Reviewed by Gemma Ingham
My family and I were invited to review Dinostar on Humber Street in Hull. It is relatively easy to find using sat nav and there is plenty of on street parking in the surrounding area. Visiting with me was my husband, 8 year old dinosaur fan nephew, and my 3 year old daughter who had yet to decide whether she liked dinosaurs or not.
Dinostar is described as an interactive dinosaur museum for children of all ages, which did give me the impression that it would likely be a large exhibit or based in a large museum like building. So I was a little surprised when we arrived to be faced with what looked like a normal shop front. However, it is definitely larger inside than it seems.
We were greeted by a very courteous gentleman and given activity sheets for the children. There are dinosaur stamps situated throughout the museum and when the children find them they can stamp the paper, which then gives a small amount of money off in the gift shop. Both the children loved collecting the stamps and marking off the different dinosaurs.
We started our visit downstairs where we found a large model of a baby dinosaur that made an awesome photo opportunity. There are lots of interactive exhibits dotted about such as a sound box where buttons can be pressed to hear different types of dinosaur sounds, or boxes you can put your hands in to feel an object and decide whether it might be dinosaur food or not. All through the exhibit each activity has informative material placed next to it.
We came across displays of fossils all found within a 50 mile radius of the local area, dinosaur skeletons, footprints, hologram displays, artwork and replicas of actual dinosaurs hung on walls or suspended from the ceiling. There is something to look at everywhere and the space is anything but sparse.
One of my nephew’s favourite things were the scent boxes dotted around, allowing you experience what the dinosaur age might have smelled like – swamp and volcano were a couple of the odd smells I experienced. I particularly liked the artwork on the stairs showing dinosaurs in relation to local landmarks to allow you to get an idea of their size.
The exhibition continues upstairs, but half of the space is dedicated to playing. There are a few sandpits in which children can uncover dinosaur skeletons like an archaeologist, drawing tables on which you can complete fossil rubbings, and model dinosaurs on an activity table to role-play with.
I found the content displayed on large boards throughout to be incredibly educational to all ages and kept everyone’s interest throughout. We spent approximately an hour and a half at Dinostar and could have spent longer had us adults been able to take our time and read all of the information detailing the life of dinosaurs – a little impossible with two excited children.
Because Dinostar is situated in what appears to be an old (likely listed) building, I think the owner has worked well with what he’s got. It is definitely not a large dinosaur museum in the traditional sense of the word – but this is reflected in the very reasonable prices. There are a few bits that could do with a lick of paint but it doesn’t impact on the fun the kids had and all in all I would say it’s very good value for money for a fun and educational visit.
Admission: £3 Adults, £1.50 Children
For more information and opening times visit www.dinostar.co.uk.
Dinostar, 28-29 Humber Street, Hull, HU1 1TH