Visiting Dynamic Earth Edinburgh with kids | A review

*This is a collaborative post

Dynamic Earth is just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and a fantastic indoor attraction to visit with the kids. I would suggest that children aged 5-12 years are best suited to enjoy Dynamic Earth but all ages will get something from the day. The attraction features lots of hands-on experiences and interactive display and mainly focuses on the geology of our planet, nature and life on earth. 

Visiting Dynamic Earth Edinburgh with kids | A review

You can buy tickets on the door but I'd advise buying in advance as you'll receive a 10% discount. As Dynamic Earth is all undercover you don't have to worry about the weather spoiling plans so there's no reason not to. Online tickets are priced at £13.50 per adult and £8.55 per child which I think offers good value. 

There is on-site underground parking which although isn't cheap, is reasonably priced for Edinburgh city centre. We travelled via car after glamping at nearby Dundas Castle but after navigating city centre traffic, I'd advise trying to use public transport or walking where possible.

We arrived at Dynamic Earth at around 11am and unfortunately, we didn't get off to a good start. Although it was half term back in England, it was still term time in Scotland and there were 4 separate school trips booked in. It was SO busy with kids and very noisy. We headed down to the time machine where you begin your experience where a helpful member of staff advised us we'd be better off waiting 40 minutes and allowing the schools to go first. He suggested we headed up to the cafe until the groups had been cleared. I don't blame Dynamic Earth for this as they are a fantastic resource for schools however I wasn't keen on being delayed when we were already pushed for time so if this is going to be an issue for you, I'd probably recommend giving Dynamic Earth a quick call to check if there are any group bookings planned around the time of your visit. The coffee in the cafe was good so that kind of made up for it.

In the first part of the experience, we learned all about tectonic plates and how they have shifted over time using this very visual moving model of the globe. It was pretty cool and we all enjoyed learning how the world has changed over the years. Before long though, it was time for us to step into the time machine and as a family of huge Doctor Who fans, this is something we were all really excited about.

The time machine was so fun and as the doors opened on the other side we found ourselves in the heart of a volcano. Staff were on hand to explain what was happening and the floor actually moved below us as we watched the volcano erupt in front of us using video and visual effects. It sounds scary but it actually wasn't and we all thought it was a really fun way to learn how volcanoes work.

We survived the volcano and were taken into a room where we watched an impressive film which educated us about how glaciers form mountains and valleys. This was really informative and I think it's fair to say we all learned something. Next, it's a free flow area where you can learn about some of the animals that have lived on our planet through the ages. This area was packed with school children but as there was lots of hands on fun and mini facts dotted about the room, everyone was well spaced out so this wasn't an issue.

We wandered into the arctic zone which was super cool and we learned all about the animals that live here and the conditions they face.

I don't have any photographs beyond this point as it was too busy to capture anything without a random child stepping into shot but it's safe to say the best bits of Dynamic Earth are left until last.

First up, we entered a fantastic 4D cinema (although the 4D wasn't working so I guess it was 2D) and we travelled through earth's various climates from tropical rainforests to the dessert and even snow. We ended up being sprayed with fake snow as we 'crash landed' which the kids loved. This movie was fun for the kids and very engaging too. We landed in a rainforest and as we left the 4D cinema we walked into a mock up of a rainforest. It was fairly noisy so sometimes we struggled to hear the guide but we just edged a little closer and it was fine. Our explorer guide pointed out parts of the rainforest to us and (faux) crocodiles, gorillas, snakes and parrots moved around in front of us as he entertained us with various rainforest facts and humour. At the end we were able to watch a real life tropical rain shower in action which again was super impressive.

Our visit ended with a 20 minute show in Dynamic Earth's planetarium. There are various shows throughout the day and our visit coincided with a film featuring everything an astronaut needs to go through before they can head into space. We really enjoyed this part of our visit and I think it's something a little different to the standard planetarium shows you normally see in attractions like this. We lay back and for 20 minutes we marvelled at the astronauts above our heads and learned just how extreme space travel really is. Ewan McGregor was the narrator too and the show was both factual and entertaining. I was hoping it would inspire my three to become an astronaut themselves but they all agreed it looked too tough so won't be signing up to astronaut training anytime soon! 

Our visit to Dynamic Earth was worth £52.55. This is around £15 cheaper than a trip to Edinburgh Zoo and £12 cheaper than a trip to Edinburgh Castle so actually one of the more purse-friendly attractions in Edinburgh. We also noticed a fantastic family meal deal in the cafe - £22 for 4 hot meals and 4 drinks. We really enjoyed our trip to Dynamic Earth and spent 3-4 hours here. I love the whole immersive experience and how there were lots of little ways to pick up information rather than feeling overwhelmed. We all left with a much better understanding about geology, conservation and our changing planet and think Dynamic Earth is perfect for inquisitive children aged 5-12 years and their families. 


1 comment

  1. Sounds like a fun, and educational day out. Shame about the school trips but as you say it would be a no brainer for a school to take their kids-must be popular.


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