If you ever dreamed of being a paleontologist or discovering a dinosaur fossil, stop at The Wyoming Dinosaur Center in the quaint town of Thermopolis, Wyo.
The center offers a 12,000-square-foot museum with exhibits, a preparation lab with visitor viewing and more than 30 mounted dinosaur skeletons. In late spring through early fall, you can make reservations to do a “Dig for A Day Program” where you join a team of paleontologists unearthing fossils. This fun activity caters to healthy fit participants of all ages from young children to active people 65 and over.
“Since  we’ve been taking families out digging in the sites every summer, up to several families a day, just to give them that one-on-one paleontology experience,” says Andrew Rossi, a certified heritage interpreter at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.
A kid grins as he holds a dinosaur fossil at a Dig for a Day event at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis Photo: Courtesy Hot Springs Travel & Tourism
Don’t forget to leave time for the museum’s many exhibits. Among the three dozen mounted dinosaur skeletons is Jimbo the Supersaurus, one of the largest dinosaurs ever mounted in the world at a length of 106 feet. It was found in Douglas, Wyo., 180 miles northwest of Thermopolis. You also can walk directly underneath “Morris” the Camarasaurus, standing 30 feet off the ground.
“Pretty much every kid who comes here dreams of becoming a paleontologist,” says Rossi. “Even better than that, some kids who worked with us 20 years ago are working on getting their Ph.D. in paleontology now.”
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
(307) 864-2997 or (800) 455-DINO
110 Carter Ranch Rd, Thermopolis, WY 82443
Tours are conducted hourly, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., daily during the summer