My 3 and a half year old son is mad on dinosaurs. We are amazed when working on his everyday vocabulary and he tells us about his Stegosaurus, Triceratop, Diplodocus toys (with eloquence).
We broke off from the normal touristy haunts of Prague, on an extended jaunt on the tram, to see a dinosaur exhibition which was located on the roof of a shopping centre. To be frank I was not convinced on a trip taking us on a half a day out of the city.
How wrong I was? It’s well worth the journey. And an interesting and colourful journey back into the land of dinosaurs.
On the approach to the Galerie Harfa (shopping centre) you can glimpse the dinosaurs peeking out from the edges of the roof. Once in the shopping centre the information and directions on DinoPark are non-existent (unless you ask someone about ‘dinosaurs’ and they point upwards). Just head up the various escalators as far as you can go to the area with all of the dining outlets and the attraction is out of the doors from the shopping centre complex onto an open-air rooftop patio.
There is a large cartoonish stone gateway which leads into the DinoPark. Even from outside this doorway, the visual presence of two large T-Rex, with animatronics and roaring sounds, are an exciting sign of things to come. My son, and other children entering at the same time, were thrilled by the sight of these big ‘shouty’ meat eating dinosaurs.
Once inside there are glimpses of other dinosaurs over other parts of the park and I, as well as all the kids, are enthusiastic to see what else is over the bridge, around the next corner, over the way, etc. There is a variety of wonderous dinosaur models here, there and everywhere. I especially liked ‘ the big chicken’ which comes into view as your cross the bridge – an impressive model.
I was very impressed by the layout. A good series of paths which guide the visitor round a wide a varied range of models. As well as large ‘lifesize’ dinosaurs in various situation poses there are other some good photo opportunities where you can crouch in an egg and peek out of a break in a shell, stand within a cage beside a snarling dinosaur and some of the benches are blended inro a dinosaur body.
Other attractions include a simulated dig in a sand pit where you can reveal dino bones and, the super impressive, virtual reality show where you in a rugged country environment with various dinosaurs appearing and, in some cases, flying towards and closely over your head.
Thankfully, it was a beautiful clear and autumnal sunny day. I can’t imagine how disappointing it could be on a grey and rainy day.
For young children into dinosaurs this is a brilliant event. For Dads, it’s great location to have fun with their kids and to take an interest in their passion for ancient reptiles. It was so good, that when we finished, we went back to the start and go through the whole event again.
Yeah, some of models were a little cheesy, but I found it fun, interesting and educational. My son was so pleased and thoroughly enjoyed the event. We have photographs and video to record what an eventual visit we had.
A good piece of fun was the ‘wiggly’ plank bridge over the pond beside the large ‘brontosaurus’ type dinosaur. When you walk across it – it waves and weaves from side to side. I deliberately shook the bridge whilst my son was on it and we had fun with him screaming and enjoying the thrill of the shaky bridge.