Tag Archives: vacations

Exploring Dinosaur World, and going back to a Land Before Time

9 May

OK, confession time: the only experience either of us had with Dinosaur World prior to this weekend’s trip was laughing at the giant T-Rex waving at us from the side of the highway. We’re sure you’ve seen him, and we’re also sure you’re probably no less guilty than we are of smirking at the bright orange, scaly, prehistoric monster beckoning at you along I-65. (By the way, if you look really closely as you’re driving past him-although not recommended if you’re the person behind the wheel- you can see the Wooly Mammoth Garden hanging out in the trees!)

However, it is also our confession that Dinosaur World is AWESOME, and totally worth taking Exit #53!

Childhood Memories

When Cameron was a kid, the only movie she ever cried during was The Land Before Time, and no, not the scene you’re thinking of when Littlefoot’s mom dies (although that’s pretty heart-wrenching too for a 4-year-old), but when they finally make it to the Great Valley and the music swells and all the dinosaurs co-exist happily with the waterfalls and the trees. Don’t make fun, we know you were affected as we were…But we kid you not, you CAN visit the Great Valley at Dinosaur World!

If you look closely, you can see the Triceratops, the T-Rex, and we think those might be Allosauruses.

Just a Walk in the Park

The day before we made it to Dinosaur World was cold, rainy, gray, and drippy- everything you’ve ever associated with a dismal day, though perfect for caving. The day we went to Dinosaur World: bright, sunny, warm, and cloudless, in short, a great day for a walk in the park! When you go to Dinosaur World, you’re provided with a map of the route around the park and identifiers for all the attractions. Much like a wonderful day at the zoo, the route takes you past the dinosaurs in their “habitats” with markers along the way giving you a bit of history and fact about each species. Raptors pop out at you from behind the bushes, the gentler-looking stegosaurus lounges next to a tree, and pterodactyls soar amongst the leaves. A quick detour takes you to the Mammoth Garden (Cameron’s favorite pre-historic critter) and a close-up bonding experience with your T-Rex friend who resides next to I-65 . Either before, or after your walk through the Jurassic period, you can dig up fossils in the sand, uncover a dinosaur skeleton in the boneyard, learn more in the museum, or hang out in the “Cave” Theater, not to mention there’s a supercool playground/jungle gym area- check out all the fun Blair had on the play sets in the slideshow below!

What it’s Going to Cost You:

Admission to Dinosaur World is:

  • $12.75 plus tax for adults
  • $9.75 plus tax for children ages 3 to 12
  • $10.75 plus tax for seniors over 60

They DO allow friendly pets on leashes and picnic lunches, and there’s a pretty great gift shop too with lots of cool dinosaur toys, models, games, and stuffed animals (among plenty of other fun things!) Parking is FREE, and they’re open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving. For more information on pricing or driving directions, visit their site here.

More Photos from our Visit:

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Overnight at the Wigwam Village

22 Apr

What’s the best place to spend the night in Cave City?

Let’s face it, Cave City, Ky., is not the same as New York City, or Paris, France. You won’t find a Ritz Carlton here or the Hotel Crillon, but don’t despair, because Wigwam Village No. 2 is available for all your sleeping needs.

Why Wigwams?

Celebrating its 75th Birthday next year, Wigwam Village No. 2 in Cave City was the dream of Frank A. Redford. Frank, inspired by a trip to a Sioux Reservation in South Dakota and a popular ice cream shop shaped like an upside down ice cream cone, finished construction on Wigwam Village No. 1 in Horse Cave, Ky., in 1935. He was so thrilled with the outcome, he patented his design in 1936 (see the patent here, along with a schematic of the design) and built 6 more villages across the U.S. Of the seven original Wigwam Villages, only 3 remain in existence and operation today: No. 2 in Cave City, No. 6 in Holbrook, Ariz., and No.7 in Riallto, Calif.

You know, the motel looks kinda familiar…

Why yes, the Wigwam Village may look a little familiar to you. Not only was Frank’s Wigwam Motel franchise the inspiration for the Cozy Cone Motel in the Disney/Pixar film Cars (2006), but the Queen of TV herself Oprah Winfrey and her steadfast BFF Gayle King stayed in Wigwam Village No. 6 in Arizona during “Oprah and Gayle’s Big Adventure.” They were not quite as keen on the accommodations as we were… Click here to watch Oprah check into Wigwam Village No. 6.

Learn more about this great American roadside tradition

Learn more about Frank A. Redford’s crazy (successful) idea at these links:

  • The Official Wigwam Village No. 2 Website, where you can also book your reservation!
  • Wigwam Motels on Wikipedia, has more photos of all the Wigwam Village locations and additional links to books and resources.
  • And on the National Register of Historic Places, where you can find both Wigwam Village No. 2 and No. 6.

More photos from our trip to Wigwam Village #2

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What it’s going to cost you

Wigwam Village No. 2 is open year round and nightly rates vary based on season and day of the week. We stayed on a Saturday night in late March and payed $55 for the night — a little over $60 after sales tax. It’s more expensive in the summer months and on the weekends, but you aren’t going to pay more than $60 per night for one double bed and $70 per night for two double beds. For more information on nightly rates, go here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Now if only gas prices were as affordable …

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