Jurassic Kingdom will bring dinosaurs back to life in Sheffield park this summer

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The thought that fearsome dinosaurs may once have roamed around what is now Norfolk Heritage Park in Sheffield is certainly a compelling one.

And when the team behind Jurassic Kingdom spotted the site, they knew it was the perfect fit for a large-scale interactive exhibition they are holding there this summer.

How the tyrannosaurus rex will look in Sheffield. Picture: Weli Creative

How the tyrannosaurus rex will look in Sheffield. Picture: Weli Creative

"They saw the layout and the greenery and decided it looked like the natural habitat of dinosaurs," said Richard Eyre, Sheffield Council's head of major events. "I am sure everyone who comes to this exhibition will agree."

More than 30 realistic animatronic models of creatures from prehistory will be on show in the park just outside the city centre for two weeks from May 26 to June 10. The only outdoor experience of its kind, Jurassic Kingdom features an 18 metre high replica of a tyrannosaurus rex that 'roars', as well as a lifelike diplodocus 16 metres in length.

The aim, according to organisers, is to offer an adventure both exciting and instructive. Visitors will learn about extinct animals alive in the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous periods, from triceratops to flying reptiles like pterosaurs. Children can also try their hand at archaeology by digging for bones in an excavation area before being shown what dinosaur life was like in a teaching marquee.

Naz Kabir, event director at Weli Creative, which runs the touring exhibition, said: “As well as experiencing the thrill of being in the midst of these impressive and incredibly lifelike creatures, visitors can also learn about how dinosaurs lived, millions of years ago. It’s a unique chance for families and school visitors to enjoy an entertaining and educational day out, and get some truly unforgettable photos along the way, too."

Visitors can get close to the animatronic dinosaur models. Picture: Weli Creative

Visitors can get close to the animatronic dinosaur models. Picture: Weli Creative

The show is presently in Edinburgh, and is also going to Cardiff, Nottingham and Rotterdam this year. Those booking tickets for Sheffield online are confronted by a fantastical image of a diplodocus in the Peace Gardens.

Mr Eyre said it was 'quite fitting' that Norfolk Heritage Park had been picked. It is part of a former deer park associated with the Sheffield Manor estate, and is one of the city's oldest green spaces.

"We expect this unique event will be very popular and draw visitors to the area from near and far," he said. "It will be quite surreal to see life-size dinosaurs in Norfolk Park this summer."

Food and drink will be sold on site, as well as merchandise. Opening hours are 10am to 6pm, apart from June 4, 5 and 6, when the event is closed. Prices start from £11.50 for adults and £9.50 for children, plus fees. Advance family tickets are £38. Visit www.jurassickingdom.uk to book.