Thank you to Lake Compounce for providing us with complimentary admission to the park and a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
This past Sunday the weather was beautiful and Shawna and I took full advantage by taking our families to a fun outdoor destination, Lake Compounce located in Bristol, Connecticut. I wrote about the full park last summer, but our trip this weekend was to check out their new attraction, the Dino Expedition. We got a chance to tour the new space, enjoy many of our favorite Lake Compounce rides, and even found time to grab a yummy bite to eat at the Croc Pot (hint: There is a new item on their menu).
If you think Lake Compounce and the Dino Expedition is something you would be interested in doing with your family this summer, be sure to hang on until the end of this post when I provide information to purchase discounted tickets!
The new attraction at Lake Compounce is located right between the Kiddie Ride area and the Zoomerang roller coaster. It features a fossil dig area, Jurassic pathway, educational opportunities, a souvenir shop, and more.
Fossil Dig Area
As we entered the Dino Expedition, the first thing we saw was a large sandbox where the kids could play and explore. This fossil dig area was meant to be a place for just that, digging fossils, and our kids had a great time moving the sand and using the available toys to try to uncover a piece of history. One of the great things about this area was the sun canopies overhead. It was hot day when we visited and without those canopies the kids wouldn’t have been able to play in this space for quite as long. It was a nice feature to have!
Then the excitement began for our little ones as they made their way on the Jurassic Pathway portion of the new attraction and got a chance to check out the dinosaurs in action. The path took them on a large loop filled with life-sized, moving dinosaurs (through the use of state of the art animatronics) and other fun and interesting features.
Our first stop was a visit with Spike, the Stegosaurus, who had a unique feature where the kids could use controls to make his different body parts move. They were fascinated.
Then we made our way over to a little family of dinosaurs, Mama Jagger with her babies Brutus and Caleb. This family of Tricerotops began to move just as we approached them. At first my kids were a little nervous around the moving dinosaurs but it didn’t take long before they were comfortable and excited to see the next one in action.
And good thing that they warmed up quickly because the next few dinosaurs were giants compared to my little ones. Say hello to the very tall Brontosaurus and the very large Tyrannosaurus-Rex.
One of the great features of the attraction was the opportunity for visitors to not just see the dinosaurs but learn about them as well.
And while visitors are asked not to touch the dinosaurs, there was one area where they could play with one of the exhibits.
And, of course, we couldn’t finish our tour of the Dino Expedition without a stop at the dino-themed gift shop. Sweetheart really wanted to take a certain stuffed dinosaur home with her.
As I mentioned previously, the Dino Expedition was located right next to the Kiddie Ride area so that ended up being our next stop. All of the kids were excited for their favorite rides (roller coaster, bumper cars, caterpillar train, motorcycles, and more) and Bruiser and Sparkles were especially excited that they were finally tall enough to drive the cars in Zoomer’s Gas n’ Go by themselves.
And before we left the park, we stopped by the Croc Pot Cafeteria for a taste of their newest menu item, fried chicken. I don’t eat fried chicken often, but when I do it better be worth my while (no one wants to waste those calories on bad friend chicken, right?) Well the fried chicken and sides we tried at the Croc Pot definitely hit the spot (and this southern girl has tried her fair share of fried chicken) plus my kids really liked it so that was even better. We enjoyed the chicken, biscuit, mac n’ cheese, and mashed potatoes while taking in the beautiful water views from the Croc Pot’s deck.
With bellies full, the kids convinced me to head back to the kiddie area for another round of rides and another visit to the Dino Expedition attraction. How could I say no?
They had so much fun and after another hour (or so) of entertainment I could see that their worn out bodies and tired eyes were signaling it was time to go. Despite their protests, we made our way back to the car for the ride home.
Lake Compounce is currently open on weekends but will open daily starting June 15th. If you and your family want to visit this summer, there is a great deal available for our readers. Use this link to purchase your tickets by June 1, 2015 and receive a discount of $8 per ticket for one day admission.
Have you been to Lake Compounce? What is your favorite attraction? Share it with us by leaving a comment below!
Take exit 31 off I-84 and follow the signs to the park
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- Hours of operation vary by day and all the details can be found here.
- Most days the park opens at 11:00 am and the water park opens at noon.
- Pricing information can be found here.
- Children ages 3 and under are FREE
- Adult, one day tickets are $40.99, but $8 can be taken off that price by using this link to purchase and making your purchase by June 1, 2015
- Junior admission (for those under 52″ tall), tickets are $30.99
- Upgrade your ticket to a Summer Pass for $50 or a Platinum Pass for $74.99
- Additional discounts are available online
- General information can be found here
- $8 per car for a regular space
- $15 per car for a premium space
- $34 for unlimited season pass
- Parking discounts available online
- Locker Rental
- Rental building is located directly across from the locker area and the pricing details can be found here.
- $9 + $4 key deposit for regular lockers
- $13 + $4 key deposit for large lockers
- Stroller Rental
- Rental information can be found here and strollers can be picked up from the Chuckles store right inside the park entrance.
- $8 per day for a single stroller
- $12 per day for a double stroller
- Stroller Friendly: YES. Bring your own stroller or rent one from the Chuckles store located right inside the park entrance.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: YES. We visited a few restrooms on our trip and there was a baby changing station in each one. A family restroom is also located in the Kiddie Ride section of the park.
- Parking: Parking is available near the entrance and a fee is charged.
- Food for Sale: YES. There are over 15 venues available at the park.
- Outside Food Allowed: NO. But you can bring in food and beverage items for babies and any person that has a food allergy or other medical need.
- Cash Required: NO. Credit cards are accepted.
- Dress Code: YES. Shirt and shoes are required everywhere except Crocodile Cove water park. Bathing suits are required for the water park area.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES!
- Discounts: If you purchase your tickets by June 1, 2015 an $8 discount is available through this link.
Tips and Things to Bring
- Outside food or drink is not allowed in the park (with exception of baby items or food allergies)
- Soda fountains are located throughout the park and unlimited drinks are included with the price of admission
- There are over 15 food venues located in the park. Croc Pot is recommended as the most family-friendly food destination. The venue has indoor and outdoor seating, high chairs, and a variety of food options including organic and gluten free (just ask for the daily menu options for those items).
- Several items are needed for the water park including towels, bathing suits and possibly swim diapers
- Coast Guard Approved flotation devices are required in the wave pool for anyone under 48″ tall. Life jackets are available in bins located near the wave pool area or you can bring your own approved flotation device (we used the Puddle Jumpers)
- You will be outside so bring suntan lotion, hats and sunglasses for protection.
- A nursing station is located near the restrooms in the Kiddie Ride section of the park.
- Each ride at the park has height requirements. Signs are located in front of each ride with all the details and you can find even more information online.
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – The state’s only free-standing hospital that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Based in Hartford, Connecticut Children’s also provides services at several locations throughout the state.
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT, this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
- The Little Green Tambourine – Located in Canton, CT, this healthy living creative arts studio offers a variety of opportunities for kids to learn and play.
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!
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