It’s not very often that you get to see an 18-metre-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex in Cardiff city centre, but until Sun 5 Sept that is now the reality. Bute Park becomes Jurassic Park as the T-Rex in question, along with 49 of his friends, arrives as part of the first ever UK tour of Jurassic Encounter.
Turning the clock back 200 million years, guests can make their way around the scenic wooded area of the park where they can discover and engage with various prehistoric beasts, whilst learning about each creature via the fact posts accompanying each one. The animatronics are terrific – particularly the ones with blinking eyes that, combined with a terrifying and often unexpected roar, provides a fun scare for the family.
Witness an Iguanodon fighting off some predators whilst a team of raptors attempt to break out of captivity, and be sure to watch out for the swinging tail of a 16-metre long Diplodocus. Of course, there are also plenty of photo opportunities to be had… but beware, some of the dinos may spit.
Whilst fun is the name of the game, the organisers are clearly looking to engage the minds of our young, too, as another educational opportunity presents itself with the paleontology pit, giving the kids a chance to dig for their own fossils. A casual amble around the park, taking in every exhibit, takes about 80 minutes, by which time you may have worked up quite the appetite, so the row of street food vendors at the end of it all is a welcome sight. Should you want to commemorate your day, there’s a gift shop to peruse.
With outdoor events likely to be more attractive to a country still cautious of COVID-19, the chance to amble around one of our wonderful parks, and be thoroughly entertained by this wonderful exhibition, is an opportunity not to be missed.
Jurassic Encounter, Bute Park, Cardiff, until Sun 5 Sept. Tickets: £11.50 adv/£9.50 kids. Info: www.jurassicencounter.uk/wales
words CHRIS ANDREWS
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