There aren't a lot of dinosaurs in Michigan. In fact, there are so few that Michigan is one of only a handful of states that does NOT have a state dinosaur. There just aren't enough found to justify the claim.

BUT, that doesn't stop Michigan from celebrating the giant Thunder Lizards from millions of years ago with one of the most unique parks in the country, located up north in Ossineke - Dinosaur Gardens.

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This is truly a gem of a find in the northern part of the Mitten, and a throwback to a time when people KNEW dinosaurs existed, but science hadn't confirmed what they REALLY looked like. So, our imaginations ran wild, and we concocted some odd depictions.

Why is it there?

Originally called "Paul Domke's Garden and Prehistoric Zoo," named after its creator and the man who sculpted the giant lizard beasts in the forest, "Prehistoric Gardens" is a hiking trail through wooded areas that, of course, features massive sculptures of dinosaurs made by Domke in the 1930s.

At that time, Dinosaurs were a relatively new concept. But Domke was enamored, and began constructing each animal. He claimed that the size of them in the park, is the size the animals would have been when they really roamed the earth.  

He dedicated 40 years of his life to building the park, which has now exchanged owners a few times, and added a putt-putt course.

Jesus and Dinosaurs?

For the most part, the park is the same, INCLUDING two very unique additions to the sculpture gardens.

Domke was a religious man, and wanted to tie in his Christianity to the dinosaur park. So, upon entering the park, you will see a large statue of Jesus Christ. It's an odd thing to see when entering a dinosaur park, but it is there, nonetheless.

But there's one more tie-in to Christianity in the park, and it's in the strangest of places - It's inside one of the dinosaurs.

Patrons to the park can walk inside the big blue brontosaurus, and right in the "heart" of the dino is a dedication to Jesus Christ. Subsequently, in the same statue, inside the tail section, is a sculpture of the three Wisemen at Jesus' Birth.

@dinosaurgardensllc Part 2 Did you guess right?! #dinosaurgardens #thingstodoinmichigan #summerbucketlist2022 #summer2022 #dinosaurs #michigan #fyp #restorationprojects ♬ Sunroof - Nicky Youre & dazy

It's a unique twist that you wouldn't normally see in a park dedicated to prehistoric animals, but hey, the 1930s were a different time, for sure.

The park just recently re-opened for the season, and you can visit through the early Fall before they close for winter.

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