MY father was a geography teacher, obsessed by weather and geology, so many a family holiday would be filled with tales of U-shaped valleys and glaciers.
So although, sadly, he’s no longer around, he would have heartily approved of this particular family outing to Dynamic Earth.
We are here primarily to watch the new-for-summer, 360-degree, Showdome films, however, it’s been so long since we last visited, that we needed to reacquaint ourselves with the whole place. The tour begins with a room exploring the earth’s geography today. The girls’ favourite part is jumping on a gizmo that measures their own seismic activity compared to earthquakes around the world. Causing destruction and devastation wherever they go is something my two are pretty successful at. Next we travel back in time to witness the Big Bang before learning about the volcanic activity and glaciers that shaped the world.
Evolution is explored in the fossil gallery, complete with a simulated primordial soup from which life itself emerged. Models abound, demonstrating how different species have evolved. The girls loved peering at the plastic brain in a jar, illuminated by fluorescent lighting.
Next we headed to the polar zone to learn about ice floes before taking a seat to experience a “4D” bio habitat tour. With 3D glasses perched on our noses we are whisked off around the world in a space pod. Although the 3D special effects were highly impressive, look out for the surprise 4D element.
In the rainforest area the tour highlights different life forms and where they live within the jungle eco system. The girls really enjoyed this and it gave them a sense of what a real rainforest canopy must be like.
Then we headed into the Showdome for the first performance. This is all about natural selection based on Charles Darwin’s life and discoveries. You are transported to a 3D world as you whizz off over countryside scenes to meet Darwin. It’s like being in a fairytale; you board the ship HMS Beagle, before zooming around the farthest corners of the world to experience some of Darwin’s most exciting adventures.
It’s a simple approach to storytelling, but I confess for the first time I realised what a voyage our Mr Darwin had undertaken. It was this formative journey that allowed him to work out his theory on natural selection, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The second film takes us on a journey from the sun, visiting all the planets in our solar system. We learn about everything from weather systems, to acid storms and methane lakes. However, I advise spacing out your Showdome film experiences; Hope and Graham had a wee snooze during the second session. Well, navigating the globe and the solar system can be exhausting.
• Adult tickets cost £11.50, children aged between three-15 cost £7.50, concession tickets cost £9.75, with no charge for under threes. Price is for normal entrance plus one dome show, but if you want to see both shows, then there is an extra charge of £1.25 for adults, 77p for children and £1 for concessions. Annual Explorer Passes are also available, see www.dynamicearth.co.uk for more info.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west