Who would have thought that there is a time machine in Edinburgh, but that’s exactly what you can find at Dynamic Earth.
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As we made the short walk from our train at Edinburgh Waverley station toward Dynamic Earth, the girls chatted about what they could remember from our last visit several years ago.
Now 9 and 7 the girls were the perfect age to really enjoy and appreciate Dynamic Earth, which with its canopy structure looks very similar in appearance to the O2 Arena in London.
If the iconic building and location of Dynamic Earth isn’t impressive enough, situated at the bottom of the historic Royal Mile and in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat -Edinburgh’s very own extinct volcano, it’s also the only attraction of its kind in the UK that is dedicated to telling the story of planet Earth.
There are 14 sections to explore in this self-guided experience, which takes you on a journey through 13.8 billion years of Earth’s history.
Before stepping back in time we were introduced to the time lords, cue James Hutton, one of Scotland’s greatest scientists who lived in the 1700s.
As the father of modern geology, he discovered that Earth is millions of years old and continues to change.
Through lots of hands on exhibits, including a giant floating globe, we all learnt about tectonic plates and how Earth has changed over the years.
With this knowledge we were ready to follow in the footsteps of James Hutton to understand the story of Planet Earth on our journey back through time.
The look of excitement and anticipation on the girls’ faces as we stepped inside the time machine was priceless.
After travelling speedily back millions of years we stepped out of our capsule onto what looked like a bridge of a spaceship to see the start of the big bang – watching stars form and explode all around us.
Next up, we saw the formation of Earth with volcanoes spewing lava in front of us.
As we stood watching this amazing spectacular the ground started shaking beneath us, as we experienced an earthquake beneath our feet.
It’s this clever use of technology that made Dynamic Earth very educational but also fun to visit.
After surviving our earthquake experience we learnt about glaciers before understanding what the last 4 billion years of life was like on Earth.
What made this section so interesting especially for the girls was the time travelling virtual reality assistant that was ready to answer any of their questions – and there were many, starting with the bubbling swamp.
This use of technology coupled with interactive touch screens and demonstrations from the knowledgeable staff members really helped us all imagine what life would have been like on Earth thousands of years ago.
When we came across the giant sabre tooth tiger, one of the many creatures that would have roamed Scotland, the great photo opportunity was too hard for us to resist.
But this was just the start. We travelled through a yellow submarine learning about the oceans before reaching the arctic zone. Here you could literally feel the cold as we all got to touch a giant iceberg. Of course we couldn’t resist.
Our highlight was the 4D simulator, soaring above the Earth and across its various biomes from deserts and rainforests before we crash landed in the snow.
What made this 4D experience so much fun was that in the snow the first few rows of the theatre which is where we were sitting were sprayed with faux snow – the girls thought it was hilarious.
Leaving the theatre we ended our 90 minute journey in a tropical rainforest, complete with animatronic crocodiles, snakes and simulated thunderstorms.
The Dynamic Earth experience certainly fired up all of our knowledge of science and geology in a fun and engaging way.
Before we left to explore Edinburgh, we took in one of the 360 degree shows in the planetarium learning about Super volcanoes.
Narrated by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, this immersive experience really brought us into the action and after the 20 minute show we left questioning whether a super volcano such as the one at Yellowstone national park in the USA could erupt in our time.
Ocean Commotions Soft Play next to the gift shop was too hard to resist for the girls. With imaginative lighting and atmospheric sounds of ocean waves it was a fun way for the girls to finish their fascinating visit to Dynamic Earth.
We had a really fun day out during our visit to Dynamic Earth. It’s a great all-weather attraction with something for everyone and well worth visiting when in Edinburgh. We never heard the dreaded words ‘I’m bored’ from the kids during our visit as there was so much to keep them entertained.
For the latest ticket prices, opening hours and more information please visit the Dynamic Earth website.
We were guests of Our Dynamic Earth for the purposes of this review, but all views and opinions are our own.