On Sunday we went along to the Jurassic Kingdom event in Leazers Park Newcastle, as my three-year-old son is dinosaur crazy. I will start this review off by saying that I was giving complimentary tickets to the event in exchange for running a giveaway and promoting the event before it arrived in Newcastle. However, I was not asked to write this review and all views in this post are my own.
My little boy Jacob has just turned three-years-old and he is dinosaur crazy, he absolutely loves them so when I heard that Jurassic Kingdom was coming to Newcastle on its tour of the UK I thought it sounded like something he would enjoy. Before the event, I did read some very mixed reviews of the event so I was unsure if he would like it but he absolutely loved it!
We had tickets to arrive at 10am when the attraction opened and when we arrived at 9.50am there was already a big line of people waiting to get in. We visited with our 3 and 4-year-old children, as our teen was in Portugal on the day we visited. Jurassic Kingdom is held in Leazer's park, right next to the RVI hospital and just a five-minute walk from the city centre. If you are planning on attending then I would recommend getting public transport or parking in the city centre as parking is very limited near the park and hospital. I would also recommend you wear boots or wellies as it is in a park and while some of it is on footpaths some of it is on grassed areas and as you can imagine at something like this it does get muddy, which can't be helped.
After waiting in the queue for ten minutes with two impatient children the gates finally opened at 10am on the dot and the queue moved quickly. When we entered it was hard to see the dinosaurs as naturally, everyone was trying to take photos and see the dinosaurs, so we missed the first few out and made our way further into the park to avoid the crowds.
The dinosaurs are all set out around the park, they are roped off from the public for safety reasons as they do move and make loud roaring noises when you pass. Each dinosaur has a sign next to it stating its name and a little bit of information about them. They are activated by motion sensors so there were wires visable, which is to be expected but my children did not notice these at all. There were about 30 dinosaurs and they were all lifesize and rather impressive for children, especially the 18-meter high roaring T-rex.
While walking around the park there were lots of photo opportunities and whilst you could not get up close and personal with the dinosaurs on display they did have lots of dino egg shells you could climb in for photos.
The trail around the park was clearly signposted so you know which way to go and so you did not miss anything out. It only took us half an hour to walk around the whole trail and take photos with each dinosaur, which when you think of the price (it would have cost us £44 on the day) it is rather expensive for what it is.
However, there is no time limit on how long you can stay in the park for and I have heard some people mention that they stayed for hours. There was an excavation area for children to dig for bones in that we did not try out and there was also an education tent which was showing dinosaur documentaries which we skipped as I don't think my children would have sat through. There was a dino ride that children could sit on but that was an extra £2 per child and a face painter which you had to pay extra for, I think these should have been included in the entry price like at similar events we have been too.
There was also lots of stalls selling foods, drinks and sweets and these were on the slightly more expensive side but I think that is to be expected when you attend events like these. Another thing worth noting is that a lot of the children at the event were really young and were handed activity sheets aimed at much older children, it would be nice if they had a one for younger children too.
So what did we honestly think? Well, my children loved it, they enjoyed seeing the dinosaurs, learning the names and getting their photos taken. I thought that it was something different and the dinosaurs were impressive being so big and moving about. The park was clean and tidy and clearly signposted but I did feel it was a tad on the expensive side for what it was, it would have been nice if the face painting and dino ride were included in the entrance price. However, you can get tickets cheaper if you pre-book online and if you use the discount code Newcastle20 when booking online you get an extra 20% off making it even cheaper at just £30 for a family of four making it much more worthwhile and a similar price to what we would pay to visit the cinema.
If you have a dinosaur fan then they will love Jurassic Kingdom and if you can get the discounted tickets then I would recommend going. Just make sure you bring your wellies and camera.
Jurassic Kingdom is at Leazers Park Newcastle until Sunday 1st October, it is open daily from 10 am until 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Full details can be found at www.jurassickingdom.uk and I highly recommend you book tickets online & use the discount code Newcastle20 if you are thinking of going.
Disclosure I received a complimentary family ticket to attend this event.