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Norfolk Dinosaur Adventure Park

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  • Dinosaurs not really the same as Jurrassic Park!
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    4 Reviews
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      08.08.2010 16:07
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      In the review.

      Dinosaur Adventure park.

      On a recent trip to see my partner's younger brothers we decided to take the kids out for the day. They were getting restless and we needed a place to go that would tire them out and yet give us the opportunity to sit down and have a coffee with my partners mum.

      It became a tossup between Norwich castle and Dinosaur Adventure Park. After a quick look on the internet we decided that the castle had far too many breakable items in it to take 3 excited boys to so we opted for the park.

      Now I will be honest I had my reservations about the park. I expected it to be cheesy and in all fairness a bit rubbish based purely on the theme of the park. I would not say that I have little imagination but I am not impressed that easily.

      The Park:

      Now the park was a very pleasant surprise. The park was vast with plenty to keep children occupied. It was spotless and whilst walking around I must have seen at least 10 different employees collecting rubbish and cleaning the park in general.

      There are a few sections to the park, and It is quiet easy to see everything if you walk around the park in a circle. My partners mum is one of those people that insist on seeing every section of a park if she has paid good money to be there. I really can't say I blame her so I know for a fact that I got to see every inch of the park.

      Our day at the park:

      The easiest way to describe the park is to explain our day section by section. So I will start with the drive in. We followed our Sat Nav (who we call Debbi) into the middle of nowhere; we were surrounded by trees, but kept catching glimpses of the park signs which was reassuring and bizarrely exciting for this 22 year old. It felt like we were heading into dinosaur territory for some strange reason.

      Once we arrived we had a large car park to choose a space from and managed to park very near to the park entrance. The prices for the park I felt (and still feel) are slightly high for an adult ticket. We paid £10 per adult and about £7 per child. My mother in law got a discount for one of the boys as she is classed as his career as he has autism.

      Now we started in the play area of the park first so the kids could burn of all the built up energy they had acquired in the car journey. The play area is filled with wooden climbing frames swings and slides, all the basic play area equipment. After half an hour we decided to explore. We started to walk along a muddy track that was filled with model dinosaurs. There was information about each dinosaur and the best part for me was that the large plastic creatures were not behind fences. This obviously led to some fantastic photo opportunities and I now have some brilliant additions to add to the photo album. My only pre warning about this section of the park is that it is a rather large walk and there are no toilet facilities available. You either go before you start the walk or hold it in. Also there are a few steep slopes to walk down and definitely not suitable for heels and I would advise caution if you have a pram.

      At the end of the track you can see out onto a field which is full of beautiful deer. Now you can go for a ride which takes you through the deer park, with a guide giving you all the facts and figures that you do not really need to know, but you have to pay an additional £1.50 per adult and £1.00 per child for the privilege. Now we could see the deer from the walk we did not really need the ride so did not bother, but I suppose it does offer a nice place to sit and rest your feet whilst the kids feel that they are still doing something.

      So be bypassed the tram ride and headed straight for the Animal garden area. Now I must admit for the kids this area would be great but my brother in laws live on a farm. They do not experience the same excitement about a really fluffy chicken or a fat pig that I feel. But nether the less they did not complain and instead took the opportunity to feed the carp in the giant pond whilst I cooed over guinea pigs and goats.
      Now when you arrive at the park you are given a handful of information about the park in a booklet format. In this booklet you have a chart which allows you to go around the park and collect stamps. If you collect all the stamps you win a medal. So seeing as how my mother in law wanted to see everything we collected all these stamps even when it started to rain and all the sane people were heading home for the day.

      So whilst we were in the animal section she walked off to a stamp area and we settled down to have a quick drink. As we did not know beforehand we were going to the park we had no previsions and so we paid £1.50 per bottle of coke. So again another recommendation bring some drinks with you. It's a large park and you will need the extra liquid intake.

      Now by this point we had been in the park a few hours (it was about 2.00pm) so we headed to the café. The food has varied healthy with a choice of pasta, salads, pastries, chips and burgers. I had a chicken burger with chips and a bottle of drink (set meal) which came to £5.50. I did not think this was bad. I had been sat at the table less than 5 minutes when my meal arrived and it was very nice. I would suggest ordering your meal together as a group so it arrives together. The standard of food was good the restaurant was clean and service was fast and friendly.

      We were nearing the end of the day so we decided to have a go in the maze and then let the kids have one last run around before we set off home. The maze was not particularly taxing but it allowed us to get our last stamp of the day, and brought us out into the play area. After half an hour of the kids playing on a giant zip wire we decided to head back for the night. We collected out medals (a nice little plastic memento of our day)and headed for home.

