Beethoven and the Dinosaurs storytelling concert for under 5s

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beethoven and the Dinosaurs concert review

When I was a young girl, my father decided that he wanted me to develop musical talent. Lucky for him, I wasn’t too bad at it and was able to pick up playing piano quite easily. Unfortunately, I stopped playing piano around the time I was doing my GCSEs because I felt like it was all too overwhelming for me. In hindsight I am a gutted I didn’t carry on but that’s life and my priorities were different to what my dad wanted/expected them to be. To this day however, I still enjoy listening to piano music and admire those who play it.

The Aurora Orchestra at King’s Place

The Aurora Orchestra create interactive, musical storytelling concerts aimed at under 5s. This was something unheard of to me but I thought the chance to exposing my little ones to classical music early on would be a great idea. The only other time the kids got close to hearing classical music was when they were still inside the womb and I’d occasionally put on classic.fm for them to listen to.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beethoven and the Dinosaurs concert review
The Creative Team introducing the audience to Beethoven and the Dinosaurs

The Aurora Orchestra are currently performing their new storytelling concert, Beethoven and the Dinosaurs at King’s Place in Kings Cross and last week, I went along with Little Man. He’s six so older than the recommended age but I didn’t mind and neither did he! The Orchestra will be there until the end of this week then they’ll be back again in February to perform Chopin and the Dragonfly. You can also go on Youtube and have a little look at how the concerts are performed: https://youtu.be/GPjSTd-moZ4

A little bit of participation from the grown-ups is always good fun but the Aurora Orchestra team are really good at retaining the children’s attention. The concert was 45mins long was was definitely long enough. Each musician had their own solo part to play which was lovely; our musician trio was made up of the flute, the cello and the piano.

The following pieces by Beethoven had been specially arranged for the concert:

  • Symphony No. 4
  • Symphony No. 6
  • Bagatelle Op. 33 No. 2
  • Symphony No. 6
  • Diabelli Variations
  • Piano Concerto No. 3
  • Moonlight Sonata pt. 1 & 2
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major
  • Symphony No. 7 (adapted)
  • Piano trio Op. 1 No. 1

All of the children really loved the concert. They were all so attentive, there was only one outburst from a teary child but he soon settled after seeing some more dinosaurs appear. We had moments of dancing and laughter especially towards the end when the storyteller asked the children what dance move could the dinosaurs do and a little girl shouted out “pooing” it was refreshing to see the storyteller going along with it. 🙂

The concert is on show from December 1-8 so don’t miss out on booking your tickets for Sunday if you want to check it out. As it’s in King’s Cross you can make a day out of it with the family by heading over to the British Library. Check their website for timings and prices. A family ticket for 4 (2 adults 2 kids, or 1 adult 3 kids) cost just £23.50 which is great value.

I am really looking forward to the next concert, Chopin and the Dragonfly (in February) so I can take Little Miss with me to experience the concert. I think it’s brilliant how they can weave these classical pieces into stories and make it fun and immersive for the children. We’ll be going on a weekday as I’m at work on the weekends but hopefully that should mean less crowds for us to battle on our commute!


About: Far, Far Away series

Far, Far Away is Aurora Orchestra’s series of immersive storytelling concerts for young children aged 0–5 and their families. These interactive musical adventures bring to life music by a particular composer or style of music, weaving together live performance, an original story by critically-acclaimed poet Kate Wakeling (Aurora Writer-in-Residence), and a set design built around the audience and musicians. Audiences are invited to step inside each story through guided listening, singing, dancing, holding props and much more, becoming immersed in a magical world of music, language, discovery and play. Some past Far, Far Away productions have been Beethoven and the Dinosaurs, Tchaikovsky and the Marvellous Kingdom, and Bach and the Noisy Night-time.

https://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on/family/aurora-orchestra-far-far-away-11/


NB. We were kindly given complimentary tickets to see Beethoven and the Dinosaurs concert for the purpose of this blog post review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.

Review: Dinosaurs In The Wild at The O2 Greenwich Peninsula was an amazing experience!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Dinosaurs in the wild review

At the beginning of the Easter Holiday, LO and I decided to go all out this Easter. We wanted to do something different; we had a mini Easter Egg hunt at home with Daddy P and LO’s cousin Lils and ate lots of delicious chocolates. I had been looking at tickets for Dinosaurs in the Wild at The O2 Peninsula area after seeing all the promo flags for the experience around the area. I checked it out online and it looked very promising but slightly pricey. I found cheaper tickets online via a website called Little Bird. They’re family friendly website with discount codes and offers for hundreds, if not thousands, of different family events in the UK.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Dinosaurs in the Wild Review

