I didn’t have a DeLorean or 1.21 Gigawatts, but I managed to travel through time into The Land of the Lost and walk among the dinosaurs.
He wanted a time-machine Dinosaur Train Time Tunnel experience and this was the best I could do: Discover the Dinosaurs Exhibit at the convention center downtown. He enjoyed the life-sized dinosaur replicas of the Cretaceous Time Period and my daughter enjoyed practicing her terrible roars and trying to scare the dinosaurs. At the end of the day it turned out to be a good adventure, but in truth I prepared myself for the worst. The worst.
It was downtown, a place with one-way streets where drivers were crazy, parking costs 20 dollars, and crowds were sure to be massive. Massive and filled with other people’s kids who were probably going to throw tantrums and be jackasses and I so didn’t want to be in that environment, but it’s always a risk you take when going to events like these.
So … I prepared for the worst, but was pleasantly surprised when disaster didn’t strike among the hundreds of families in attendance. In fact I only saw one tantrum and that happened because a parent tried to capture a Kodak moment near the Brachiosaurus and her kid wasn’t in the mood to be caught on film. At that point I was grateful for the attitude-free afternoon and the pictures I had already taken. I think they were in a good mood because the exhibit was a hands-on experience and they were able to explore and pet the life-sized animatronic statues and they did not hear the “don’t touch the dinosaur, we’ll get in trouble” speech that they often hear from me at the Natural History Museum.
The only downside to the Land of the Lost adventure was the inflatable jumper area. They had about six jumbo-sized jumpers with at least an hour-long wait for each one.
I had to prepare my kids for the “we’re-not-going-to-able-to-get-on-this-thing” speech, something that every parent dreads for fear having that a blowout may play out in front of hundreds or people. But they seemed to take it pretty well. I think it had to do with the shorter line at the T-Rex ride, sort of like a mechanical bull for kids.
By the time we finished, they were tired of the crowds, ready for peanut butter sandwiches, and wanting the Jack Johnson ambience of our car ride home. Pretend time travel is pretty exhausting, even without time tunnels, 1.21 Gigawatts, or DeLoreans we were still able to travel to faraway places in my Dad’s Toyota.