As I mentioned previously, for Caitlyn’s birthday day out we went to the Dinosaur Park in Tenby. We’re lucky in Pembrokeshire to have three “theme” parks located along the B4318 towards Tenby. Tourists (and locals) have the choice between visiting the Dinosaur Park, Heatherton World of Adventure or Manor Wildlife Park (and the wisest will visit all three!). We enjoyed visiting them all and find the Dinosaur Park offers great value if you want to go on lots of rides as you pay once and then all the manned rides are free.
The park is easy to find (Sat Nav: SA70 8RB) and there is plenty of parking. Now we’re out of peak season you can usually park in the main car park very close to the entrance. The Dinosaur Park is currently open Midweek- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and Weekends from 10.30am – 4pm. If you have pre school children now is the perfect time to take them mid week as they’ll get to go on lots of rides over and over again.The park will close from November until February half term so fit a visit in soon if you don’t want to wait until next year.
Entrance costs £12.50 for adults and £11.25 for children (with under 2’s free). Concessions and season tickets are available too.
On arrival, there is a reception, shop, cafe, computers and an informational exhibition area. Izzy is hatching a dinosaur egg- I have lots of photos of a baby and toddler Danny doing the same many years ago!
Some of these eggs have already hatched- the baby dinosaur is so cute!
The Rides and Play Areas
During this visit, the kids wanted to make the most of going on all of the rides. After the busy summer holidays it ‘s lovely to be able to enjoy the parks during quieter times again.
The Adventure Net is a fairly new attraction at the Dinosaur Park. It was closed when we arrived but as soon as staff spotted us heading in that direction they “radioed” and someone was soon there to open and man this ride for us. The kids were straight on with no hesitation but as regular readers know I have a huge phobia of heights so I took a bit longer to take the plunge!
The Adventure Net is suitable from 1 years and over (smaller children must be supervised). If you want to play on the nets you need to wear sturdy enclosed shoes. There is a ground layer where you can warm up your climbing skills before tackling the higher ropes (in hindsight I should have done this).
The ground level features a climbing wall too.
The top level has a netted rope obstacle course leading around the outside of the Adventure Net. It is all enclosed in net so completely safe and the kids went around easily with no fear at all.
After watching the kids play I really wanted a go but worried that I’d get scared. My response to heights isn’t something I feel I can control. Logically I know I’m safe but if fear kicks in I either freeze or feel faint and dizzy (neither of which are very practical responses when I’m high off the ground!). This is usually followed by embarrassing hysteria!
Izzy really wanted me to walk around with her and said she’d help me so I decided it give it a go. First I told myself I just had to go across one obstacle and back, rather than all the way around. I did this fine but still felt scared about going further away from the start. I decided just to go for it. I felt surprisingly calm at first but then noticed a mum and young daughter behind me so panic began to set in. I got to the platform and then let them pass me as I wanted to be able to make my way around slowly. Once they passed I continued. Izzy occasionally wanted to show me “her tricks” along the way but I’m afraid I had to explain to her that all I could concentrate on was getting around and needed to complete the course before I was in a full on panic attack (I did apologise later and watched her from the ground!). I stumbled on the tyres. I didn’t want to climb across the top of them like the kids had but found my legs weren’t long enough to walk along the bottoms. I had to allow myself to walk on the net at this point. I hadn’t allowed myself to come in contact with the net until now and worried that it would be terrifying but it wasn’t that bad. After passing the half way point I felt calmer. I was now heading “back home to safety” rather than away which had terrified me. I walked quickly over the last two rope obstacles and found myself on the main platform back at the start. My whole body was shaking, my mouth was dry but I felt a huge sense of relief and pride that I had completed the course. Izzy gave me a much needed hug! Sadly Dave didn’t think to take a photo of me so there is no proof but I promise I did! Well done to Ceri and Lexy for completing the course too. I actually can’t wait to do it again now as I feel if I could complete it a few times in succession the fear might subside?
As a side note to anyone visiting- please don’t let my fear put you off trying this. For most people it’s not scary at all. I just find any thing “off the ground” terrifying so have avoided these situations for years which has made my fear grow bigger but I’m determined to get better !
From the middle net there is a slide to take you back to the ground level.
Then in the middle of the Adventure Net, there is a “net and giant ball” play area. It’s great fun. You can roll the ball to other people or lie down as the ball rolls around and even over you. It does get very bouncy when busy but you’re guaranteed to end up in fits of giggles when in this area of the Adventure Net (and somehow I didn’t feel scared at all in this section).
Super Bouncer Trampolines
The kids loved these trampolines. They like to go on them at the fair where it costs a fortune for a couple of minutes fun. But at the Dinosaur Park this is included with admission and on quiet days the kids go back again and again for more bouncing!
Herbie Ride On Cars
As the ride on cars are unmanned there is a small charge. When we came last time they took a 2p token and we were actually given a bag of these at reception. Now these cars take a 10p token and you need to bring your own or change a pound for a bag of 10p coins at reception . Unaware of this we actually bought all of our 2p coins from our change jar but now we know we will bring a bag of 10ps next time as all we heard from the kids was “Have you got another 10p coin?”.
