Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Dino-tastic family fun day out - The Dinosaur Park, Tenby review.

Living in Pembrokeshire we are fortunate to be a short drive to a number of wonderful locations such as beautiful beaches and wild woodlands as well as a number of top family attractions. One local family attraction we have been keen to visit for a while is The Dinosaur Park.


Located just outside the popular and picturesque seaside town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, The Dinosaur Park is a dino-themed attraction suitable for children of all ages. The family friendly attraction is closed during the winter months, opening from February for the school holidays and then throughout the summer months until the end of October.

If you are holidaying in Pembrokeshire near Tenby or live locally and fancy a few family friendly days out The Dinosaur Park is located near a number of other family attractions include Manor House Wildlife Park. Other family attractions that are only a short drive away include Folly Farm, Oakwood and Blue Lagoon, where the family friendly holiday park Bluestone is also located.

To help you save money on visits to the park they offer cut price returns if you visit again within 7 days as well as season tickets.






The park has a large selection of attractions, the majority of which are outdoor attractions and rides. It boasts attractions such as a woodland dinosaur trail, large astra slide, 18-hole mini golf course, a games garden, astra slide, super jumper trampolines, orbiter cars, sand diggers and a whole lot more! Whilst a big part of the park and its attractions are outdoors, there are also indoor attractions including an indoor adventure play centre and soft play area.

The attractions are all free to enjoy and all of the manned rides such as the tubing run and disco boats are also free and included in the entry price. A handful of rides such as the Orbiters, Safari Tractors and Moto Quads are not manned and do include a tiny fee of 2p.






The park has a great selection of useful facilities including plenty of free car parking (I can imagine the grass overflow car park is not the easiest to park in on very wet days as our little car struggled tad with the saturated grass from previous wet days), toilets with baby changing facilities, and gift shop which is filled with lovely toys and crafts for children, most of which are dino-themed.

Also at the park is a dinosaur restaurant the Ribcage CafĂ© that serves a selection of hot and cold food. The restaurant excellently caters for children, it even has a little cornered off area filled with child friendly toys for little ones to play with whilst they wait for food and drink to quench their hunger and thirst. Another convenient and useful facility at the park is the Dino Takeaway Kiosk that serves hot and cold snacks, a range of drinks and a selection of ice creams.  The takeaway kiosk came in very handy for us on our day at the park to keep coffee-addicted Lee topped up on coffee whilst we had lots of family fun. If like us you are a picnic loving family there are plenty of picnic tables located on the park grounds that are free to use so that you can have somewhere to sit amongst the lovely surroundings of the park when filling up on picnic food to keep energy levels high.


Being a huge fan of dinosaurs Bug was giddy with excitement as we arrived at The Dinosaur Park. He was more than a little keen to start exploring the park, on the hunt for dinosaurs!

His excitement reached epic proportions as we queued outside to get in where he could glimpse the impressive tusks of a massive mammoth on the other side of the fence. As soon as we entered the park grounds Bug quickly made his way to meet the mammoth who gave us a mammoth welcome, standing impressively tall and proud. He loved the humongous mammoth telling mummy and daddy that it was just an elephant.


I was instantly impressed by the sign showing the large choice of activities and rides available, also appreciating the informative signs located near the long extinct animals and dinosaurs. I also loved that the beautiful green surroundings helped transform us back to the prehistoric age; I particularly loved this prehistoric looking and very spiky tree.






Bug was keen to explore the park and get involved with the activities, starting with an educational Guess Who I Am? game. Whilst Bug was perhaps a little young to really make informative guesses the game it did not stop him trying and it was a great way to talk to Bug about dinosaurs and be the starting point of teaching him about different dinosaurs.


He especially loved the skeleton dinosaurs from the Guess Who I Am? game.


A top game of Bug’s was a large Dinosaurs and Ladders game.



He had lots of fun competing against his daddy on the Dinosaurs and Ladders game, being crowned the winner at the end of the interactive fun game.



Other child friendly and dino themed games that Bug enjoyed included the colourful dino ring toss and interactive dino jigsaw puzzles.



The interactive dino jigsaw puzzles were not only fun but also had the added benefit of being great for children’s physical skills (gross motor and hand-eye co-ordination) and cognitive skills (shape recognition, memory and problem solving).



Being car mad Bug was very excited by the remote control mini cars game. Whilst we did have a little issue getting the car Bug picked to work (a member of staff said that they would look at the issue) he soon had a little car zooming around.  Unlike the other rides which were either free or 2p, this cost 50p for 1 play (I also noticed that the motorized sand diggers also cost).








The outdoor playground was a big hit with Bug who burned off his excess energy having lots of fun trying the Frisbee Golf and climbing, exploring and swinging to his heart’s content on the Adventure Playground before dig, dig, digging in the Dino Sandpit.



