‘Parents, try not to feed your children to the dinosaurs.’ The tongue-in-cheek advice from our tour guide at Dinosaurs in the Wild had a couple of us mamas exchanging knowing looks. It was mid-way through school holidays, and the thought had crossed a few minds.
But we were in the hands of professionals who assured us our security was paramount. Throughout this journey back to the late cretaceous era, we would be surrounded by impenetrable glass. Not even a T-Rex could smash its way through. Hmm… echoes of Jurassic Park anyone?
With a sense of heightened anticipation, we slipped on our ‘safety goggles’ (3D glasses), entered our transfer pod, and whizzed back in time. Soon there were smiles and gasps as through our front window screens, we saw creatures of lore strolling around, larger than life. Some put their noses to the screen or flew right overhead. We could even hear them climbing on top of our vehicle.
We disembarked at the TimeBase 67 research station where a team of scientists investigate all aspects of dinosaur life. We looked at dino bones and the open heart of an Alamosaurus (you could press a button at the back to make its heart beat).
Jed chickened out but Ezra and I slipped on rubber gloves and plunged our hands into dinosaur poo. You could actually feel the difference between different species’ faeces. Squelch.
Dinosaurs in the Wild features some really impressive animatronics as you wander through. My favourite zone was the hatchery, where several eggs were wobbling and about to crack. One had already hatched and we could see a baby triceratops stirring inside its shell.
The effects were so lifelike that later Jed asked if we’d seen real dinosaurs!
Finally, we went up to The Lookout for 360 panoramic views of dinosaurs in action. Everywhere we looked there was a dinosaur fighting, feasting or taking a dump. Suddenly things took an unexpected turn and it was a mad dash for the exits. I won’t give away what happened, but it was nothing the brave toddlers in our group weren’t able to handle.
What I loved most about Dinosaurs in the Wild was how creatively it combined family entertainment with enough STEM to keep the boys talking tyrannosaurus for days. It was like being inside a Natural History Museum exhibit and experiencing it come alive around you. Brilliant fun.
Afterwards, we made the most of our trip to Greenwich by taking a ride on the Emirates Airline Cable Car. Then we headed back to London Bridge by boat on the Thames MBNA Clipper. A fabulous day out in the city we call home.
Dinosaurs in the Wild (Babes Review)
Jed, age 9
‘I thought this was great and very realistic. I expected that we were going to watch a documentary on dinosaurs. Instead it was a 4D experience, which let us look at different dinosaurs. We learned about how they group up to attack other dinosaurs and kill them so they can eat them. I learned that some dinosaurs were very dangerous, and I discovered about lots of types of dinosaurs that I didn’t know already. One of my favourite bits was pushing a button to make the dinosaur’s heart go faster. I’d say it’s good for ages 7+.’
Ezra, age 12
‘This was my first ever dinosaur experience (nope, not quite – Mum) and it set the bar really high. It’s a 4D scientific educational event about dinosaurs, where you travel back millions of years to see all the dinosaurs before they were extinct. Also, you get to touch dinosaur poo and feel the difference between a carnivore’s and a vegetarian’s poo! You see how dinosaurs work together to find their food at night, and what different animals eat. Watch out for the end, the little ones might get a bit of a shock! The most surprising thing for me about the entire experience is that we survived it (ha ha). I’d rate it 4.5 out of 5.’
Dinosaurs in the Wild is at West Parkside Junction of West Parkside/John Harrison Way, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0BE (North Greenwich). The experience lasts 70 mins and is open to all ages, recommended for ages 5+ (although we saw plenty of younger ones there). Open 10am-4.30pm Tue-Sun, closed Mon (apart from Bank Holidays and half term); adult £29.50/child £26/family of 2 adults + 2 kids £23.74 per person/ages 2 and under FREE (ongoing until July). Visit the WEBSITE for details.