Ever since watching Jurassic Park as a kid, I was obsessed with oversized, man-eating birds. Now that the new movies are coming out, the thirst for dinos has reawakened in me. Luckily, there's a dinosaur park near Edmonton chock-full of the creatures and these probably won't eat you.
In Jurassic Forest, a 40-acre forest just a few minutes outside of Edmonton lives a secretive colony of enormous dinosaurs. Don't worry, these won't bite — though they're life-sized, very realistic, and sometimes animated, we're pretty sure they aren't real.
Take the two-kilometre boardwalk trail to meet these dinos in their natural habitat. Sneak past giant meat-eaters like the tyrannosaurus or albertosaurus, watch the majestic herbivores like the stegosaurus or triceratops graze in the fields.
Walking around beneath these giants will remind you just how enormous these creatures really were. It doesn't take much imagination to feel like you're actually in Jurassic Park for real. Who knows what's hiding just out of sight in that thick, dark, old-growth forest.
After you're done exploring and surviving the boardwalk trail, why not cool down with a game of dinosaur mini-golf. Invented in the Late Cretaceous period, it's well-known that mini-golf is the most popular of the dinosaur sports.
According to our non-existent paleontological department, that's why golf clubs were invented — the T rex's arms were too short to hit the ball, so they needed a tool to help.
The 18-hole outdoor course comes with plenty of tricks and challenges, including dinosaurs determined to step in your way.
For youth and the young at heart, they also have a giant "active learning park" with tons of learning opportunities with dinosaurs. And if you dig in the sand, you'll get a surprise — there are tons of dinosaur bones buried beneath the park and it's your job to excavate the finds.
How often do you get the chance to actually visit Jurassic Park in real life? Well, the answer is none unless you've got a time machine. But this forest comes pretty dang close.
Address: 2-23210 Township Rd. 564, Gibbons, AB
Why You Need To Go: Walk amongst towering, life-sized dinosaurs in this forest near Edmonton.