Historic Partnership Recognizes the State’s Rich Dinosaur History, Beckons Tourists
Officials today announced the debut of the first-ever , a historic collaboration that brings together the private and public sector with state agencies to promote tourism in Connecticut. The primary partners include four of the state’s pre-eminent tourist attractions: Connecticut Science Center, , The Dinosaur Place and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.
Each unique property offers exhibits and programs about dinosaurs and paleontology that draw on the rich history of dinosaur research and fossil discovery in the Connecticut Valley. The Dinosaur Trail links these venues and three hotel partners in the central and eastern portion of the state in a collaboration that recognizes the public’s fascination for dinosaurs and the ability of these creatures to spark the imagination of young and old alike.
The Connecticut Dinosaur Trail was made possible by a Marketing Challenge Grant from the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Connecticut Office of Tourism (COT). The $25,000 grant will be used to boost tourism in the region and encourage family trips to the partner locations as part of their summer vacation plans and beyond. A dedicated website, www.ctdinotrail.com, gives information about the Trail and each of the partnering properties.
“Thanks to both the Governor’s and state legislature’s commitment to tourism, we are able to provide resources to a variety of attractions with the hope of extending the reach of the state’s strategic marketing efforts through collaborative partnerships, such as the Connecticut Dinosaur Trail,” said Randy Fiveash, Director, Connecticut Office of Tourism. “We believe this unique and historic partnership will be a wonderful way to highlight Connecticut’s dinosaur attractions and get people excited about their visit to Connecticut.”
Each of the primary partners offers a one-of-a-kind dinosaur experience. The Connecticut Science Center in downtown Hartford, now hosting the blockbuster traveling exhibit Dinosaurs Unearthed, offers visitors the thrill of interacting with over a dozen life-size animatronic beasts that move and roar in an immersive setting with real fossils and full-scale skeletons. Two 3D movies take visitors back millions of years to when these beasts roamed the planet. A permanent dinosaur exhibit will follow.
, a registered National Natural Landmark located in Rocky Hill, is home to over 2,000 Theropod dinosaur footprints left there 200 million years ago during the early Jurassic Period. Visitors can view more than 600 of the footprints inside the museum. The park sits on 60 acres. Outside activities include track casting, a mining activity, over two miles of hiking trails and a picnic area.
Nature’s Art: THE DINOSAUR PLACE™, located in Oakdale, is a family owned and operated interactive science, nature and shopping adventure. Families exploring the outdoor nature trails will find over 30 life-sized dinosaur replicas and educational exhibits along the way. A state-of-the-art playground, maze and New England’s largest Splashpad®, a dinosaur-themed zero-depth water playground, offer more fun. Indoors visitors can pan for gold in a running creek, dig for gems in a man-made cave or unearth fossils in a replica fossil quarry.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven is a hub of dinosaur research, its vertebrate paleontology collection among the largest in the nation. Visitors entering the Great Hall will find themselves surrounded by dinosaur fossils 200 to 65 million years old, including the type specimens of Stegosaurus, Triceratops and a 70-foot-long Apatosaurus (“Brontosaurus”). Here also is Rudolph Zallinger’s famed mural The Age of Reptiles, the world’s largest dinosaur painting.
In partnership with Waterford Hotel Group properties — Courtyard by Marriott Norwich, Hartford Marriott Downtown Hartford and Courtyard by Marriott Cromwell — it is easier for tourists outside the area to experience the Trail and stay longer in the region. These family-friendly hotels are offering vacation packages that include discounts, small gifts and other perks. Families registering at www.ctdinotrail.com can also receive discounts and perks.
(860) 652-0300, ext. 511