Do you want to take your family somewhere to see dinosaurs? Have you been searching for “places to see dinosaurs near me”? If you have a dino-loving kid, you probably have been. And, you’re in luck. Because, we have a list of all the places to see dinosaurs near Columbia, SC. Our list includes some fabulous places to learn about dinosaurs right in Columbia, SC, and also in North Carolina and South Carolina. All of them make a great dinosaur day trip or even a weekend adventure from the Midlands.
This article includes:
Where to See Dinosaurs in Greenville, SC
Places to See Dinosaurs in Columbia, SC
Places to See Dinosaurs in North Carolina
Places to See Dinosaurs in Georgia
Dinosaur Traveling Exhibits
I don’t know if it was the Jurassic Park movies or what that kicked off my fascination with dinosaurs but I definitely enjoy learning about them (and watching all the Jurassic Park films). Did I mention my kids love them, too? They do! Luckily for all of us, and you if your family also enjoys the giant animals, there are plenty of Greenville, SC dinosaur exhibits to see these life-size creatures in person.
Where to See Dinosaurs in Columbia, SC
History buffs will love seeing 70 million-year-old dinosaur bones plus enjoy enormous dinosaur replicas throughout the natural history part of the museum.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday Noon – 5 pm
Admission: $8.95/adults, $6.95/ages 3-12; free for homeschooling families
Address: 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC
Where to See Dinosaurs: Greenville, SC
RMSC has an actual dinosaur trail that visitors can stroll through and see dinosaurs on either side of them. There are plaques that talk about each one so it’s easy to turn it into an educational and fun adventure. They added two more dinosaurs in 2022. If you want to see and learn about dinos in Greenville, this is the place to be!
Hours: Public hours are 1:30-4:30 pm Tuesday – Friday for Afternoon Explorations through May 12, 2023
Admission: $5/person, ages 2 and under are free and it is free for members
Address: 402 Roper Mountain Road, Greenville
Sometimes Greenville Dino Spots
These spots in Greenville don’t currently have dinos, but they will! We’ll let you know when more dinos are ready for your visit!
The Upcountry History Museum will occasionally host a dinosaur exhibit in Greenville, SC. Their most recent exhibit, The Land of Fire and Ice, was very popular among dinosaur fans. There is not a currently running dino exhibit at UHM, but stay tuned. We’ll let you know when another is on the way!
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday from 1-5 pm.
Admission: $10/adults and $8/ages 4-12. Kids ages 3 and under are free
Address: 540 Buncombe Street, Greenville
This small museum on the campus of Clemson University has dinosaur fossils and bones for visitors to check out. It’s a great little add-on for a day trip in the area. Unfortunately, the very cold weather early in the winter December 2022 caused damage to the building and they are not currently open. We will let you know when they open back up.
In the meantime, we recommend the Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County in Hendersonville, NC for a similar experience.
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. They are closed on the official Clemson holidays. (Note: Currently closed due to cold weather damage)
Address: 140 Discovery Lane, Clemson
Where to See Dinosaurs in North Carolina
This huge museum has an extensive dinosaur exhibit that is a lot of fun to walk through. Kids of all ages will love it. Plus, there is a planetarium, outdoor farm and Catawba Village, and a huge array of other exhibits.
Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday 1 – 5 pm
Admission: $7/adults, $6/ages 4-18, under 3 is free; free if you have a Roper Mountain Science Center membership
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Address: 1500 East Garrison Boulevard, Gastonia, NC
Hands On Children’s Museum in Hendersonville, NC is a great place to bring the young kiddos. In addition to exhbits where kids can explore a grocery store, fire truck, ice cream shop, hospital and even the Hendersonville mountains, there is also a dinosaur exhibit perfect for the younger crowd. It features a large triceratops, a microscope with slides for examing, and an archeological dig box where kids can practice some archeology fossil finding skills!
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm
Admission:$10 per person
Address: Hands On! Children’s Museum 318 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC, 828.697.8333
The Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County
Also in Hendersonville, NC you’ll find the Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County. This place is totally free. It has a very small footprint but it is totally worth a visit to see the fossils, minerals, rocks, and more! What dinosaur enthusiasts will be most excited to see is a T-Rex head fossil. There is also a fossil of a dinosaur nest with eggs inside that you are allowed to touch!
But, there is a ton of other cool things to see, including minerals that glow in the dark! If you’re in Hendersonville, don’t miss this place!
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 1 pm to 5 pm and Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm
Address: 400 North Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Hendersonville, NC has a ton of free things to do. So, if you’re headed up there to check out Hands On and the fossils at the Mineral and Lapidary Museum, don’t miss these other really fun and totally free things to do in Hendersonville, NC.
Go play at the Kiwanisaurus Treehouse Adventure that has four treehouses and four crows nests. Life-size dinosaur replicas are throughout the area for guests to get up close to. Then, immerse yourselves in the prehistoric world at the Prehistoric Passages: Realm of Dragons exhibit which utilizes technology to let you feel like you’re standing beside real dinosaurs. Learn about fossils, the Jurassic stage, see life-size replicas, skeletons, and lots more.
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Admission: $19.50/ages 14-64, $17.50/ages 3-13; free for members (Note that Greensboro Science Center is a member of both the AZA and ASTC which means if you have local memberships to the Greenville Zoo OR The Roper Mountain Science Center you may receive a discount or free admission depending on your membership and current membership reciprocity policies in place.)
Address: 4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro, NC
Dinosaurs! is on display at the Catawba Science Center in Hickory, NC through August 2023. This exhibit is revamped with NINE new dinosaurs!
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm.
Admission: $10/adults and $8/ages 3 and up. If you have a Roper Mountain Science Center membership, admission is free.
Address: 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory, NC
Where to See Dinosaurs in Georgia
Enjoy full-scale animatronic dinos, fossils, and interactive games to learn about dinosaurs.
Hours: Wed-Thurs 11 am-7 pm (last ticket at 6 pm), Fri-Sat 11 am-8 pm (last ticket at 7 pm), Sunday 12 pm-7 pm (last ticket at 6 pm) Purchase timed tickets!
Admission: Tickets start at $15
Address: North Point Mall on the upper level, 1000 North Point Circle, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Dinosaur Traveling Exhibits and Shows
This is a traveling exhibit that usually comes to the Upstate and other places in our region like Atlanta or Charlotte at least once a year. Check out their website or Facebook page for an updated schedule.
Admission: Depends on the venue but expect to pay at least $26/ticket
This new traveling show is a hit amongst Jurassic fans. It has been to Greenville, SC in 2023. Look for it in future years or in nearby cities.
Admission: Tickets prices vary depending on venue and seats.