Review: Dinomania at Bristol Zoo

Last week Ted celebrated his 3rd birthday (yes, 3rd!) and we were looking for a perfect family day out for us all. Living in Bristol, the natural choice is Bristol Zoo – famous for it’s array of well-kept wildlife and activities for children of all ages. But what could make this more perfect for a three year old… dinosaurs! Yes, thats right – dinosaurs. Currently you can visit the zoo and be treated to an amazing anamatronic dinosaur experience which is included in the entry price. The display is running all through the summer holidays until the 3rd September and if you visit the website you will find a cheeky little voucher for free entry for children!

On the day we visited it was a little bit grey and dreary with some rain showers – but that didn’t put us off! If anything it was better as it was pretty quiet and the boys loved splashing in puddles as we moved between attractions at the zoo. We headed straight for Dinomania and Ted literally couldn’t believe his eyes! We were greeted by an incredibly life-like Utahraptor with moving limbs, feathers and making the occassional growl. It was so detailed and impressive and the boys found it fascinating. After the initial apprehension (And lots of reassurance from us that it was in fact NOT real!) Ted couldn’t wait to follow the trail and find some more.


Next it was the Pachyrhinosaurus which was the perfect photo opportunity. Unlucky for me the boys were charging ahead to the next dinosaur! There was lots of educational information and quizes with each dinosaur which is perfect for older children as they followed the trail and ticked off each challenge.


Ted loved the Quetzalcoatlus due to the little surprise hiding it it’s nest – but I won’t spoil it for you in case you visit! We quite a long time watching this one together and he was holding my hand pretty tight! We found lots more dinosaurs until we reached the Dino Hub which was a hive of activity. There were experts from The Bristol Dinosaur Project there leading fun tasks, showing interesting artefacts and playing games. The boys loved looking around the Dino Hub and there was plenty for them to get involved with suitable for their age.


We then went to find the Giganotoasaurus and unsurprisingly, it wasn’t that difficult to find. The boys actually stood still in amazement (or maybe fear!) to take it all in. It was so impressive and realistic. It was here that Ted (and Mr M!) refined their perfect dinosaur ROAR!


The last dino we discovered was the dilophosaurus, which unbeknown to us… sprayed water. Luckily we were dressed in our waterproofs as we all got quite a soaking – but could not stop laughing! Ted hasn’t stopped talking about it and couldn’t wait to tell his Grandparents about the ‘Spraying Dinosaur!’ (I guess dilophosaurus is a bit of a mouthful for a 3 year old..!)


After the dinosaurs we returned to the land of the living and went round the zoo to look at the animals. Highlights include the meercats, giant tortoises, seals and penguins. The boys loved the freedom to run around the zoo and we felt they were safe and not in anyone’s way. There were lots of friendly staff all around the zoo, ready to answer questions, offer some fun facts and information for the children. When a rain shower got pretty heavy we ducked in to the Repile House which was amazing, and by the time we came out the rain had stopped. We also enjoyed the massive play park in the middle of the zoo – mostly because they sold coffee. The boys loved running around and climbing and I loved my latte.

Just when we thought it was time to call it a day, Ted asked if he could see the ‘Spraying Dinosaur’ one more time, and as it was his birthday we duly obliged. We had a great day at Bristol Zoo and DinoMania is a perfect addition to it. If you are looking for something unique to do over the summer holidays with your tribe, it comes highly recommended from us.


*DISCLAIMER* We were given free Entry to Bristol Zoo for review purposes, however all words, opinions and photographs are my own.

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