Expansive Dinosaur Museum and Fossil Park to Open in NJ this Summer

Edelman Fossil Park and Museum of Rowan University will let visitors dig for real fossils when it opens this summer.
Edelman Fossil Park and Museum of Rowan University will let visitors dig for real fossils when it opens this summer.

A new dinosaur museum is coming to New Jersey that's perfect for dino lovers of all ages. The Edelman Fossil Park and Museum of Rowan University, in Mantua Township, N.J., is slated to open in summer 2024, and early signs point to it being a blast from the prehistoric past. 

Read on for all the details about this dinosaur museum, which will include life-size recreations and virtual reality experiences. And, check out our Guide to Museums and Art for New Jersey Kids for more on museums throughout the state. 


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Exploration and discovery opportunities abound at this 44,000-square-foot dinosaur museum, which sits over a quarry where fossils that are 66 million years old have been found. According to its website, "It’s not just a museum; it’s a time-traveling adventure through history, and a commitment to safeguard our planet’s future."

The Edelman Fossil Park and Museum will feature several unique high-tech and interactive galleries. A mainstay of the museum will be more than a dozen full-scale incredibly lifelike reconstructions of animals that roamed the earth during dinosaur time. These creatures—such as a Tyrannosaur and Mosasaur discovered at the fossil park site—are said to have such incredible detail that visitors will feel like they've stepped into the late Cretaceous Period. 

In the Hall of Extinction & Hope, explore the past so you can shape the future. Visitors can learn about why the dinosaurs became extinct and make connections to today’s climate and biodiversity issues. Guests will explore ways to make a positive impact on today's environment.

The museum will also have interactive exhibits, where you can meet live land and sea animals. Or travel through time in a free-roaming virtual reality experience.

The outside facility also features special ways for guests to learn about the past. Visitors will have the one-of-a-kind opportunity to help dig for real fossils with their own hands and make authentic discoveries like a shark tooth or an ancient clam. According to the park, visitors can even take home their discoveries (unless it's something of value that can be exhibited in the museum).

And, in the Cretaceous Garden section of the park, see an organic landscape created entirely from plants native to the mid-Atlantic that also have an ancestor from that period. Little ones can burn off some energy at the themed playground.

This creative, carbon net-zero facility has an anticipated opening date of June 2024. Now that's something to roar about! 

Places featured in this article:

Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University