      Additions

      Now the park has extras of course at certain times of the year they do extra attractions and the park is currently undergoing building work in a section of the park, as they are adding extra features. If you are planning visits maybe leave it for a few more months so you can also enjoy these extras.

      You have the opportunity to sponsor the animals that are in the park, but to be honest to pay £60 a year to sponsor a deer that lives in an area I hardly visit really didn't seem worth it to me. But of course to regular visitors maybe this opportunity proves to be worthwhile.

      If you book in advance you can have the park make you a picnic lunch, I had a quick look into this and at £6.95 per adult and £4.50 per child it probably works out cheaper to make your own. Next time we will be more prepared for a day out and take our own.

      Opinion:

      In my opinion I was impressed with the park and its facilities. I think that with today's technology the park's dinosaurs could be updated a little. The park was clean and well cared for, the animals seemed happy and healthy and the parks staffs were helpful and friendly and ready to help if you had any queries. My only criticism is that the park is not really very wheelchair/ pushchair friendly, the paths are pebble paths that get muddy. They are also quite steep slopes which could become a bit of a problem. In all though a really good day out that the kids enjoyed and so did the adults. 4/5 stars.

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        18.04.2009 18:25
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        Well worth a visit

        Having just returned from a day out at the Dinosaur Adventure Park, I thought I would write my review whilst its still fresh in my mind. I have been before, but this was a spur of the minute decision for what to do on a sunny April afternoon, so this was the choice, as its only a few miles away from where I live.
        It is situated in Lenwade, a few miles outside of Norwich on the A1067, or can be reached from the A47, it is signposted from both.
        It is open all year round, except for Christmas and Boxing Day, and has ample free parking.
        Our party consisted of myself (mummy), Nanny and Grandad and my five year old daughter. The cost at present is a flat £7.50 for all - adults, seniors, and children (under 3s are free). You can also buy a 12 month season ticket for £30 each which gives you free entry for a year and a 50% discount at two other Norfolk Attractions (Banham Zoo and Africa Alive) This is worth doing if you are local and you also get that days admission fee taken off the cost of the season ticket.
        As you enter the park, you are met by a huge childrens play area. There is loads here for children off all ages to play on, with a huge dinosaur that you go inside and then come down a slide. There are plenty of picnic tables and benches for adults to sit and wait.
        You are given a Dinosaur Trail map when you enter the park, and you walk through a large woods to see if you can spot all the dinosaurs. You have to find certain ones where there is a stamp to stamp your book and when you have collected them all you can claim your 'gold' medal.
        At the end of the dinosaur trail there is a large grassed area for picnicing.
        You can go on the Deer Safari which is very interesting, although there is a nominal extra charge for this.
        We then watched the Sheepdog demonstration, which again is very interesting and entertaining.
        After a cup of coffee and ice cream (not too pricey) we went into the Secret Animal Garden. There is a good selection of small animals including sheep - one that had given birth to twin lambs that day!, there are also large tortoises, wallabies, guinea pig, rabbits, goats, etc.
        There is snakes and lizards too and my daughter got to hold a giant millipede, giant land snail and a cockroach - not my idea of fun, but she seemed to like it.
        After that is was back up the quite steep hill through the Neanderthal Village to the play area, to search for the last few stamps we needed.
        There is also Jurassic Putt and Raptor Racers (pedal cars) but we didn't have time for these.
        There are places to get food but as we didn't try these I really can't comment on them, but from what I could see people eating was the usual burger and chips children type meals.
        The toilets are well signposted and are kept fairly clean.
        As is usual in these type of places, you have to leave through the shop, but we got away with a small dinosaur which was around £7 So not too bad.
        We had a lovely afternoon here, and you could easily spend the whole day, there is plenty to keep kids of all ages entertained.
        The staff are very friendly as we had to ask where the last stamp was - I just couldn't find it, even though I've been before, but they would have let my daughter have the medal without the stamp, which I thought was good.
        This has been voted Norfolks top Family Attraction and its easy to see why, it really is a great value family day out, and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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        04.01.2009 16:15

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        Great day out

        During the endless summer holidays my children and i went to stay with friends on the North Norfolk coast. While looking for days out that we would all enjoy we found a leaflet for the Dinosaur Adventure Park. We arrived at about 10 am with a car full of "busy" children a large pack lunch and all the other equipment required when taking children out for the day. We paid for our entry and off we went. We followed a trail with the children which lead us through some fantastic woodland which the children love as the trail had been set up with children in mind lost of things to touch and climb, then we started to find the dinosuars which again the children could climb up an over. At the end of the trail we found ourselves in large grassy open space whihc was great for our picnic, again with the amount of space there the children could run about and play without distubing anybody else and still be with in out sight. ths is a great site and worth a visit. Take wellington boots out of summer months as i would imagin the trail getting quiet boggy.