We had lovely family time together on the 18-hole volcanic themed Adventure Golf course.



Bug and his daddy had some special bonding time together as daddy helped Bug learn how to play golf.



As we played Bug’s giggles of delight as he slowly mastered how to play could be heard around the course especially when he managed to put the golf ball into the holes.



The volcanic themed golf course had dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals and creatures scattered amongst the holes which added a fun and dino-tastic element to the course. Bug was particularly fond of the impressive saber-toothed cat who surprisingly and much to Bug’s delight cheered on the golfers with positive comments.



As we made our way around the golf course, putting the balls into the holes, we were blessed with glorious views of the rest of the park.







One of Bug’s favourite rides at the park was the Disco Boats. He loved skimming on the water as him and daddy steered the boat across the water.



Another fun ride that Bug enjoyed again and again was racing on the Le Dinos Circuit.



Bug found it thrilling to race around the track with his daddy as a few dinosaurs watched them whizz by.



Whilst Bug loved the Le Dinos Circuit, Disco Boats and other rides, his absolute favourite ride at the park was the Safari Tractors. He was a little obsessed with the motorised tractors which needed 2p to work. He loved driving around the dino hatchery, wanting to ride them again and again. 



The tractors were brilliant and the only little downside to them were that a couple of them were not working but seeing how popular they were with little ones it is no surprise that the batteries had been drained!










Taking a break from all the fun and frolics of the rides and activities we set off on the Dinosaur Trail on the hunt for dinosaurs!



With Bug leading the way with his imaginary bow and arrow to protect mummy and baby-to-be just in case we came across some nasty dinosaurs, we set off on the mile long walk through wild woodlands to find the 30 plus dinosaurs hiding in the swamps, woods and trees.



As we enter the ancient woodland we felt as if we were transported back in time to a prehistoric lost world filled with awe-inspiring primeval, life sized dinosaurs. The prehistoric atmosphere was heightened by strange noises echoing through the woods.



Scatter in the woodlands near the dinosaurs were information signs teaching intrepid dinosaur searchers about the dinosaurs found and the different dinosaur periods.



Handed out in reception is a fun dinosaur themed quiz that children can fill out as they explore the park and dinosaur trail. Children who complete the quiz correctly will be rewarded with an expert sticker. Whilst the quiz is a great learning resource for children it was not really suitable for Bug’s age but I can imagine it being very popular with older children.



Whilst the quiz was  not for Bug he thoroughly enjoyed looking out for dinosaurs in the woods and the dino trail inspired us to inform Bug about dinosaurs who like a sponge soaked up all information and dino facts.


 

The dinosaur trail was a lovely stroll through beautiful surroundings. The trail was easy to walk but pushchairs and wheelchairs might find the trail a tad rocky in places. Whilst the trail was a lovely walk being tired from work and being pregnant I would have appreciated having a bench or two to rest on during the walk but a big tree trunk did the job whilst Bug and daddy had a chat with the T-Rex.
Overall the dinosaur trail is the perfect setting for adventurers of all ages and a lovely family walk. It was the highlight of our visit and something we enjoy again.








Whilst we were fortunate enough to visit the park on a lovely sunny spring day it was good to see that in spite of most of the attractions and rides being outdoors there would have still been plenty to do indoors if the weather had not been quite as kind to us. The park has a very educational and informative Info Centre where children can learn all about Dinosaurs thanks to the Info Boards and the Computersaurus Alley. The park also has an Amphitheatre where shows and fossil hunts are held.


Another indoor attraction was the indoor play area with soft play and wooden adventure play which was a big hit with Bug who had lots of fun. This indoor area is great for children to have fun in regardless of the weather.







New to The Dinosaur Park this year is an incredible new ride called Jurassic Journey. Take a journey on the ‘Tasty Bite lll’ golf buddy through stunning woodlands to see moving dinosaurs!


Unfortunately when we visited we were not aware of the new ride and did not see it, let alone experience it. Whilst it is sad that we did not get to experience Jurassic Journey it only gives us another excuse to visit the park again to see the moving dinosaurs in action.








It would have been lovely to have experienced the new Jurassic Journey as well see a show at the amphitheatre and join in on a fossil hunt, but unfortunately we were not aware of these activities or when they would be happening. Perhaps an information leaflet with park map and show times would have been handy so we did not miss out……but then again perhaps due to my hazy baby brain I might have simply missed a sign with the show and fossil hunt times.

Whilst we did not experience every activity and ride at the park it did not affect how much we enjoyed our day at The Dinosaur Park and it only means we have will be able to experience them next time we visit the park.

We will most definately be visiting the park again in the future as Bug had an awesome day at the park and our family fun day at The Dinosaur Park was a roaring success!



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