This morning we've been walking with dinosaurs. Well watching them at the arena (in Phoebe's case with her hands over her ears).
I booked the tickets months and months ago assuming that by the time the girls saw it they would have matured to a) like dinosaurs and b) not hide their faces in our jumpers whenever something vaguely scary appeared. It was a risky tactic but actually surprisingly turned out to be nearly completely right.
We'd attempted to convince both of them ahead of time that it would be a wonderful experience and they would enjoy every minute. The once in a lifetime chance to see realistic dinosaurs walking about and all that. Plus, following the suggestion of my friend, we spent time on YouTube showing them how the puppets were made and how they are operated to make out it was more of a show than a nightmare inducing experience.
And do you know what? Apart from Phoebe's dislike of the noise it was all fine. Really good in fact. Wonderful realistic puppets (not totally believable thankfully), brilliant set and a reasonably pitched level of information. It didn't have a plot, but then it was trying to span 170 million years and pretty much all they did was eat so that's fair enough.
The girls enjoyed it. They didn't come out jumping up and down and saying that was the best thing they'd ever seen asking to see it again. But then we are talking about children who still get scared by the animated Disney film "Beauty and the Beast" even after seeing it ten times, so I wouldn't have expected much different. Tilly did come out wanting a book on dinosaurs so it did what was intended, and they were excited by the theatrics which should make it a memorable experience for them.
Negatives? It's too expensive, but then everything theatrical seems to be nowadays. And man is it loud in places - I should have taken the ear defenders. But other than that it was quite magical really. And it didn't have princesses ice skating which made a change...