Visiting Dino Jaws at Life Science Centre Newcastle with Older Children (+ Kids Go Free Offer)

*This is a collaborative post. Please see my disclosure policy for details

This post is from 2017 and although Life Science Centre is still open, this particular exhibition has now closed. (Please check out their website for their current exhibitions and offers).

Watching your children grow up is scary. One minute you are changing their nappy and the next you are sending them off to school. My three seem to be growing up fast and I can't believe that they'll be in years 2, 4 and 6 at school next year. Wow!

One benefit of them growing up though is that you are able to enjoy new experiences together. In the past I have passed up on blogging opportunities if Steve has been at work - trying to take photographs and videos whilst supervising three children is not an easy task!

Jack is a little better behaved now though and Harry and Heidi are both very responsible and now that they're older, I feel confident enough to fly solo and take them on days out that I need to photograph with no other adults around to help.

We have visited Newcastle's Life Science Centre on numerous occasions and it's a place I felt safe enough to venture with the kids by myself. 

We popped by last weekend to review their new Dino Jaws exhibition. As soon as the centre was in view, the kids started talking about a previous exhibition (Animals Inside Out). I'm actually surprised they remembered - it was a while ago and they have been to a lot of museums/science centres since.  It just goes to show that visiting places like this and learning through experience really does work. 

As we've visited Life on numerous occasions in the past, we decided to head to the new Dino Jaws exhibition first. We walked past the experiment zone which is a real favourite of Harry's. We've tried all of the main experiments before (definitely check this area out if you're visiting with older kids) but noticed a table had been set up outside with a few experiments for younger children to try. Despite probably being a little old for this activity, the kids raced over and really could spend hours transferring dyed water by pipettes! 

I had to drag the kids away but eventually managed it and we raced the ramp to the Dino Jaws exhibition.  

Dino Jaws at Life Science Centre Newcastle 

Dino Jaws is open until 8 January 2018 and I would highly recommend a trip if you're a dinosaur-loving family like we are. It's a fantastic exhibition from the Natural History Museum and features life size animatronic heads including a T-Rex! I actually received a shock at just how big they were. Check out a video I created for Go North East below which will give you a quick tour around and an idea of the scale to expect (fast forward to around 2:20 if you'd just like to watch the Dino Jaws exhibition): 

I was more than happy to let H, H and J to run off and explore the exhibition by themselves at their own pace which is what they did. This allowed me to actually have a wander and take in some of the facts too. We frequently re-grouped to share information and the kids dragged me to various areas to show me something new. If your children can read, they'll definitely get a lot from the exhibition. At our school, children learn about dinosaurs in reception and I know that my brother took his one-year-oldd to the exhibition a few weeks ago and they loved it too - there is defiitely something for all ages but I think even more so for older children who can read the information displays and seek out their own facts.  My three have been to quite  few similar exhibitions so weren't at all scared but it might be worth preparing sensitive children and letting them know that there will be big dinosaur models that can move. 

As well as the animatronic models and facts, there's a fair bit of hands-on fun to enjoy too. Again, more for older children than younger I would say. We all really enjoyed testing all of our strength and comparing it to a T Rex jaw (we didn't come close).

The kids found it hilarious that they could trick each other into touching real dinosaur poo! 

Harry tried (and failed) to keep a steady hand just like a Ppaleontologist.....

Plus the kids used touch-screens to play various games such as putting fossils together and digging. These tablets were a little glitchy and weren't as sensitive as the touch screens we have at home so the kids did end up a little frustrated after a while but apart from that, they had a really good time exploring all things dinosaur. 

As we left the Dino Jaws area the kids begged me to let them take a photo of the T-Rex eating my head. Lovely! 

Planetarium & 4D Motion Ride at Life Science Centre Newcastle 

I LOVE visiting Planetariums with the kids and will always factor a visit into one when I can . I just find them so relaxing and it's nice to sit back in a darkened room and enjoy some quiet time when you're on a day out with kids I think. There are various shows throughout the day and they are included with your admission. We decided to watch 'We Are Aliens' which is aimed at ages 5+ and explores the possibility of alien life and our best chances of finding it. We all thought the show was thought-proving and it prompted a lively discussion over lunch about the prospect of alien life. 

Despite visiting Life on many occasions, I have not tried their 4D motion ride. Jack has always been too short (1.2 metre height restriction) so Steve's always just visited with Harry and Heidi whilst I've taken Jack upstairs to the under 7's area. We measured Jack though and he just passed the height restriction which meant we could all head inside together. I didn't know what to expect from the 4D ride - I thought it would be like a simulator if I'm honest but it wasn't anything like that. It was just like a cinema but the chairs actually move. We popped on our 4D glasses and were taken on a thrilling bird chase. It was lots of fun and although it only lasted around 5 minutes, it is included in admission and definitely worth checking out with older kids. Check out our selfie just before the ride started. We are too cool! 

Everything else at Life Science Centre Newcastle 

We enjoyed lunch in the cafe which again,  I would recommend. The prices are very reasonable for a city centre attraction ( I think kids meals are around £4) and you can choose from a selection of cooked meals or kids packed lunches. They serve healthier options such as jacket potatoes and salad too. After lunch we headed into the explorer's zone where I was able to grab a seat and catch up on work emails as the kids did their thing testing out cool experiments. 

There is a fantastic under 7's zone upstairs which my three absolutely adored when they were younger. They are probably a little old now. There's also a cool science theatre which features various shows throughout the day that generally involves real life experiments by experts.

So....all was going well until H, H and J discovered an experiment featuring a beach ball and a wind machine and it all went downhill from there. They'd been as good as gold all day but after 30 seconds this lovely scene descended into chaos as they refused to take turns and started punching the ball away when the others were having a turn. Ah! I love my children dearly but when they start acting like this in public it really makes me upset. They wouldn't stop fighting and arguing with each other no matter how much I tried to stop them so our day was cut short as I marched them outside to sort them out. Kids eh! (it's worth noting that if this happens to you, you can come and go all day with your ticket).

Summer Offers at Life Science Centre

  • KIDS GO FREE: If you travel to Life Science Centre via public transport (bus, metro, train or coach), show your ticket and one child will go free per every paying adult. Ticket must be valid for that day and t&c's apply (see here). Life Science Centre is very well located to Newcastle's train station and not far to walk from the bus station (we travelled with Go North East). 
  • Print out this voucher to receive a 10% discount from the Times Square Cafe

Let me know if you've visited Dino Jaws yet or if you fancy it this summer. 



  1. It's always such a fun day out at Life! Imogen loved all the science experimenting on our last visit. will have to pay a visit while dino jaws exhibition is on.

  2. The photo of you with the dinosaur is so funny :) I might take Dinky along, although I'm not sure how scary it might be for her!


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