After several recommendations, our team of dinsoaur mad children, headed to Roarr Dinosaur Adventure on bank holiday Monday. As with every new place to visit, I was slightly anxious to my middle son Louie’s reaction to the day. Although dinosaurs are all he lives and breathes the majority of time, being autistic he can become very anxious when visiting new places. My other concern was also that the day would be crowded and as the temperatures continued to soar across the weekend I wondered if the whole day would end up being a complete write off.
It was on our holiday in July that Louie came out with a severe case of chicken pox, one of those cases where you would have had barely put a pin point between the spots on his back. Convinced he had sun burn, he proceeded to wrap himself in duvets and blankets whenever outside. This has continued throughout the summer, often layering clothes of 2 and 3 layers and wrapping himself constantly in blankets, even when temperatures reached over 30. His reasoning when I asked him was that the sun couldn’t touch his skin. In a strange way the theory actually makes some sense but of course has been very worrying as on certain days he refused to emerge from his cocoon of blankets causing a nose bleed one day.
Leading up to the visit we found various youtube home videos people had posted from their own days out at Roarr Dinosaur Adventure. I often wonder what these people think when suddenly after 3 years with 5 views their viewings suddenly soar to 1082 in the space of a week. The answer is our family: we are watching your video continually to familiarise our son with the place you so kindly filmed! We also discussed the weather and the fact it may be crowded.
Arriving at Roarr, the children were excited as we drove into the grounds spotting the heads of certain dinosaurs peeping through the tree lined driveway. We had pre booked the tickets online and had used the concession for disabled child and carer ticket for myself and Louie. Seeing the lengthy que of people waiting in the pre booked line I started to stress, with the exciting dinosaur noises playing loudly and lots to take in, my husband and I could see the rumbles of an overload surfacing. Seeing one of the workers at the entrance I told her the situation and she radioed through letting us in through the gate straight away, no waiting involved, saving us from the impending meltdown. At the reception as I showed our tickets I noted the hire of ear defenders available and buggies.
Happy to be inside I showed the children the maps and trails I had been given. The children had to find the stamp stations along the way and fill their trail sheet. My eldest daughter, the hippy chick, especially loved this and was very excited each time she spotted a new station!
The first area we visited was the Secret Animal Garden. Set in the beautiful ground of a Victorian walled garden the children loved meeting the animals especially the goats and the bridges over their enclosures as we acted out the Billy Goats Gruff. A beautiful pond was also hidden in the grounds where the children enjoyed watching the fish and dragonfly. An animal barn was home to many other farm favourites as well as reptiles and the Hippy Chick especially loved meeting “Dave” the ferret and petting him at the animal experience room.
After a quick picnic and some play in the various park areas, the sand and diggers being a winner with the children, we headed off on the Dinosaur Trail under the shaded canopy of the vast woodland. Happy to be in the coolness of the forest and away from the crowds that were beginning to emerge in the Secret Animal Garden, the children were excited to find the many model dinsoaurs along the way.
Each dinosaur was met with joy and curiosity as they gathered around to inspect them. The noises which accompanied as the soundtrack of the trail were great and Boss Baby was particularly excited, roaring back and throwing leaves at the angrier looking dinsoaurs! The trail lasted quite a part of the day, Boss Baby aged 2, did become quite tired due to his age although soon enjoyed the trail again once more, on the shoulders of the dismayed Irishman in 32 degree heat.
The huge brachiosaurus was fantastic and the children thoroughly enjoyed the trail. Next we headed on to the park areas and ate the remainder of our picnic. The park facilities were fantastic, dinosaur shaped play equipment, wooden forts with great slides all once again under shade of the trees. The children had great fun on the park areas and explored the under 7 area too with its trampoline.
Heading to escape the heat once more we found the archeological dig centre which was once again shaded and cool. With brushes provided the children entered and began brushing away the sand to find the dinosaur fossils and bones underneath whilst the Irishman and I sat down for 1 minute 30 seconds before the Boss Baby threw a handful of sand in his sister’s face. Boss Baby removed by the Irishman after 3 failed strikes, Louie and the hippy chick spent up to a hour quietly “working” to unearth the bones.
Now at the later stage of the day the children headed for Dippy’s Splash Zone. The children loved this especially the huge tipping bucket which filled with water and drenched the entire splash park at intervals. There was a small slide, supervised by a member of staff. The que to the slide was quite chaotic and I did worry Louie was going to become stressed as the children pushed and knocked into eachother around him. With a hand gently on his back, the Hippy Chick didn’t leave his side and then once she was down and he was left alone at the top I could see his confusion as to where to go next due to volume of children. I spoke to the lady supervising and she was fantastic, encouraging Louie to come down and keeping the other children in order with calm and patience throughout the day.
Able to watch all areas of the splash zone from the comfort of a sunbathing position the Irishman and I loved watching their excited faces each time they were blasted with water. The Boss Baby at this point, defeated and deciding he would not be participating, sat in between us!
After two hours in the splash park we made our way home. I couldn’t recommend Roarr more to anyone especially those with children with additional needs. The staff were understanding and welcoming to all children and went above and beyond anything I had experienced in other parks similar.
There were many other attractions available and some great activities for older children such as the predator high ropes which hopefully when we return as the children get older they will enjoy.
Roarr Dinsoaur Adventure was definitely one of our highlights of the 6 Weeks Holidays and I highly recommend and can’t wait to visit again.