It’s true I like dead people – some of my happiest days out have been spent in cemeteries – but I’ve never really been that interested in dead animals, or dinosaurs to be more specific. So I really wasn’t expecting Dinosaurs in the Wild to be quite so much fun for adults and children alike.
If you like your entertainment to be immersive, then this is for you. The central idea is that a company called Chronotex has invented time travel and are now taking tourists back 67 million years to their dinosaur research facility in Montana. I loved the careful detail with which everything has been planned and executed, from the realistic laboratory set-up, to the fridges filled with samples, to the scientific notes casually left open on a desk. In fact, it was so realistic, that my 9 year old decided to hold my hand for some of the more ‘wild’ bits of it. In contrast, my eleven year old (no previous interest in dinosaurs) and her friend (a dinosaur officionado) were desperate to ditch the mums and tour around on their own. And, given how well-managed it is, they were pretty much able to do so.
As you move through the tour of the facility there is a mix of dinosaur models, animatronix and 3D films, which ensures you never get complacent about what you are seeing. In each lab or zone there is a member of Chronotex’s team talking about their work, which includes everything from incubating dinosaur eggs to conducting dinosaur autopsies. There are interactive parts (like putting on gloves and sifting through dinosaur poo) and the opportunity to ask questions and engage with the ‘scientists’ at every stage. I have read elsewhere that the information they present is accurate and incorporates up-to-date information from recent scientific studies, which doesn’t surprise me given the level detail that is everywhere you look.
There is so much to watch, listen to, read and do, that there’s no time to get bored and the tour guide keeps up the pace, moving you from one zone to the next. If anything, we could have spent longer soaking it all up.
I also want to give a mention to how fantastic all the staff were. It wasn’t just all the actors playing out their roles, but everyone from the man on the door to the lady in the cloakroom finding our coats, everyone was friendly, welcoming and helpful.
It is such a unique experience that the kids and I were talking about it for ages afterwards. I thoroughly recommend it for children, adults, dinosaur lovers and cemetery geeks (me) alike!
I’ve got to be honest, it is quite expensive for something that only takes about an hour and a half (£26 for a child and £95 for a family of 2 children and 2 adults), but, although there is a shop at the end, there is no real push to sell you merchandise that so often bumps up the cost of taking children out. If there are any special offers, other than for groups and schools etc, I couldn’t find them.
Dinosaurs in the wild is on until 31st July, and tours run from 9.30am til 4.30pm Tuesday to Sunday. You can book a date and time slot to suit on-line depending on availability. Find out more
Dinosaurs in the Wild is on Greenwich Peninsula, a ten minute walk from the O2 and North Greenwich underground on the Jubilee Line. It is on a number of bus routes. Find out more.
If you’ve read all this, and still think you’d rather go to a cemetery, why not read my blog about Nunhead and Highgate Cemeteries, or my blog about Brompton. Or follow my blog, because I’ve recently been to Kensal Green cemetery and I’ve got to tell you it was awesome!