Dinosaurs of China at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition

Last year, we had such a great time at Wollaton Hall that I couldn’t wait to visit again. We happened to stumble upon it last year whilst we were searching for things to do in Nottingham. We came across Wollaton Hall and Deer Park online and read reviews about the Natural History Museum which is free to visit. We always love free stuff so were pretty chuffed about that! It was great and so off we went again a year on.

I went against my own advice this time, though, and didn’t check before we went about the venue. I just assumed Wollaton Hall would be open as usual because of the school holidays; and even though I remember seeing something about the Dinosaurs of China exhibition online, it just didn’t put two and two together…

Well, I didn’t expect I would be blogging “Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition”, haha, but here we go…

 

The Dinosaurs of China exhibition is an exclusive special exhibition at Wollaton Hall, and Nottingham Lakeside Arts, a one-time exclusive and never shown before in Europe, until 29th October. The exhibition costs £7 adult, over 5 is £5, under 5 free.

Wollaton Hall and Deer Park
Wollaton Hall and Deer Park

 

First thoughts…

 

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition

I was a bit disappointed, to be honest, that the museum which is usually free, was now going to cost us £7 each. I know some people will be saying “what do you expect for a dinosaur exhibition?!” and I totally understand, but, we chose to go to Wollaton Hall because we expected a free day out. We are on a budget, and knew we had been before and enjoyed it. This is bad planning on my behalf; we should just have checked before we went.

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Mamenchisaurus

Because of the dinosaurs, the museum costs whether or not you want to see the exhibition. You have to pay either way. We were just glad that it wasn’t an exhibition we were really not interested in, because otherwise we would had to have paid £7 each just to get into the museum – which is usually free.

Eric likes dinosaurs, though, and we had gone all that way, so we thought why not… it’s a world exclusive exhibition, so felt a little bit special.

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Bright and interesting information panels

 

The exhibition is really well displayed and had some amazing art work.

I always look at the small details. I love museums! It’s something me and Ollie did together way before we even had Eric. I love reading the information panels and learning about things. So when there’s bright, colourful and educational displays; that’s where I get my kick from! (Are museum kicks a thing?! Lol!). There’s lots to learn about fossils, dinosaurs, history and geography. Most of it I didn’t already know.

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Lots to learn / Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition

The displays tell facts about each dinosaur including how to pronounce its name, where it is from and how it would behave or what it would look like. The information panels were colourful, interesting, creative and there was lovely artwork throughout the exhibition.

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Genuine fossils at Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition

Not much was hands on… in fact nothing really for toddlers at all. It was definitely better suited for dinosaur fanatics, teens and adults who have a real interest in learning and reading about dinosaurs. Grown-ups would appreciate this exhibition a lot more than children.

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
He loved this mirror! / Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition

I mean, I can only speak to myself, and we have been to a lot of museums… we usually just make the most out of any museum; even if there isn’t much hands-on stuff. But the dinosaurs were high up on displays or couldn’t be touched; so Eric was a little bored. It’s understandable, because it is a special exhibition with world-class dinosaurs so they don’t want anything to get ruined, but it wasn’t enjoyable for our toddler.

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
The Ericraptor – Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition

Because we had Eric with us we did breeze through it quite quickly. He likes all the animals in the natural history museum; it is a taxidermy museum and there’s SO much to see. It was really busy though because of the exhibition.

What did I really think?

 

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Taxidermy at Wollaton Hall

 

  • The exhibition is not that interesting for young kids.
  • If you have young kids, you should visit the museum when there is not the exhibition on and it is free to visit.

 

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Taxidermy at Wollaton Hall

 

  • A few more interactive displays, activities or something hands-on would have been interesting. There was a dinosaur leg to touch, a dinosaur reading corner but apart from that, I didn’t spot anything for children.
  • I didn’t think it was worth £7 each. But if it is a world exclusive exhibition, then this cost reflects that.
  • I’m not a dinosaur fanatic, so I’m honestly not the best person to fully review this exhibition. I would have probably not have gone to Wollaton Hall if I had known about this exhibition being on, and us having to pay for it. I would have come back after October.

 

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition museum
Wollaton Hall museum

 

  • It was pretty amazing to see genuine fossils and parts of dinosaurs that were so new to science- such as specimens only been discovered since 2015. I saw a real dinosaur egg fossil and learnt how close birds and dinosaurs are in evolution. That’s unique and I’m sure to anyone who is interested in dinosaurs would be thrilled to be able to come so close to this.

Wollaton Hall is a really lovely place. There is a fantastic playground, beautiful grounds with deer, and just loads and loads of space to picnic, play games and have fun. I really love the place and last time we came, we had a fantastic time; I hope this post doesn’t make anyone think otherwise. Dinosaurs are just not my speciality, although they are pretty fascinating!

picnic at Wollaton Hall

Last time, there were activities for children set up which were educational and fun, such as sensory baskets and sorting animal games. I hope these sorts of activities will return after the dinosaur exhibition.

Wollaton Hall Dinosaurs of China exhibition
Wollaton Hall

Thank you for reading my (unexpected) Dinosaurs of China exhibition review! Are you thinking of going? Are you super into dinosaurs, or just interested in Wollaton Hall? Comment down below and let me know!

Love,

Naomi

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