Dinosaur parks weren’t really been on our radar since the kids haven’t been that into them. But as it turns out, we had just finished binging the Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous series on Netflix (highly recommend!). Not only was it a really good show, but dinos were quite literally all we talked about for several weeks.
So when we were in Münster and figuring out our plans, I gave them the option of going to a regular zoo or going to see dinosaurs, and they literally jumped up and down at the chance to see dinosaurs “in real life.”
What we thought of Dino Zoo Metelan
Honestly, reviews for the park were pretty hit or miss. People either loved it or hated it, so I was super nervous it’d be a bust. Thankfully, we fell into the “love” category.
Visiting this dino zoo in Germany couldn’t have come at a better time, especially since they all had a little knowledge of dinosaurs to help get them excited.
Not only was it much, much bigger than I expected, but there was a lot for kids. Obviously it’s a “zoo,” but I was impressed with how much there was to see.
Allow yourself ample time to explore. We visited for two hours, and I wished we had at least three or even for hours to spare.
There are multiple playgrounds, including a place where kids can channel their own “Ross,” and play paleontologist. The zoo also had real live animals, too…but my kids were more interested in the dinosaurs scattered everywhere.
Seriously, there were so many dinos, and they were so big, too!
Another thing I loved was all the info about each dinosaur.
I figured they’d have little plaques saying what the dinosaur was, but many of them went beyond that and gave a description of the dino and some fun facts. I wasn’t expecting that at all, so it was greatly appreciated. (Information is in German and Dutch; translator app highly recommended.)
The Food Scene
Typically amusement park food is pretty “blah,” right? Thankfully, the places at Dino Zoo were actually pretty good, the prices were reasonable, and there were plenty of options at each place.
But the best part? Food is essentially built into your ticket price.
Entry tickets are €10 per person, BUT you get €6 “back” as a QR code to use on food and/or souvenirs in the park. This, in my opinion, is a fantastic idea.
I was savvy with our lunch purchase and ended up having “extra” money on our QR code so that each kid could get a small toy on our way out of the park.
How to get to this Dino Zoo in Germany
While this isn’t the only Dion Zoo in Germany, this was the one closest to us. It’s located about 40 minutes northwest of Münster in a little town called Metelan.
You may be tempted to park at the first parking lot, but keep going and you’ll see an even bigger parking lot—attempt to park there first since it’s much closer. (My kids only whined and complained at the very end when we had to walk allllllllllllll the way back to our car.)
Parking is free, and when we visited in May they had free Covid testing in the parking lot before the zoo enterance.
Geilenkirchen: about two hours
Amsterdam: about two hours
Hanover: about 2 hours
Hamburg: 3.5 hours
Spangdahlem: about 3 hours 45 minutes
Ramstein: 4.5 hours
Berlin: 5 hours
Stuttgart: about 5.5 hours
Arriving by train or bus:
The closest train-bus stop is “Metelener Land.” Once there, follow the signs to the Dino Zoo (approx. 20 minutes walk).
Keep in Mind
The Dino Zoo is b-i-g. Granted, I don’t have anything to compare it to, but for some reason I expected a small, little, dinky place, but this park was really large. A big park means a lot of walking.
That’s nothing new for us, but when we visited (because of Covid restrictions) they only had one restroom open and it was at the front of the park. So if you happen to be at the very back of the Dino Zoo, you have to high-tale it back to the front. Oh, and (also because of Covid) the whole place was in a one-way only maze, so you couldn’t take a shortcut to get there.
That was incredibly frustrating, and we honestly didn’t even see about a 1/4 of the zoo, because I didn’t want to double back on the whole thing all over again.
One more somewhat annoying aspect that bothered me was that there are signs and ropes everywhere saying to stay off the dinos, but EVERYBODY ignored them. Kids and parents ignored the signs and climbed on almost all of them.
My kids were pretty upset that I was the only one not breaking the rules.
Obviously things change often because of the pandemic, so double check hours before visiting.
Dino Zoo Metelan
Open daily from 10am—6pm (last entrance at 4pm)
Have you been to a Dino Zoo in Germany?
If you’ve been to a place like this in Germany I’d love to hear about it. My kids are hooked and keep asking to see them again. I love that they enjoyed this so much, and I’m happy I had fun wandering around, too.