Days out · Museums

Dinosaur Babies at The National Museum Cardiff.

I’m pretty sure the first day of the school summer holidays is the new St Swithens Day – after what felt like weeks of wall to wall sunshine in June, the rain started the day the kids broke up, and has showed little sign of stopping since.  With Monkey-boy and Mini-me fighting like a pair of wildcats if they’re cooped up in the house together for more than half an hour, this first week has been a challenge to say the least – although happy to report we’ve made it through the first week intact!

On Friday I decided to drag the kids  we would have a fun day out at the National Museum in Cardiff for a few hours, as it ticked all the boxes for a rainy day (dry and free!)

We managed to nab a parking space on Museum Avenue, Pay and display £4.20 for 4 hours, and only a couple of minutes walk to the Museum – if you have a Pokemon Go fan like Monkey-boy then there are plenty of Pokemon to be caught in Alexandra Gardens on the way to the Museum to keep them happy!

There’s a Dinosaur Babies exhibition on at the museum at the moment, (Extra charge for entry, £7 for adults £3 for kids) we decided to shell out and give it a go, and I’m so glad we did.  I have to admit at first glance I did wonder it it was worth the £13 we’d paid, as it looked like a fairly small exhibition space, but once we started to explore what was on show it became apparent it was well worth it.


Once you’ve worked your way through all of the dinosaur skeletons and exhibits about their eggs and nests (without a single ‘I’m bored’!!!) there is a ‘big dig pit’ – basically an area filled with rubber chips, under which there are ‘fossils’ to dig up.  Both kids spent ages in here (actually appearing to work as a team!!) happily digging like crazed mini archaeologists to find the buried bones.  All that was lacking was a Gin Bar for the mums to relax in whilst enjoying the view of their kids occupied and not fighting for half an hour!  There are also little hands on activities dotted around to suit various age groups – magnetic jigsaws on the wall, some arty/crafty/colouring activities and some little dressing up outfits to wrangle your little one into so you can stand them in front of the big dinosaur skeleton and beg them to smile and look cute for a photo…

After they got fed up of the fossil hunting, I conned them into a wander around the galleries upstairs.  There’s currently a Gillian Ayres exhibition on which we all liked, big, bright and very bold, it’s fun for spotting colours and shapes with the kids.  Opinions were very much divided in one of the ceramics galleries with Mini-me drooling, nose on the glass, over the ‘beautiful princess tea sets’ and Monkey-boy sitting on the floor declaring it was boring and he hated it and it would be all my fault if the Pokemon raid by the castle was finished before we got there!  He soon cheered up though when his 9 year old boy radar for all things rude spotted a small sculpture with the word ‘Arseholes’ in the title – gleeful shouts of “Mum! Look! It says ARSEHOLES!!!” Rang out across the gallery as I tried in vain to pretend he wasn’t with me…..

Mum says “Value for money, out of the rain, I even learned a thing or two about eggs”

Mini-me (5) says “I think it was good because they had real, actual dinosaurs skulls, and I got dressed up as a dinosaur.  My favourite bit was sitting on the dinosaur.”



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