what dinosaurs really looked like since nobody has ever seen one.
There's also a bone yard, where kids can uncover fake dinosaur skeletons and dust off their bones with little brushes, just like paleontologists do, and a fossil dig, where kids can dig in a big tray of sand and keep three of the fossils they find.
We went there with our two grandsons last week, and I confess it was fun to watch them dash around like little wood sprites. The older of the two, Jack, who recently had his fifth birthday, hopped into the bone yard and said to the kid digging beside him, "This is amazing!"
Small family outings may not add up to much in the grand sale of things, but it's surprising what percentage of our memory store they make up as the years pass. I'm sure I'll have pictures of Jack and Ellis at Dinosaur World in my mind as long as I live.