|Photo credit: The Dinosaur Museum|
My boys love dinosaurs. So while spending a weekend down in Dorset at the 'Jurassic coast' we discovered The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester located just a few miles from where we were staying in Weymouth.
The museum is easy to find with plenty of brown signs and carparks are dotted around the town, we parked about a ten minute walk away in a public car park as we were spending the morning exploring Dorchester.
The museum opens at 10am and we arrived shortly afterwards. The Dinosaur Museum is "Britain's original and award winning Dinosaur Museum is the only Museum on mainland Britain solely devoted to fascinating world of dinosaurs"* and is the perfect place for young dinosaur enthusiasts to learn all about fossils, dinosaurs and their rich history.
On entry my boys (8 and 3) were given a 'Great Dinosaur Egg Hunt' worksheet with 9 questions to answer. All the answers were on display around the various rooms within the museum. Each room had a question or two which meant the boys could look for answers methodically rather than run back and forth in and out of rooms looking for answers. My youngest isn't able to read but loved following his brother looking for the answers and copying his brother yelling out the answers with huge excitement. On completion the boys were delighted to receive a medal.
The hunt encourages school age children to read the display information which my eldest absolutely loved. The younger children enjoy being hands on with the life stize replica models of the t-rex, stegosaurus, velociraptor and triceratops which is actively encouraged.
Photo credit: my own
Throughout the museum there are lots of hands on activities, buttons to press, flaps to lift and sounds to hear a great sensory experience for all children. My eldest child has autism spectrum disorder and can be noise sensitive, he didn't find any of the dinosaur sounds troublesome at all. The feely boxes were a great hit - the boys preferred to pop their hands in than we did!
The museum houses a small cinema based on the first floor of the buiding. It showed a 30 minute film which we caught some of but the boys were keen to continue exploring. There are other shorter films about dinosaurs and one very interesting one about the wooly mammoth on the top floor.
The displays are all at a low level enabling all visitors to enjoy and access the hands on activities. Unfortunately due to the nature of the periodic building there is no disabled access to the cinema on the first floor or the small exhibition room at the top of the building. These can only be accessed via a steep staircase. One companion per visitor as required is given free admission and assistance dogs are welcome.
Ticket prices are slightly cheaper if you book online but only marginally so.
Adults are £7.49 in advance, £7.99 on the door and children are £5.49 in advance and £5.99 on the door. Children aged under 3 are free. Alternatively a family ticket can be purchased in advance online for £24.99 this includes entry for 2 adults and 2 children.
A saver pass ticket is available for the museum which combines entry for a week for the Dinosaur Museum and other local attractions the Teddy Bear Museum, The Terracotta Warriors, Mummies and The Tutankhanmun exhibition all within walking distance around Dorchester** for a family pass it costs £48.95.
We really enjoyed our visit to the Dinosaur Museum, the boys loved being able to touch the exhibits. We spent about an hour in the museum as our three year old had enough after this time but for older children longer could be spent there absorbing themselves in all the easy to digest information on the world of dinosaurs.
All views and opinions expressed are my own.
We were guests of the Dinosaur Museum and were kindly given a complimentary ticket for the purpose of this review.
*information taken from http://www.thedinosaurmuseum.com/the-museum
** information taken from https://worldheritagemuseums.digitickets.co.uk/category/2400?branches.branchID=515