Visiting the Cabazon Dinosaurs in Cabazon, CA
For a roadside attraction, the Cabazon Dinosaurs is a must-visit. Initially opened in 1975 by Claude Bell, the Dinosaurs were initially built to attract travelers to his now-closed restaurant. Still, they were made famous in classic 80’s movies like Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and The Wizard.
We didn’t expect much on our way there, but we ended up staying for 3 hours (including lunch). Most visitors only stop by to take a quick picture in front of the famous t-Rex, but the overall place offers so much more. From Mr. Rex’s Dinosaur Adventure to Dinny Dino’s gift shop, it was all fun to explore. If your family ever drives through the Cabazon area, you should definitely stop by and climb into a dinosaur with your kids.
Cabazon Dinosaurs visitor info
- Adults – $13 (13-54)
- Seniors/Military – $10 (55+)
- Child – $11 (3-12)
- Under 2 – FREE
We had a great time visiting the Cabazon Dinosaurs. When we first arrived, we didn’t know what to expect. So we headed towards the small groups of people taking pictures in the front of Mr. Rex. Walking around a bit, we were surprised to find the gift store located inside the giant brontosaurus named Dinny the Dinosaur. The shop was full of Dinosaur themed toys and signage. It definitely won points for being unique.
Inside the Park
From there, we headed towards Mr. Rex’s Dinosaur Adventure. After buying our tickets, we watched a quick 1 long video explaining what the park has to offer. From the video, we learned about the two hands-on activities the kids to take part in.
- Dino Dig – This is a giant sandpit where kids dig up rocks with Dinosaur names inscribed on them that can be turned in for a prize in the gift shop.
- Gemstone Panning – You can buy a $3 bag of dirt to sift through the water to uncover hidden gems.
Our oldest daughter loved digging for the named rocks in the Dino Dig. As for the panning activity, we didn’t buy a gemstone bag for the girls. Instead, we let our oldest sift through the remnants of someone else’s bag and told her, “like many prospectors of the past, a lot of people never found anything.” It was a valuable life lesson!
Afterward, we turned the rest of the walk into a dinosaur hunt. Reading the fun facts and checking out all the dinosaur models. At one point, our daughter noticed the dinosaur tracks in the concrete and spent the next 15 minutes trying to step on every track she could find. She had a blast.
Climbing Mr. Rex at the end of the trail was the highlight of the trip. Remembering the statue from my childhood, I was even excited about climbing it. After a handful of stairs, you get split out into the T Rex’s mouth. The questionable 70’s construction brings back the nostalgia of less regulated times as you peer out the dinosaurs’ teeth to the visitors below.
On the way out, we stopped in the gift shop to exchange the Dino Dig rocks and view all the motorized dinosaurs lining the inside of the gift shop. The shop had a lot of character with plenty of little eye-catching areas poke around in.
Lunch & Ice Cream before heading home
Not wanting to put the two kids back into the car to get food, we were thankful to be able to walk across the parking lot to the nearby Burger King. Los Victor’s Mexican Restaurant was another option and looked decent but fast and cheap won out.
After lunch, we ordered delicious dinosaur themed ice cream from the Sweet-O-Saur Icecream Truck. The high-quality ice cream was creamy, and the churro waffle was extremely satisfying.
3 hours after we initially parked the car, we piled back in for the drive home. Talking about how surprised we were with our visit to the Cabazon Dinosaurs.
Random Tips from our visit
- Walking distance to Burger King + Los Victor’s Mexican food
- You can also Buy tickets for the Trex Adventure inside Dinny the Dinosaur Gift Shop.
- Picnic tables inside and outside of the park (pack a lunch)
- Bring, Sunblock, hat, water, closed-toed shoes (gets dusty)
- Clean paths inside the park
- Sweet-O-Saur Ice cream Truck on weekends (so good!)
- Restrooms (no changing tables)
Things to do nearby
You can get your fix of food and shopping at The Cabazon Outlets. The Morongo Casino Resort & Spa is also an option if you like to gamble.
We travel all over California searching for fun places to take the kids. Be sure to check out some of the other places we’ve visited that are good for kids. Things to do with Kids in Southern California
If you have any suggests on where we should go next please let us know in the comments below!
Should you go?
We think so. It’s the coolest roadside attraction we’ve ever been too by far. Although it’s probably not worth your time and money if you rush through the park in 15-20 minutes. But if you relax and take the time to let the kids dig up rocks, pan to gemstones, and read all the fun facts spread throughout the park, you’ll have fun. We spent at least an hour inside the park and left satisfied.
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