Norfolk. Very flat. But there are dinosaurs there.
We went on holiday! To Norfolk! It wasn’t actually flat at all, especially not the Neanderthal walk at Dinosaur Adventure. But we’ll get there later. Let’s begin at the beginning.
Dinosaur Adventure is – as you’d expect – a theme park based around dinosaurs. What else does Roo need? It was £9.95 per adult to get in, £12.95 for children over 3 and free for under-3s. Being both honest and tight, we took Roo on the day before his third birthday. So, he was 2 years and 365 days old but it’s a leap year so that makes him not yet 3. Talk about cheating the system!
The whole place has a (quite deliberate) Jurassic Park vibe. When we got there, Roo and Nathan ran off to play while Eva and I perused the gift shop and cafe for some breakfast. The lack of any other human beings in the gift shop added to that slightly creepy vibe. Luckily, a school trip showed up and shattered the peace pretty quickly.
Breakfast obtained, we caught up with the boys in the vast and very exciting outdoor play area. There was an under 5s bit, with a trampoline and small climbing frames as well as dinosaur models. Then there was “arachnophobia”, a large rope frame, and a treetop walk to a high slide. But all this paled in comparison with the MASSIVE dinosaur climbing frame. It was the size of a bus! Or a dinosaur! It was entirely enclosed in fibreglass (see top photo), so once Roo disappeared up the ladder in the dino’s leg, he could be missing for ten minutes before whoosing down the slide at either mouth or tail end. Nathan had gone around the frame with him a few times and assured me “he’s fine in there”, so I trusted him. He always made his way out in the end. I’d start to worry and then bleurgh! Dino would vomit or poo out an overexcited toddler
Eventually, we peeled him away to go on the Dinosaur trail through the woods. It’s as it sounds, except I was expecting the dinosaurs to be lame but they were actually pretty cool. The one above is huuuugggge – Nathan is in for scale (by his left leg). See? Huge! The dino trail kept us all entertained for half an hour or so, and there were a couple of abandoned jeeps and “field stations” on the way, to add to that spooky vibe. There was also a T-Rex spotting trail to follow, and stamps to collect around the park.
Emerging from the woods into the sunlight, we found another play area and a petting zoo, which included iguanas and snakes. Roo was a bit freaked out by the snakes, which is a far cry from the days when he thought “snakes on your brain” was a fun game. There was also a litter of tiny piglets, who looked a little like Eva. Sadly, we didn’t join the Deer Safari excursion (via jeep, extra £1.95 for adults), as it was overrun by schoolchildren. Also, after the dinosaurs I thought Roo may be a little underwhelmed by the deer.
So, it was back up to the main bit of the park, via the Neanderthal Walk. The picture above cracks me up, for some reason. Now, they do say in all the promo material that the dino trail and the Neanderthal Walk are unsuitable for wheelchairs, so we were a bit uncertain about taking the buggy. Especially as neither child went in the buggy all day (Eva was in the sling, Roo was walking). But a buggy is ever so handy for carrying all our stuff, so essentially we just pushed a shopping trolley around all day. Like hobos do.
Anyway, the dino trail was fine with the buggy cause it was all downhill (though I did forget the brakes once and nearly lost it to the clutches of an Ankylosaurus) but going back up the Neanderthal Walk was pretty hard work, and would have been even harder with a child in it. Consider yourselves warned.
So, what else was there to do? Well, there was lunch in Dippy’s Diner (pretty standard kinda fare for this sort of place), excavating bones in Xtinction, a sandpit, dino-themed miniature golf and go-karts. But in case this wasn’t enough, there’s also an indoor soft play area with massive slides. Needless to say, Roo fell asleep the minute we got back into the car!
VERDICT: A great day out and good value, especially if you aren’t paying for the toddler.