(Disclaimer: We received admission tickets as a gift)
We felt that it was important this Summer to have extra quality time with Joshua, before two major events happen. With this being the last Summer before Joshua becomes a big brother and we get ready to welcome Baby Number Two; we wanted to make the most of having him to ourselves (and vice versa). Not only that, but Joshua is starting Reception class next week, making me an official School Dad!
Joshua has had a great Summer this year, with the highlight for him being all the great days out that we planned for him – theme parks, zoos… the lot! Joshua’s been one lucky little boy.
This week, we had our penultimate day out and took Joshua along to Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. Roarr! is somewhere we have been plenty of times before and we always have a great day out, with Joshua begging not to leave. If, like us, you want to make the most of Summer, you can also take advantage of their free Dini Bus that they have running between Norwich City Centre and will drop you off right outside the park gates. The Dino Bus runs seven days a week and will last up until Sunday 1st September.
Joshua always leads the way around Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, however, we can always predict where he will head first. Just like all our other visits, as soon as we walked through the gates, he made a B-line to the play park area fitted with trampoline, climbing frames, ‘tree walks’, obstacle courses, a zip wire and so much more! Usually, this is where we spend the bulk of our day as we always make a trip there again on the way out.
Roarr! always host a range of activities and talks during the day too, to engage the little ones, featuring the animals from their Animal Barn, a Safari ride and educational talks for the slightly older ones. There are so many to choose from that we can never make it to them all, but there is always a great range to suit everyone and all ages and interests.
As we have visited Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure several times now, I thought that I would put together some of my top tips for making the most of your day out.
Bring a Picnic
Yep, the first thing I will talk about is food because, let’s face it, it’s the first thing I think about when planning a family day out. Especially with Joshua being a fussy eater! There are, of course, a few places to eat around the park and you are never far away from grabbing a snack, drink or ice-cream. However, we find it easier to enjoy our day if we take a picnic as it means that we can stop at a picnic bench whenever we fancy, without going off route.
Although, a warning for bringing a picnic: there is some serious walking to be done, so don’t over pack!
Bringing a Baby?
If you have a baby in the family, then there is no reason why they need to be left out in the fun. The fantastic new addition to the park is Dippyland, which I can imagine has been a well sought-after attraction. It is a small area for those tiny ones, who perhaps have come along for a day out with their older siblings – however, now they have an area just for them! Dippland is something that we will be utilising next year once our next little one has arrived.
Purchase Tickets Online
Before your visit, make sure that you book online to save pennies! You can save up to 17.5% when booking ahead of time and you can book your tickets up to midnight the day before.
The park typically opens around 9:30am but do check these on the website in case of any changes! We always aim to get there for opening or, at the latest, 10am. There are a few reasons for this but our main one is that the park is pretty empty at that time, so your little ones have the run of the park. But make sure you use that time wisely and head to the attractions that have queues such as Raptor Races or Predator! High Ropes, that way you can have a queue-free day.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
As I said earlier, there is some serious walking to be done during your visit. Our average visit is around 6 hours long, which involves sitting down just once or twice! The site is over 85 acres and a section of it involves walking up and down hills – we ALWAYS go the wrong way around the trail (we never learn) but lots of others do this too. This means that we have one steep hill to climb!
Dinomite – Soft Play
We can’t have a family day out without soft play, can we? The indoor soft play area is fairly big and will keep your little ones occupied for quite some time. It is also connected to an outdoor play area, which is completely enclosed so that you know your children are safe. Now, if your little ones are anything like mine, they will not want to leave the soft play area once they have gone in. We usually have to bribe Joshua with coming back before we leave – so maybe do the opposite to us and save yourself the hassle by leaving it to last!
Also, don’t forget socks!
Dippy’s Splash Zone
The Splash Zone is a large outdoor water area that is great for those warmer days. Don’t forget to bring along a towel, swimsuit and perhaps a change of clothes so that your children can enjoy. Sadly, we have never had the opportunity to use this area during our visits. We just weren’t prepared for our first visit (doh!) and for our several visits after that we did go prepared, it just hasn’t been open. Hopefully one day we will get to use it though!
Dippy’s Splash Zone isn’t open all year around, so make sure you check the website first before your visit.
Win a Medal!
As with most attractions, on entry your child will be given a sheet for the Young Adventure’s Challenge. There are 8 stamps dotted around the park which, when the sheet is completed, can be exchanged for a medal at the end of the day. There are also two bonus stamps at the beginning and end of the trail, which gets your child a little certificate too.
But my tip for this one is to make sure you know where they will be ahead of time (but don’t tell your little ones) by reading the map. Each stamp is named after the location it is in, so they are all easy to find. However, that doesn’t stop us from forgetting one along the way and doubling back on ourselves!
Predator! High Ropes
This attraction hasn’t long been opened and is now a highlight for park visitors. It is a 34m long high ropes adventure that even young children can enjoy. Joshua is scared of heights, so unfortunately, we have never been on, but it does look amazing! If this is something you seriously want to do, then I would highly recommend making a B-line for this first because the queues can get pretty long. During our last visit we saw the same group queuing for longer than the time it took us to demolish our picnic, walk around the Secret Animal Garden and having a little sit down!
Secret Animal Garden
Down by the Predator! High Ropes is what we call the ‘little zoo’, because it’s just that. There is a walk-through bit outdoors with lots of animals from goats, pigs to ferrets! The goats are particularly friendly and don’t usually mind you petting them and love the fuss. As well as an indoor Animal Encounters Barn that is home to guinea pigs, reptiles and chickens, they host several activities that allow you the chance to get up close to a range of animals; there is a big sign outside letting you know what activities there will be and when.
Not Carrying Light?
If your children have out grown their pushchair now then the chances are that you will be left carrying a few bags for the day. If you bring along anything that you know you won’t be needing straight away, there are lockers available to use that are located near Dippy’s Splash Zone and inside Dinomite. We have never needed to use them, but I have noticed that there have been many available throughout the day, even during peak Summer times.
Although, if you don’t wish to use a locker then the park entrance is very close to the car park, so you are able to keep some belongings in the car to pop back to if needed.
Lastly, enjoy your day! Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure is a fab day out for all the family to make memories. We have been several times before and seeing it grow into what it is today has been great. The site is so big that we have never managed to fit everything into the one day, so each visit we have there is different.