Location: 711 Mammoth Cave Rd, Cave City, KY
Price: $12.75/adult; 9.75/kid ages 3-12, under 2 free
Smashed Penny Machine: Yes
Following our visit to Mammoth Cave National Park we drove to nearby Cave City. Cave City is the nearest town to the National Park and is about a fifteen-minute drive from Visitor’s Center. Cave city boasts a number of family attractions including zip-lines, golfing, and go carting. There are also several sit down and fast food restaurant options. After a quick lunch, we visited one of the more unique attractions in Cave City, Dinosaur World.
Dinosaur World boasts a number of attractions. The main attraction of the park is the Dino Trail. This is an easy paved trail through the woods making it very easy to push a stroller through this exhibit. Along the trail there are life-sized dinosaur sculptures and small information plaques about the various species. Most the sculptures are off the trail and are fenced off so there are lots of great photo ops but you can’t get especially close to most of the statues. There are a few photo locations set up such as a baby wooly mammoth you can climb on, a hatching dinosaur egg your child can climb into and a T-Rex head that you can climb into the back of so you can take a picture getting “eaten.”
There is a small side trail that is not paved about midway through the trail. This trail leads up to the dinosaur statue that is seen from I-65. You can climb on the base of this statue and get pictures. The area also overlooks the interstate. The older two enjoyed probably ten minutes of standing on a bench trying to get truckers to honk as they drove by. There is also a small “herd” of mammoth status including the baby mammoth you can get pictures with.
The entire Dino Trail and the side walk to the interstate took probably 30-45 minutes to complete. If you enjoy reading the information plaque or moving at a pace slower than overly-excited-toddler-that-has-not-napped I’d plan about an hour for the Dino Trail. After the Dino Trail we let the kids play on the very cute dinosaur themed playground. Around the playground is a covered picnic area and coolers are allowed so you could bring a picnic lunch or snacks. We also found a soda machine by the museum.
Included in the price of kids admission was a ticket to the Fossil Dig. You will have to buy a Fossil Dig ticket for $2 if you have a two year old that wants to dig. The Fossil Dig runs for about 15 minutes every half hour. It’s basically a giant sand box with some sand sifters. Your kids can shift around and discover various “fossils.” Most of it are broken shells or shark teeth. To be honest I have a hard time believing any of them are actual fossils as all the sharks teeth seemed brittle. Either way your kids will be excited to play in the sand and they get to bring home their three favorite finds as a souvenir.
While we waited on a few members of our group that were really enjoying the Fossil Dig, we played in the Bone Yard. This is a giant sand pit with a large fake skeleton buried under the sand that kids can excavate using the tools. There is also some benches in here and the area is covered so you are out of the sun (or in our case the light rain that had started). The park also has a small museum that we did not check out and a gift shop that you have to walk through both on your way into and out of the park.
Overall: We had fun exploring the dinosaurs but I’m not sure it is something I would do a second time especially for the cost. The park was well maintained and clean. I think it was a neat couple hour stop if you are in the area or driving by on the interstate. This is aimed at younger kids with the ideal age probably being 3-7. Also be sure to bring cash. When we first arrived their credit card machine was down based on how their signs looked this is probably a fairly common occurrence.