Dinosaur Discovery Park (12/9/2015 )

** This attraction is now closed **

On a wet Saturday afternoon, we made our way to Dinosaur Discovery Park, in Horbury Bridge, near Wakefield (WF4 5PT) for an hour of dinosaur excitement.

Before you head off, check the opening times as it isn’t generally open during the week in term time (http://www.dinosaurdiscoverypark.co.uk/) Also, do a Google street view check as to where the place is, as it is hidden away behind a cafe. I made this mistake and had 20 minutes of driving round the same quarter mile stretch of road!!

So, entry is generally £4 each and in the venue is about 10 realistic (from what I imagine given that I am not a dinosaur expert!) dinosaurs which move either my sensor or by you controlling the levers.

The ones with sensors were really good and you can tell that love and effort were put into them all and the ones with levers were perfect for the little ones. Caution, they are a bit scary so if your child is a bit nervous, this may not be the one for you…

The best bit was the dressing up outfits (think Rod Hull and Emu). There was a toddler sized one and an adult sized one and as we had the place to ourselves, we wandered about pretending to be dinosaurs!

The best bit for older kids would be the maze…I don’t want to give any tricks away but this can be quite scary but really fun for those in and out of the maze! It is pitch black and so we used a torch to navigate round as the dark would have been too much for H… Please tell the members of staff if you are going into the maze and are quite nervous…trust me!

There is also a sandpit where you can dig for fossils. This would be good for older kids, but we were having fun dressing as dinosaurs!

If you look on their Facebook page, you will see questionable reviews… if you want to spend all day at an attraction, this won’t be for you. However, if you want to spend an hour going somewhere a bit quirky, seeing something a bit different, and maybe learning something if your child is interested, then it is worth a visit.

It is, however, a little bit surreal for the want of a better word. The dinosaurs are clearly painstakingly built and are deserving of a better location and overall attraction. As the dinosaurs are just placed in a warehouse, there is no underlying activity for the little ones to keep them hooked.

As for the topless caveman and cave woman – while historically accurate (I think…) perhaps not appropriate for a supposedly child friendly attraction. It is in the middle of the attraction so you can’t miss it either – great!

As someone said, you can spend £2 on a 2 minute fairground ride and not bat an eyelid, and in comparison, this is decent value for money. The only way independent outlets like this will survive and grow and get better is if we support them. This stuck with me as the place was empty on a Saturday afternoon… However, I am not overly surprised that it was empty.

In terms of other practicalities, it is completely indoors, flat and so there is no need for a pushchair if your child can walk and actually it is a perfect place for them to toddle about if it is quiet as there is space and it isn’t too big (probably the size of a 5 a side football pitch)

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