We missed the dinosaur at Eden last year so when we heard he was back and had brought more friends along we made sure we were there at the head of the queue on the opening day at 9.30am.
I had done some homework online to check out what was happening during the day and had planned a route so as not to miss anything. After buying our tickets we headed straight down to Paleo Camp where Dinosaur Expert training sessions were held. The first one was at 11am and Wilf, Megs and Sam were keen to learn what to do. They were seated and given some basic equipment, goggles, soft brushes and scrapers and told how dinosaurs fossils had been found around the world and how palaeontologists set about revealing them.
Then it was off to the fossil pit to use their tools to gently uncover the ‘fossil’ bones revealing claws and backbone of a stegosaurus. This was followed by a sand sieving session where tiny fragments of bone and gems were revealed to the patient sifters. All the children I saw in this area were loving it, completely absorbed. My three said it was top of their favourites on the day, along with the dinosaurs.
When they had finished we moved to the stage building next door and queued to get in to the dinosaur exhibition. There was a loud roaring and going into the undersea world in the dark was quite frightening for the younger two and tightly gripped hands held onto mine. We walked along a corridor detailing the dates and evolution of life on Earth and I was interested to see that there had been five mass extinctions in the history of the Earth, the dinosaurs being only one of them. We rounded a corner and even louder roaring revealed two large dinosaurs – a T rex and a plant eating one. I am not pretending to know all their names (although Wilfred did), but suffice it to say they were BIG and moving and making a LOT of noise. They were made out of a rubbery material but very realistic and you could get very close to touch them and take photographs.
A path carried on past various montages of dinosaurs in action – velociraptors stalking a diplodocus, T rex eating a triceratops, baby dinosaurs hatching out of a nest of eggs. It was quite incredible and I must give Eden 10/10 for producing a world class exhibit.
We ate our packed lunch next to calm down after such sensory overload …
Next was a visit to the Rainforest Biome which was very hot and sticky. We followed a snake of people around the route looking for dinosaurs around every corner but only met up with some fearsome looking dragonflies about the size of large cats. The children enjoyed the interactive exhibits, especially the ones about rubber production and identifying trees and bushes which give us everyday things like coffee, bananas, mangoes and sugar cane, which of course they did not recognise.
My next scheduled stop was a rendezvous at 2pm in the Mediterranean Biome for story telling. We stopped for a while and listened to a tale about dragons and sat on the beautiful dragon chair when it was all over. We had a look around the biome but I must admit after dinosaurs and rainforest it was a little tame, so off we went to our next appointment with the Jiggosaurus. As we left the biome a brontosaurus appeared from nowhere and we spent 10 minutes stroking him and marvelling at how big he was.
The children wanted to go back for more dinosaur training so we retraced our steps and did it all over again – this time they really were experts! They all did a session of dinosaur training with two staff who were teaching them how to live alongside the creatures and ways to escape when they were chasing you. All tongue in cheek but great fun.
By this time they were flagging and I was running out of steam too. It was 4pm and we had been busy all day so they elected for a ride on the land train back up the hill. The Jiggasaurus is right alongside the stage building and we watched children building dinosaurs like 3D jigsaws.
This was one of our best days out. Eden has pulled out all the stops, so do try and see if for yourself. My top tips are to do some homework on the Eden website to find timings of what’s on and where, be there when they open at 9.30am and buy tickets online (cheaper and no queuing). Enjoy!
Dinosaur Uproar at the Eden Project is on throughout the summer holidays 24 July – 2 September 2015. Entry is included in the cost of admission to Eden.
From Bosinver it’s approximately 20 minutes’ drive to the Eden Project – postcode for SavNavs:PL24 2SG.
You can also get to the Eden Project by public transport (First Bus 101 goes to/from the Eden Project from St Austell railway station) or by bike – see the Eden Project website for more details and downloadable maps.