Sandbox Adventure List 25: Time Travel Without 1.21 Gigawatts

13 Jan

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.


We started our Land of The Lost Adventure with the big dog ... T.Rex himself.

We started our Land of The Lost Adventure with the big dog … T.Rex himself.


Checking out their favorite exhibit.

Checking out their favorite exhibit, before experiencing the dinos up close and personal.


The little dinos with fierce roars caught our attention.

The little dinos with fierce roars caught our attention.


This one was my favorite :)

This one was my favorite 🙂


This was our final stop on the tour ... a ride on the T.Rex. Both of my kids enjoyed this little adventure the most.

But in the end this was everyone’s favorite … it was our final stop on the tour … a ride on the T.Rex. Both of my kids seemed to enjoy this the most.


11 Responses to “Sandbox Adventure List 25: Time Travel Without 1.21 Gigawatts”

  1. Kathryn McCullough January 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM #

    LOVE the way you set up this post and then came back to the cars at the end. Well done.

    Hope you are doing well, my friend. I have been so busy and not able to keep up with blogging. I do have a new post scheduled for tomorrow, but SO little time to read blogs. I’m sorry to have been absent this week. I tried something new in the creation of this piece, and it ate up way too much time–time as in days. Why do I do this to myself? LOL

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • The Guat January 14, 2014 at 12:27 PM #

      Duuuuuuuuuuude I hear you on the catching up … I’m far behind on my reading too. Time is always running out on me, and I’m a crazy scheduler too. There are just not enough hours. 🙂 But thanks for letting me know when you post that way I can get a handle on it before I write 🙂 And thanks for the compliment, I try to tie things up when I can 🙂

  2. brickhousechick January 14, 2014 at 12:55 PM #

    How awesome is that??? Mama and the baby dinosaurs all enjoyed themselves with no major crisis! This is huge in any parent’s book! Love the pics. 🙂

    • The Guat January 17, 2014 at 4:01 PM #

      It was a dream. I was totally preparing Plans B and C. But I didn’t need them. The coolest part was probably the on-hands explore everything aspect. I think they really liked that 🙂

  3. lameadventures January 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM #

    That looked like a fun exhibit. I can see why it would be a crowd pleaser with the small fry.

    • The Guat January 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM #

      Duuuuude. Very crazy. So glad we went early because as we left in the afternoon we noticed the signs around each parking lot “Dino Exhibit Sold Out.” Dude. I imagine there was a lot of disappointment going around.

      • lameadventures January 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM #

        Glad that disappointment did not trickle down to the Little Guats!

  4. Lindsey (Currie) Dubois January 16, 2014 at 10:30 PM #

    OMG, this took me back to when I was six and I visited a dinosaur exhibit. It was so MAGICAL. The mellow Jack Johnson ambiance on the ride home sounds perfect after such a fun day. 🙂

    • The Guat January 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM #

      Dude it totally mellowed me out for sure after all that kid-and-parent chaos. But even more importantly it chilled out the kids. Jack Johnson is so awesome. Love him.

  5. Island Traveler January 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM #

    One of best thing of having kids is that we get to enter their world of play and magic. Of dinosaurs, Legos, minecraft and many exciting out of this world imagination. As for scary rides, after having an almost panic attack 500 feet above the ground riding a Texas flyer, I tell me my son, “Not again but we can do the smaller rides.” Thanks for trip a great trip to Dino land.

    • The Guat February 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM #

      Dude. That world lets you loosen up a bit, although I’m already pretty goofy as it is, but it does remind me to let the kid out every now and then when parenthood gets too serious. Yeah I’m not ready to take my kid up to 500 feet, I think he’d have a panic attack. I’ll wait till he’s older and stick to the smaller rides like you 🙂

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