A couple of months ago I came a cross an ad promoting the Days of the Dinosaurs exhibition scheduled to tour Jozi and Cape Town. Ava is dino crazy so we knew right away that we would have to attend!
The exhibition is running in Jozi from the 20th June to the 20th of July and then moves on to Cape Town from 31st July to the 20th August.
The exhibition opened in Jozi on Saturday and to be honest, I was a little apprehensive after following a trail of angry and despondent tweets about the exhibition on Saturday where people had stood in long queues, some up to two hours to get in, reports of the queue stretching down the road and people actually leaving the exhibition without even going in and no tickets being sold at the door, as previously advertised. I couldn’t bare the thought of disappointing Ava if we got there and had to stand around for hours to get in. So we hatched a plan to visit the exhibition at 4pm yesterday afternoon and it totally paid off.
No queues, we walked straight in, the exhibition was not crowded at all and in fact we got to walk the exhibition twice, at our own leisure and it was very pleasant because of the lack of crowds!
Because the dino’s all move and make sounds, Ava was convinced they were real and she was a little scared to stand too close to them alone and she had a little freak out when I reached out a hand and pretended to touch one, yelling at me that it was going to bite me. But she really did love it. There were also a number of smaller children there who were afraid of the dino’s, some being carried, in tears, through the exhibition by their parents.
It takes about 20 – 30 minutes to do the walk through, depending and there is an auditory tour (you have to pay extra for this) available too for those who want more information on each dinosaur in the exhibition. Once you’re through the tour, there are a number of activities, including an archaeological dig for “bones”, a dino inspired store with t-shirts and toys, an interactive dino game for the kids and a small dino inspired food court.
What was most disappointing was that there was also a dino “ride” where kids could sit on a dinosaur and have their photo taken, unfortunately they had run out of “frames” and as a result the photographer had left so that was not an option.
I felt the exhibition was expensive…
Seriously, we had to pay for Hannah to attend… she’s 16 months old and doesn’t even know what a dinosaur is?
It was a great outing and Ava loved it and has asked again this morning if she can go back, it was like living a fantasy for her but I’m just not really sure it was worth the R395 discounted rate we paid for a family of 4, especially considering that we didn’t get the full experience as the dino store was very low on stock and couldn’t get a “dino” ride with photo to document her visit.
I know some of you are driving up from Durban (the forgotten city) to visit the exhibition and I fear you may be a little disappointed, making such a long drive, just for the exhibition. I asked Walter his opinion and he agreed, if this exhibit wasn’t in Jozi, we wouldn’t have bothered going.
If you are attending, be sure to either be there very early or go late as it apparently gets VERY busy. Perhaps that was just opening weekend traffic and I believe that because of this, the organisers are now allowing people to attend on other days, even if your ticket was booked for a specific date. Also, both on Saturday and Sunday, because of the volume of tickets pre-sold and the number of visitors, they did not sell any tickets at the door, so if you didn’t have a pre-booked ticket, you couldn’t go in.
If you’d like to visit the exhibition, you can book your tickets here: Computicket