A little off topic for today but with the Bank Holiday Weekend out the way, I really wanted to share with you all. A few weekends ago I went to Jurassic Kingdom, in London with my niece (2) and my nephew (4) who, by the way, are obsessed with dinosaurs. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the day ahead as I headed to London on the train. I don’t have kids myself so wasn’t sure how the day would pan out. I knew there would be dinosaurs, but how exactly they would ‘be’ I was not so sure.
In hindsight, traveling by car is better if you have kids. It’s more on the outskirts of London and with ample parking it means not having to negotiate the tube with little ones. When I finally arrived (albeit slightly disheveled from the journey), I stood at the entry way to the park (mainly to catch my breath) and had a good look around to take in my surroundings, the venue itself is so inviting. Long driveway, beautiful greenery all around, I was doing my best to take it all in as I was hot footing it to meet everyone (good old trains) and we know how antsy children can get if they have to wait around. As I’m shimmying in and out of people, bum waddling from side to side on a good speed walk, I get through the gate. You then have to walk around a large lake which leads you up to the entrance. My walk by this point is a mild run. Everyone around me must have thought I was very keen to see the dinosaurs!
Osterley Park is a really, really nice place, National Trust and fully kitted out with cafes and the likes. No alcohol / bar though. I checked. The grounds are massive, it really has so many nice spots to just sit that I really would recommend bringing with you a blanket and a picnic so you can make the most of your day.
You get a one hours slot to walk around, although you can very much take your time as there is no one ushering you out. And as mentioned previously, the place is huge. Lots of space for everyone. We did however go first thing in the morning, it opens at 10am and it was really quite busy at that time, it was even busier by the time we left so I would bear this in mind, if you decide to go.
The kids by this time are so unbeliveably excited about the prospect of seeing a T-Rex, and I must admit. I am kind of excited myself. The weather was perfect, nice and warm and in actual fact I probably could have done without a few layers. Pack some sunscreen! You never know you might need it and my Scottish skin got a tad rouge that day.
As you begin to walk through the entrance. You are greeted by a spectacle of pop up stands, virtual reality experiences and a bloody huge dinosaur to welcome you. When they said life sized, I hadn’t realised they literally meant life sized. We look tiny compared to these things. We began to walk around the first dinosaur before making our way into the park. In hindsight, this is a great way to judge the kids reactions and explain what they will be seeing so they aren’t overcome when they walk past a giagantic Brachiosaurus!
The setting is like walking through the gates of Jurassic Park. Beautiful greenery, the tallest trees I think I have ever seen. And so much vast space. It really makes the whole dinosaur installation ‘work’ having such a giagantic landscape to hide them in. The pathway is the perfect walk through journey. Very well thought out. Just enough path and tall trees to walk through before you turn a corner and begin to bear the sounds of dinosaurs, roaring in the distance and mild screams from tiny people. The anticipation to see what’s round that corner is electrifying. And I’m bloody 31, I cannot imagine what the imaginination of a four your old would be doing right now.
I won’t spoil the sights and tell you too much about the displays, you really need to go and see for yourself. But as a day out, it was bloody brilliant! You never need to walk too far and your close to the pop up food stands or toilets, and the whole layout is designed so you walk almost in a loop. Your wee ones may loose the will to walk at some point, so pushchairs or arm workouts might be required. (I had dead arms by the end of the day – guns not used to carrying little people continuously.)
A genius stop off point is just by the toilets, sounds charming I know but they have a video display with the story of dinosaurs running throughout the day. It’s also undercover so was a welcomed break out of the sun while we took turns to go to the loo, have drinks and snacks and generally just sit down for ten minutes to recharge.
There are lots of small trees and tree trunks dotted about which make for excellent climbing frames! There are all these dinosaurs in the park – and the kids are climbing up trees. Great for their inner explorer. Just be sure to bring a spare change of clothes in case you plan on going anywhere afterwards. It could get messy.
Jurassic Kingdom is doing the rounds of the UK over the next few months, you can visit their website to check locations, dates and further details.
I’m running a GIVEAWAY this week, in conjunction with this post, I have a family ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children) for Jurassic Kingdom to give away!!! Simply click on the giveaway post and follow the instructions to enter. Winners announced on Friday (28th April) Good Luck!
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