Posted by: nhfalcon | June 21, 2010

Mesozoic Monday

Yesterday I took Little Man and Cookiemaker to the DCU Center in Worcester (pronounced “wuss-tah“, for the uninitiated out there), MA to see Walking With Dinosaurs – the Arena Spectacular.

Was it spectacular? Yes, it was. This show features fifteen life-size animatronic / puppet dinsaurs in action over a roughly hour-and-a-half (including a 15 – 20 minute intermission) presentation as a real-life human “paleontologist” narrarates the action.

The downside? Little Man was only able to handle about twenty-five minutes of it before he got scared, broke down crying, and begged to go home.

Yes, the dinosaurs were life-size, and some of them were predators, and it got pretty loud in spots, but should I be worried that a five-and-a-half year old boy gets reduced to unrecoverable tears that easily?

Anyway, Cookiemaker took him out into the lobby to calm him down while I watched the rest of the show.

Am I a horrible father / husband for doing that? To make the two of them wait a little over an hour while I enjoyed myself? Maybe, but I look at it this way: between tickets, car rental, gas, breakfast and lunch, we spent almost $400 for this little extravaganza. Between the trip there and the trip home, we spent five to six hours travelling. I was NOT wasting that much money and that much time for only twenty-five minutes worth of entertainment! So, if I’m a jerk, well, then, I’m a jerk.

Besides, Cookiemaker did eventually get Little Man calmed down enough to get him to peek in a few times toward the end of the show to see a little more of it.

The arena floor a few minutes before the show began.

“Huxley,” our narrator. In a video clip below you’ll see him on the floor with  a couple of dinos, just to give you an idea of the scale involved here.


Liliensternus, a Triassic predator.

Allosaurus, the Jurassic version of T-Rex, hunting Stegosaurus.

Allosaurus and Stegosaurus square off.

A. v. S., Pt II.

“Huxley” with a juvenille Brachiosaurus and an adult Allosaurus gives you some idea of the size of these things.

Those were the only pics and vids I could get before the arena’s security folks asked me to stop. It’s a shame, because I could have gotten some great shots of the adult Brachiosaurus, Torosaurus, and T-Rex.

In the end, I would highly recommend this production – just keep in mind that the little folk might get freaked out.



  1. No, I don’t think that makes you a jerk. If it had been just the two of you and you’d made him “suck it up,” that would have been pretty jerkish. 🙂

    My older boy doesn’t do well with IMAX.

  2. HSH crawled into my lap during the final fight scene in How to Train Your Dragon.

    And sometimes Mom is better for calming, anyway. I’d have likely done the same.

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