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        16.05.2001 04:13
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        • "Dinosaurs not really the same as Jurrassic Park!"

        Or so said the advertising brochure, so we did! This theme park is situated just outside Norwich off the A47. As our daughter is 2 and a half and therefore still qualifies for free entry, we decided to visit this roar-tastic theme park over May Bank Holiday weekend. My first, and final criticism of this theme park is that it is not very well signposted, unlike Alton Towers which you could probably find from Mars. However, once you have found the signs, you are directed up what can only be described as a glorified cart track, which then suddenly turns into a handy car park. My only conclusion for this lack of signposts and tarmac is to make it very difficult for the dinosaurs to escape. There is even a Jurrassic Park-style metal fence, which I'm sure the kids would believe if you told them it was electrified. The staff went completely out of their way to help everyone, even though they had an average age of about 12. Children are absolutely catered for from the outset: with lovely, clean, accessible toilets, for starters! I have never seen as many climing frames and slides in one place as I have here - a huge variety to keep all age groups satisfied all day. There is also a gift shop, with lovely wide open spaces, for the kids to spend their pennies. The prices were very reasonable too, I bought a pack of really nice glittery dinosaur stickers for 59p! The food served in "Dippy's Diner" is ...well....predicatable. As with all these type of places, the kiddies meal is served in a box, minus the need for knives and forks (in fact, the adult ones were plastic), and consists of either Hot Dog, Dinosaur shapes or fishy shapes and of course chips! One of these days, I shall visit a theme-park type place when there will be no chips on the menu, nor will the meal be served in a cardboard box. OK, so maybe that was also a criticism, but only a tiny one! The Education Centre is a great place for the older ones,
        and also useful if you want to arrange a school trip. (Can't justify the little darlings playing on the slides all day, can we?) There was a rather nice video to sit and watch, some fossils (no, not Nan and Grandad, silly) and my favourite part was the feely boxes, where objects had been placed under cover to simulate the texture of various dinosaurs. The Woodland Maze was a laugh, and also actually quite easy for us adults - maybe worth losing the older kids in there for about half an hour as they couldn't come to any harm. Hilarious signs, such as "This Way Out" provide endless fun for the children, as they hit another dead end. As stated earlier, there are more play slides and climbing frames than you can shake a stick at - the highlight of these has to be the huge dinosaur, where you can climb inside a dinosaur and slide down it's tail! There is also a super speedy tyre slide which I loved!! (Yes, I am 26, and a teacher, a-hem!) There's also an absolutely hilarous 8 hole crazy golf course, which adds to the variety, as well as zillions of picnic areas, trampolines, a bouncy castle and some go-kart type things called "Raptor Races". The Deer Safari costs extra, but looked very professional - we had recently been on the one at Snettisham Park Farm, so we declined this opportunity, but again, I'm sure older children and adults would love it. A new section added this year is the Secret Animal Garden, which also costs a little extra, but for the extra pennies you get to go round Wallaby Wood, Goat Mountain and a themed Petting Barn - all this is hidden away behind a Victorian Walled Garden, which is very peaceful, even with the children. Ensure supervision of children at all times here, however,as there is a large uncovered pond. Oh, yes, nearly forgot! Bet you're all wondering why it's called a Dinosaur Park! Well, the main activity is the Dinosaur Trail. You foll
        ow a windy track up and down a steep hill, (but still suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs) whilst either side (and even above you) there are many different dinosaurs for you to view. Luckily, the dinosaurs are in fact scale models, but do look extremely realistic, especially with the accompanying sound effects. My toddler either wanted to stroke them or run away from them, depending on the severity of the dinosaur. There are also a couple of vantage points, from which you can take photos or video film, which is a nice touch. Another great idea is the little stamp chart you get upon entry to the park. You have to take this chart around the park with you and look for the stamper points. This is rather like orienteering and is completely addictive! I'm sure the staff at the park have a right laugh watching all the grown adults running around the park stamping their charts before their children! I know I had great fun stamping mine! Unfortunately, the prize for completing the task is only a 5p lollipop, I think the prize should be more worth winning, but the children were enjoying the task nevertheless. All in all, this was a great day out - I would pick a day when it is guaranteed sunshine, as on a rainy day, play opportunities are fairly limited. The park is very child-friendly and the staff really do go out of their way to help you.

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