Deep, rumbling roars, the aromas of cooked meat and the whooping cheers of kids will all be spilling from Newcastle’s Saltwell Park this Summer but there is no cause for concern. In fact, you might just want to check it out for yourself, as you’ll soon discover Dino Kingdom has transformed the idyllic expanse into a prehistoric paradise. From July 22 to August 7, you and the family can enter a wondrous world with giant animatronic dinosaurs, a cutting-edge digital village, a fossil-filled excavation site and thrilling fairground rides.
There’s no time machines required for this blast from the prehistoric past, just a dash of technological wizardry paired with a fun-loving imagination and plenty of dinosaur knowledge. Budding palaeontologists will be in their element with the amount of interactive activities to get stuck into. Namely, an excavation site where you can dig for buried fossils and a scavenger hunt where – armed with a special dino hunting kit – they can search the tangled undergrowth for hidden eggs to win a free prize.
A trip to Dino Kingdom wouldn’t be complete without swinging by the Digital Village. A combination of 3D projection mapping and augmented reality technology has brought ancient history into the future. You’ll be whisked back in time with an immersive, in-depth insight into life millions of years ago.
Lace up your boots and steel your nerves to explore the sprawling Saltwell Park: one minute you could be gazing up at a peacefully munching Brachiosaurus, head nestled among leafy branches, the next you could be ducking under a swooping Pteranodon or wincing at the bone-crunching teeth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The roaring and moving dinosaur animatronics will be scattered around the park so be sure to keep your eyes peeled, you never know if that ominous rustle is a clever Velociraptor or an inquisitive baby Triceratops.
The toothy grins of these Jurassic creatures won’t be the only thing prompting screams either. Kids and parents alike can get their thrills on one of the fairground rides, be it facing off with friends on the dodgems or spinning round on tea-cups. Alternatively, you might fancy unleashing your competitive side on the dinosaur-themed mini-golf course.
To fuel your exploration of the kingdom, there are an array of food and drink vendors serving up some mouthwatering fare for both carnivores and plant-eaters. Plus, if some weary parents are in need of something a little stronger, there will be alcoholic beverages available – it might even be just the ticket to face some of the more fearsome beasts.