My son has been obsessed with dinosaurs since he was tiny. It always amazed me that a child who struggled to talk and read could say Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops with ease. He seemed to come with an inbuilt knowledge of these prehistoric beasts and his interest in them seems to show no bounds. We were recently invited to visit Dinosaurs in the Wild in North Greenwich, and looking on the website I was really intrigued to see what lay in store for us.
Dinosaurs in the Wild is open now in North Greenwich until 31st July 2018 and it offers a time travelling experience back to the period when dinosaurs roamed freely. We weren’t really sure what to expect but I was hoping that my eight year old son and his friend would enjoy an afternoon adventure with a difference.
The attraction is house a few minutes walk away from the O2 arena and North Greenwich underground station. You can’t miss the walk with its handy dinosaur tracks to keep the kids amused along the way.
It’s recommended that you buy your tickets in advance as the time travelling experience organised at Dinosaurs in the Wild has specific departure times throughout the day. Although tickets are available on the day, you might have to wait for available spaces, which isn’t always ideal with children.
It was time to go back in time and see what the past had in store for us.
I would suggest arriving slightly before your departure time so you can make use of the free cloakroom facilities and the toilets. There are no toilets once you enter the time machine and the tour lasts for approximately one hour and ten minutes.
We found the whole experience to be really well organised and thought it, and once our tickets had been checked we were ready to wait for the next available flight.
Throughout Dinosaurs in the Wild you are accompanied by tour leaders who really bring the experience to life, and once your flight back in time is ready to depart you enter the Chronotex departure area.
There’s lots of information about the company, and their dinosaur research which helps really make everything so believable. The adults were just as enthralled as the kids if I’m honest. It was all very cleverly thought out and authentic and the guide talks you through the history of the research facility.
As you prepare to enter your CTP time machine that will take you back to the time of Dinosaurs in the Wild and the TimeBase 67, you are all given 3D glasses which you will need to wear on the CTP journey and towards the end of the tour when you are inside the base looking back out at the dinosaurs.
I wasn’t totally sure how this part of the experience would go down with my son. He’s not a fan of the unknown when it’s quite dark, doesn’t like things on his face and isn’t keen on 4D cinemas. This visit could all have gone horribly wrong. I was hoping that having his friend with him would help with his confidence levels, and really, I needn’t have worried at all.
He happily wore his glasses when he needed to.
Grasped that they would let him see the dinosaurs clearly and he didn’t mind the slight movement inside the CTP module at all. The guide set the scene as we headed back to the Late Cretaceous Period, 67 million years ago. It was like being in a scene from Jurassic Park as we saw herds of Triceratops walking past and T-Rex having their lunch. It has us all rather spellbound and I spent more time just enjoying the experience than I did taking photos. Top tip, that I’d been given by another blogger, if you take photos put your 3D glasses over the lens of your camera, then you won’t get blurry shots.
We could see a volcano in the distance and the whole journey was rather magical.
We then docked at the TimeBase 67 Research Station where we would get to see the laboratory, with dinosaur poo (that was clearly a big hit), a dinosaur heart, blood bank (a hit with my scientist friend) and we could even get up close to dinosaur parasites. It was very realistic and the details were rather impressive.
We even got to stand in on a live dinosaur autopsy as we watched a scientist work on a five-metre long crested Pachycephalosaurus.
Another highlight of our visit to Dinosaurs in the Wild was the visit to the Hatchery where we could see dinosaur eggs being kept safe and warm, some eggs were even cracked.
We were visiting Dinosaurs in the Wild a couple of days after the birth of Prince Louis, and the attraction now has its own baby to share with the world as we got to the meet the newly hatched baby Dakotaraptor.
From the Hatchery you visit the Animal Laboratory, where you can see nocturnal and daytime areas housing young dinosaurs such as Leptoceratops and Ankylosaurus.
From here we moved into the Lookout area where you get to see the dinosaurs rooming free again with 360 degrees views around the complex.
I won’t tell you what happens next but it’s a great way to end the tour and all four of us thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I would say that children in Key Stage One and Two would get the most out of this experience.
It’s worth noting that food and drink (except small water bottles) are not to be taken into the time machine, and there aren’t any eating facilities within the venue itself. There are however plenty of places to eat within the O2 complex, which is where we had our lunch before our visit.
For information on ticket prices and tour times please visit the Dinosaurs in the Wild website.
disclosure: we were given a complimentary visit in exchange for an honest review.