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What’s New in North Dakota

Dickinson Museum

Groups traveling along Interstate 94 between Bismarck and Medora might want to take a break to spend time in Dickinson, where a new museum has been attracting lots of attention.

The Badlands Dinosaur Museum opened last year at the Dickinson Museum Center to showcase the state’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils. Exhibits include a complete triceratops skull, six full dinosaur skeletons and some new fossils discovered by paleontologists in 2016. Visitors can also see the laboratory where fossils are cleaned, categorized and prepared for public exhibit.

The dinosaur museum is part of the Dickinson Museum Center, home to numerous educational and cultural institutions. The Joachim Museum exhibits art and historical items of regional significance, and Pioneer Machinery Hall has numerous historic farm and agricultural machines on display. Groups also enjoy touring the historic buildings at 12-acre Prairie Outpost Park, a 12-acre park. These buildings include a historic church and a railroad coal car.

Hockey and More

With its legendarily long winters, North Dakota is a hockey hot spot. Hockey is perhaps the most popular sport throughout the state and certainly the most popular in Grand Forks, which sits on the state’s eastern border.

Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota and its national-champion men’s hockey team. The team plays at the Ralph, a $104 million state-of-the-art arena that is often counted among the finest hockey facilities in the world. Groups of sports fans can attend a hockey match there, and the university now also offers behind-the-scenes tours that highlight the center’s amenities and the processes used to create and maintain the ice.

Grand Forks offers a number of other activity options for groups. In addition to weekly events in the downtown area, visitors will enjoy a visit to the Japanese Garden at Sertoma Park, as well as tours and tastings at Widman’s Chocolates, owned by a local family for four generations.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.