Thankfully there is a change machine in the arcade so everyone managed to have at least one go!
The kids had fun spinning around and around and bumping into each other on the Hurricane cars.
The height restrictions are 1.3m for drivers and 95cm for passengers with a driver so Danny took Izzy on this ride. I remember when Danny was young I’d take him on all of these rides and now I’m made redundant with older children to take Izzy on the rides with them.
Disco Boats always make me feel nostalgic about family holidays from my childhood. I loved going on the disco boats at Butlins!
The kids love them too.
Father and son look like they’re up to something cheeky here, so they most likely are (as usual!).
Next it was time for fun on the wavy, mat slide.
Curling and Skittles Lane
Look out for us during the next Winter Olympics as Curling is now officially our family sport- we are all hooked!
The Curling lane is next to the skittles (another one of our favourite games) lane and is such good fun. I now want to know if you can buy affordable garden sets?
The Tube Slide is fun for all but you will get tired carrying the tube up the hill each time ready for your next go!
There are also sprinklers on the way down so you will get a bit wet!
The Dinosaur Trail
The Dinosaur Trail is what this dinosaur park was originally about. I love it as it’s a nice family walk and you get to see and learn about lots of dinosaurs. For the first time ever, we didn’t follow the dinosaur trail but you can read this post from a previous visit to the Dinosaur Park to find out all about it.
Le Dino Circuit
Lexy and the kids enjoyed the racing cars on the Le Dino Circuit (remember to put your helmets on the right way around folks!).
Oops! They must have been distracted by the dinosaurs as they had a little crash! Thankfully no humans or dinosaurs were harmed though!
We love the “walk on water”” water bubbles. They have them at Heatherton too but you have to pay for each ride so we make the most of going on them for “free” while here.
I always fall to the ground as soon as I’m rolled out onto the water. Not these kids, they all managed to stay standing and only get down purposefully when they want to crawl or do front crawls in the bubble – how do they do it? I need these balance skills in my life!
The only problem is as you get taller they get harder to get into- Danny had to duck down but still managed to get his long hair caught in the zip- eek! It took him a while to release but thankfully he did it calmly and kept in good humour rather than getting embarrassed as it’s so easy to do when in teen mode! It was so funny but I was relieved when he was freed and able to get in the bubble carefully to enjoy his ride!
Dave was very excited to get some new dino “ink”!
Another fairly new attraction is the Dino Safari, where you get to hop on the land train and enjoy a tour around the baby dinosaur enclosures. If you’re a fan of Jurassic Park you’ll love this! The tours are only on during certain times (they will tell you on arrival) and as they last about 10 minutes long there can be quite a queue for this attraction but we tend to keep an eye out for quiet times and quickly join the queue. During peak times it would be handy to be able to “book” this and come back at certain times for your tour.
Our ranger did lose a couple of guests during his first tour so we said our goodbyes to our family- just in case! “We love you!”
As we drove around, the ranger told us facts and stories about all the moving baby dinosaurs we spotted.
We spotted dinosaur eggs and bones too.
Time goes by a lot faster when you’re on the ride than when you’re waiting and we soon found ourselves at the end of our safari ride- but we were pleased to have survived to tell the tale!
It was our turn to wave our family off! We hoped they’d all return safely too (they did!).
Remote Control Cars
While we waited for the rest of the crew to finish their safari we played on the remote control cars (50p a go).
Puzzles and Amphitheatre
Around this area there is also a Garden of Time and some puzzles such as the Jurassic Jig-Saws.
In the amphitheatre there are twice daily fossil hunts and occasionally shows to enjoy. If this is your first visit I’d recommend you do this as you get to keep the fossils as a souvenir too. As we’ve done it lots of times now we no longer take part during every visit.
Once everyone had completed the Dino Safari we headed up to the Skiddy Cars.
These were a big hit that everyone enjoyed.
As well as all the rides, there are also lot of play areas around the park.
Ceri, Lexy and Danny enjoyed a game of Crazy Golf.
Although there are no “big rides” at the Dinosaur Park (head to Oakwood Theme Park if you’re looking for these) there is so much to do to keep you entertained. There is also a maze, dino cross archery and you can even ride a dinosaur (for a small extra charge).
Indoor Play Area and Arcade
We had come to the end of our day, lastly we headed to the arcade. We found a use for our bag of 2p coins in the 2p machines. Again, I have happy memories from a young Danny playing inside the soft play area here. There is an indoor wooden play area too with a slide that leads outdoors (which is the only way the kids will leave the building of course!).
We had a lovely time at the Dinosaur Park and will definitely be back next year (if not before!).
Time to say goodbyes!
Have you been to the Dinosaur Park Tenby? Would you like to visit?
Find out more here: www.thedinosaurpark.co.uk