Thursday, April 21, 2016

Road Trip Pit Stop: Mesalands Dinosaur Museum

My family and I recently took a cross country road trip and between the potty breaks and gas fill ups, we had to try and find something to fill a few hours of time with the kiddos..

We took our trip from California and followed the I-40 all the way to Georgia. I did my research in the weeks prior to heading out, and had such a hard time finding anything for us to do. Maybe a roadside attraction here or a weird structure on a hill you can stop and see there, but nothing that would hold the kids' interest for long. I gave up on planning anything and just went on our way.

On our way through New Mexico, the kids were getting a little fidgety and we saw a few billboards for a Dinosaur Museum on the border and decided, hey why not? I looked the Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum up online as we were driving and checked out the price, just to make sure it was not astronomical (like most museums). I was relieved to see that admission prices were cheap!

Adults- $6.50
Children 5 to 11- $4.00
Children (Under 5) FREE

This museum is tucked in along a small town and is super easy to find -- just follow the signs that are posted all over the place! If you are like me and need the directions, here you go:

Located at 222 E Laughlin Ave, Tucumcari, NM 88401

From Interstate 40 (Route 66):
Take Exit 332. Continue north on First Street to Laughlin (1.6 miles, two blocks after the signal light), then turn right to the Museum parking area.

From Highway 54:
Exit west onto Route 66 Blvd., go west to First Street (1.3 miles at signal light), then turn right to the Museum parking area.

When you walk into the building, you are greeted at the ticket counter inside the small gift shop. The shop is full of souvenirs, books, clothing, stuffed animals, etc.-- everything you generally find at a museum giftshop. You pay your admission and are directed through the doors.

For a small little museum, this place is pretty jam packed with Life Size Bronze and Original Fossils.

There is a paleontology lab right there in the building where you can observe scientists doing what they do and studying fossils.

As you walk through, you will see a few of Life Size Fossils ( I mean like 6-8 life size fossils and replicas) My girls loved  seeing all things in there. There are wall to wall murals, original paintings and a ton of exhibits showing rocks and small impressions found throughout the region.

There is even an area strictly for kids. They can dig for bones in an enclosed area filled with what seems to be walnut shells. This entertained the kids for a few minutes.

There is an area where they can dig through the sand and show different levels of change in the water and land over the years. This kind of went over my daughters heads as to what it was meant for but they had fun with it regardless.

Overall, for a small museum in a tiny little town off the beaten path, I would highly recommend this pit stop if you are traveling with young kids!

It was a nice break, a chance to stretch our legs and get out of the heat, and we all enjoyed learning a little bit about dinosaurs and paleontology.


  1. We always try to find fun, cheap diversions on road trips; this looks perfect! What a fun pit stop.

  2. That looks like a great find!
    I have always enjoyed learning about dinosaurs, ever since Jurassic Park first came out. Thanks for sharing :)
    Found you post on Blogger's Pit Stop

  3. Wow, what a great road trip! When I do road trips, I like stopping at places to have a break and some fun. #ProductReviewParty

  4. My kid would love that place. If I ever head that direction, we are totally going to check it out. #ProductReviewParty

  5. That looks like a fun place to go with little ones! I want to get my kids out west someday to see the sights, so I'll have to keep this spot in mind.

  6. What a great trip and experience! We have something similar and my son just loves it. Stopping by from #MeanderingMonday

  7. What a great day out. Thanks for sharing on #overthemoon

  8. how fun and such cute tour guides! One day we will get that way and for sure will stop in to see the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum!

  9. I love the area where kids can dig for bones. My girls would LOVE that! I am a high school teacher so I hope to visit museums with my girls this summer! Thanks for linking up with Blogger's Spotlight and please come back again!

  10. That is a long trip with young kiddos! You may be my! The dinosaur museum looks incredible! Thank you for linking up at Funtastic Friday!

  11. How fun, what a great hands on museum for you to enjoy with your kids! Thanks for sharing with us at #FoodieFriDIY!!

  12. How fun! I'm sure my 3 year old and I both would love this!

  13. Looks like a fun place to visit with kids, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

  14. What a fun place to take kids and a great name - Tucumcari!

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  15. Sounds like a fun place! We have a similar thing just 15 min. away from us and our grands love it. Thanks for sharing with SYC.