The Changzhou Dinosaur Park is a huge dino-themed amusement park in the city of Changzhou just an hour and a half outside Shanghai by train. The theme park has Six-Flags-type large-scale amusement rides, entertainment shows, a water park (July/August), playgrounds, a dinosaur museum and of course, scale replicas of dinosaurs. Read a full review from my trip there with kids
- Changzhou Dinosaur Park 常州恐龙园
- Say it in Chinese: "chahng joh kong long yoo-an"
- Address: No. 1 Han Jiang Road, New District, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province
- Admission Price: 120rmb for adults, 50rmb for kids between 1.1 and 1.4m and seniors, free for kids under 1.1m and seniors 70+
- Open: daily 9am-5pm
- Information center
- First aid stations ("clinics")
- Scooter, bicycle rentals (rental fee)
- Luggage storage
- Electric tram taxi (riding fee)
- Police station
- Restaurants and concessions
The park is divided into five areas titled Lubara, Happy Street, Rain Forest Adventure, China Dinosaur Museum and Funny Dinosaur Town. These divisions are really only apparent on the map but are useful in describing what features are in the park. They are working on a development in the park's northern area where Dino-themed hot springs are supposedly going in. Area descriptions follow.
Happy Street (Entrance):
After you enter the main gate you'll find yourself getting oriented while bizarrely happy Disney-eque music blares from loud speakers. On your right is a large map and nearby are hand-held map-brochures you can take with you. The brochure is nominally marked in English.
To your left, find electric trams where for 5rmb/adult, you can get a quick tour of the park. Electric scooters (1 or 2 seaters) are available for hire and so are tandem bikes. My 4-year-old and I rented a scooter at the end of a long day when he wasn't ready to leave and I was tired of walking. They are great fun.
China Dinosaur Museum and Surroundings:
A large three-prong tower and dome museum
dominate the view inside the park. The tower holds a cinema and the dome holds some sub-par exhibits about evolution but a pretty fantastic main dinosaur hall
. The exhibits are of dinosaurs from China so have names like "Yunnanosaurus" and "Szechuanosaurus".
Also in the area is a splash ride that jets out of the top of the museum, a water feature with concrete "sand" and large sculptures, concessions and an animal performance hall where sea lions (live, post-Jurassic sea lions) perform 3 times a day.
This section is where many of the main amusement rides are as well as bizarrely-themed pirate ships and buildings. There is a large water park here that is open in July and August that looked like it would be a lot of fun (our trip was in September when this feature is closed). The Lubara Theater which features the park's major entertainment attraction is located here.
Rain Forest Adventure:
This section is the best for little kids as it has two great playgrounds and the Dinosaur Adventure Mountain. One playground
at the bottom of the "mountain" features an obstacle course of climbing structures made from rope and wood. The other one is a giant pirate boat
. The Adventure Mountain feature is a set of winding paths around the "mountain" where you can search for dinosaurs hiding in the bushes.
The "Adventure Dinosaur Island" stage performance happens daily at 1:30. It features fake guns and rockets and men in military garb. It's very loud and probably not appropriate for little kids.
Funny Dinosaur Town:
This area also has lots of rides as well as a large game arcade and exhibition hall. Most notable is the "Happy Propitious Elephant Show" that happens daily featuring Thai elephants (real ones, not woolly mammoths or anything like that...)
I took my four-year-old son to the park and he thoroughly enjoyed it as all 4-year-olds who adore dinosaurs would. Read my full review here
You wouldn't make Changzhou a stop on a brief China-tour itinerary. But if you're staying for an extended period in Shanghai, then Changzhou makes a really nice overnight trip, especially (obviously) if you've got kids in tow OR you just really, really like amusement parks. And dinosaurs.