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Take a romantic stroll this Valentine's Day at Dinosaur World

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There are many different options out there to enjoy the day of love and companionship, but none come close to wandering through a primeval Florida swamp, surrounded by dinosaurs who look as though they are hungry for their next meal, which might just be you! Of course, there is no real danger here, as Dinosaur World, located at 5145 Harvey Tew Rd. in Plant City, Florida, houses more than 200 life-sized replicas of the amazing creatures that once walked the same paths you are walking now.

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Opened in November of 1998, this 20-acre theme park is a self-guided outdoor museum with some of the most known dinosaurs (like the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex) to some of the most unknown (like the Scutellosaurus). The attraction features two museums: a larger, indoor museum with real dinosaur artifacts and five animatronic dinosaurs and a smaller museum located near the back of the park with Florida Fossils inside (opening soon).

Dinosaur World is a very hands-on educational experience for all ages. Children can participate in a Fossil Dig where they can find their favorite three fossils to keep, or the new Dino Gem Mine where they can take a bag of mineral enriched mining rough and pan through it in the sluice! There’s also a Boneyard where participants can uncover a life-size 27 foot replica Stegosaurus Skeleton in the sand, and the Touch-and-Tell, where you stick your hand inside a hole and try to guess the dinosaur inside without sight.

The attraction also features a couple of shows. The Exploration Cave Show where you take a guided tour with a Paleontologist through a Dig Site, in which you learn about how a paleontologist goes about their day, fossil preservation, and how fossil casts are made. After the tour, take a walk around the cave and get hands-on with the fossils all around you and test your knowledge – and the Paleontologist’s – to see just how much you learned.

Next you can try your hand at trivia during the Triviasaurus Rex Game Show, where you can finally prove to everyone else that you’re the ultimate Dino Fan.

Dinosaur World is one of the only themed attractions in the Central Florida area where you are free to bring your own picnic lunch and Dine with the Dinos. You can even bring your pal Dino with you, as friendly dogs on leashes are welcome.

As with most attractions, it has to end in the gift shop. This attraction hits you on both ends, however, as it starts and ends in the same 7,000 square foot gift shop, featuring a variety of items ranging from real prehistoric artifacts (like dinosaur teeth and trilobites) to dinosaur toys of all shapes and sizes; even educational material for the children, too.

The admission fee is small enough that your life savings won't go extinct, with a cost of $14.95 for adults and

$11.95 for children ages 3-12. Seniors will enjoy the park as well, especially since individuals 60+ only pay $12.95.

This Valentine's Day, the park is offering a sweetheart of a deal. On 2/14/14, 2/15/14, and 2/16/14 you can receive $2 off adult admission up to 4 discounted admissions.

The Local Getaways Examiner highly recommends a stop over at this amazing facility at least once, especially if you fancy yourself an amateur paleontologist. It is conveniently located just off I-4, nestled between the wilds of Busch Gardens Tampa and the many lands of enchantment in the Orlando area.

Be sure to subscribe to this column, travel to some of the greatest local getaways around, all from the comfort of your desktop (or laptop, or PDA, or smartphone!) If you have a favorite local attraction you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about motorsports, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.

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