Suspend your disbelief and enter the time machine which takes you back 67 million years to the Cretaceous period – the time of the dinosaurs. This is the idea behind Dinosaurs in the Wild, an interactive, well-researched, educational experience.
The idea and development are the brainchild of Tim Haines, the director of the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series. Everything you see and hear is based on our current knowledge and theories of dinosaurs, thanks to the involvement of Dr Darren Naish.
The way it’s been set up is very clever. Before seeing any dinosaurs, there is an exhibition of the development of time travel, complete with photos of the scientist behind it. (In the main exhibition there are Time magazine covers featuring the inventor, and the CEO of Chronotex, the company behind it.)
Then, of course, there is the virtual reality element. Some of the effects are quite stunning, and amazing. I won’t spoil it for you by saying what they are, except that even though you know it’s not real, your body still responds as if it is!
As well as being a great experience in itself, it is also historically (or prehistorically) accurate, as far as our current knowledge goes. So, if you’re covering dinosaurs in your curriculum it may be worth looking into the special school party prices. These are £12 per pupil, with free places for teachers (one teacher per five pupils or 10 pupils, in primary or secondary respectively). This is a much better price than the usual one of more than £28 per child, £33 per adult or £99 per family. There are also worksheets and other resources available. The only downside is that it’s only at the Greenwich arena until 31 July 2018. This reviewer came away with an understanding of how impressive these creatures were, and how there is a clear evolutionary link to present-day life on earth. This is an event where you learn in spite of yourself.
For further info: dinosaursinthewild.com