I just couldn’t resist. Having been lucky enough to see the 3D print cast of his skull at Blandford Library, my interest was piqued and I was determined to see the whole thing. So, last Sunday, off we headed en famille to Dorchester and the Dorset County Museum was our first stop!
The Natural History Museum’s famous Diplodocus skeleton cast, known as Dippy is touring the length and breadth of the UK from early 2018 to late 2020. The British icon is on a mission to inspire families to explore nature on their doorstep. I certainly didn’t need much encouragement having just watched Jurassic Park last weekend and loved the film Land Before Time when I was little.
The whole town of Dorchester seemed to be reveling in its newest member and you could not miss the green banners blowing in the wind signifying his presence. Despite the queue outside (always a sign of something worthwhile) we were ushered into the museum with barely a minute of queuing in the cold, our bags were quickly checked and then we were shown where we could leave our pushchair by extremely helpful staff. (Note: there are stairs so little ones will need to be carried.) I was so impressed. Everyone seemed super excited by Dippy’s temporary accommodation and despite it being a tight squeeze in the Victorian Gallery, the 150 million year old dinosaur replica manged to fit perfectly with just a couple of centimeters spare at each end. There was a designated spot for photos which is a must for the insta mad among us and lots of facts, pictures and fossils to see on your way around.
There is also a fantastic space with large tables, just before you exit the museum, for young enthusiasts to colour in pictures, draw their own sauropod or whatever takes their fancy, with the opportunity to display their artwork in the gallery space.
There are also other artworks on display by local artists which are positioned on the walls around.
And to top it all off there is the shop full of everything Dippy (posters, mugs, key rings, badges) as well as other goodies associated with the Jurassic Coast. A perfect treasure trove for shopping lovers of all ages and with the “just a card” movement in mind there are lots of little things to purchase as a memento before you go at around £2.50.
For those of us who are slightly more adventurous or just fancy a slightly different experience, Dorset County Museum is opening its doors after hours so you are able to see Dippy at night! Think Night at the Museum! You will need to book your ticket though for this special occasions and there is an admission fee.
All in all we thought it was a fantastic exhibition and even though Freddie was too young to remember it, the photograph we took with Dippy will remain in our collection to talk about in years to come. Both my husband and I took away some interesting facts and were really impressed at how slick the whole exhibition was curated. So if you want something FREE to do with the kiddies at the weekend, then head on down to this great educational, fun and interesting thing to do! There are also some great local child friendly cafes around to round off the day! Everyone’s a winner!
Dippy can be found at the following venues throughout the UK so if you have family/friends to visit, why not plan a day out – just remember to make sure you book to avoid disappointment.
- Dorset County Museum, 10 February – 7 May 2018
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 26 May – 9 September 2018
- Ulster Museum, 28 September 2018 – 6 January 2019
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 22 January – 5 May 2019
- Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 18 May – 6 October 2019
- National Assembly for Wales, 19 October 2019 – 26 January 2020
- Number One Riverside, Rochdale, 10 February – 28 June 2020
- Norwich Cathedral, 11 July – 31 October 2020
I’d love to hear from you, so if you do manage to meet Dippy please send us a note! #onemamaskingdom #DippyOnTour!