Easter Sunday

On the morning of Easter Sunday, LO and I headed out to Intercontinental at The O2 for a family egg hunt hosted by the hotel. We were allowed access to search the corridors and rooms of the hotel on the ground, first and second floor. We searched everywhere but had no luck until we decided to be brave and head on a detour to a quiet area in the hotel and found an Easter egg nest in the corner of hallway on the second floor. We were so happy! 🙂

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Our chocolate entitled us to a prize – a hot chocolate at the hotel’s ground floor restaurant. I was allowed to have a complimentary hot chocolate (thanks to the Guest Relations Team) as a blogger perk for coming out that morning. 🙂 The Lindt hot chocolate was incredibly rich but very tasty. The chocolate egg was just as tasty – LO tucked into it as we made our way to Dinosaurs in the Wild.

Dinosaurs in the wild experience

I had only taken glances online at what to expect at Dinosaurs in the Wild and all I can say from hindsight is WOW! I really didn’t expect such a realistic, immersive experience. You can read on their website what to expect from the experience but nothing can really prepare you for the experience. It’s incredibly well-thought, totally interactive and super immersive – so much that at times, it feels almost like real-life. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Dinosaurs in the wild review

We travelled back in time to the late cretaceous period (67 million years ago) in a time machine called the X90 Transfer Pod, designed by the team at Chronotex. It was super-fast and before we knew it, in a matter of seconds our Transfer Pod had converted into a land buggy. The buggy opened its shutters and we were met with a Triceratops knocking against our screen. Our Chronotex guide safely drove us away from the nuisance creature and on a short ride to TimeBase 67. On the way we also saw a couple of Tyrannosaurus Rex, some huge Alamosaurus and other dinosaurs.

Once we arrived at TimeBase 67, another guide showed us around their working lab – we looked at a pumping Alamosaurus heart, played with some dino-poop and checked out other cool dinosaur body parts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Dinosaurs in the wild review
T Rex claw
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Dinosaurs in the Wild review
Bloods taken from dinosaurs

After the lab, we entered the autopsy room and witnessed one of the doctors completing an autopsy on a Pachycephalosaurus. It wasn’t a gory sight but LO was a little freaked out with the autopsy and asked “mummy, what is he doing to it?” and looked pretty scared. I explained what an autopsy was but he was very quiet during this part of the experience. This is probably why the experience is recommended for children aged 5+. After this we saw the dinosaur hatchery which was simply amazing. One of the Chronotex team took a Dakotaraptor egg away then brought it back and out came a furry little raptor – it was amazing to see the team interacting with the audience this way. It made it that little more realistic for everyone, including me.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Dinosaurs in the wild Review
The Chronotex Hatchery.. triceratops eggs with a hatchling

After we were shown around the different levels at TimeBase 67, we were brought upstairs to the lookout tower where we had a 360-view of the surroundings. It was amazing. We saw Triceratops, Alamosaurus, Dakotaraptors, and two naughty Tyrannosaurus Rex who started causing trouble and a code-red alert was raised. We had to evacuate the lookout and head down underground. The sudden evacuation felt so real, other parents including myself felt a little anxious and unknowing of what was going to happen next. I happily played along but poor LO thought it was the real thing… I didn’t tell him it wasn’t until much later. 🙂 We had to run underground into a bunker and wait for a member of the Chronotex team to look for a back-up shuttle to take us back to the present time.

As we were ushered into the back-up machine, everyone held onto the rails for dear life – LO looked up scared and said to me “mummy I’m scared, I want to go home”… my heart sank a little at his response and had to tell him not to worry and that it’s not real. Although I left it for too long – he didn’t believe me – soon before I knew it, he started crying. Our time machine took us back to 2018 and opened the doors to the exit which was the souvenir shop. LO burst out in more tears and I wasn’t really sure if they were tears of fear, relief or being overwhelmed (maybe it was all three!)… it was a fantastic experience!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Dinosaurs in the wild Review
LO at Dinosaurs In The Wild with his Dakotaraptor toy

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Dinosaurs in the wild Review

I just wanted to do it all again! We stopped at the shop to take some photos and I bought LO a Dakotaraptor figurine. The toy didn’t last long, he took it to a barbecue with his nan the next day and some kids at the party broke the legs… £20.00 wasted! I would highly recommend any dino-loving family to go and experience Dinosaurs In The Wild but book in advance for a better deal on the price.

There’s lots of Dinosaurs in the Wild reviews you can check out – if you want a real spoiler of the full experience, there’s a Youtube video you can watch from The Dad Lab:

Watching the video is cool but not cooler than experiencing the real thing. As cliché as that sounds, it’s really true… we’re going back on Father’s Day with Daddy P. 🙂


NB. We received a complimentary adult and child ticket for our Dinosaurs in the wild experience in exchange for this review. All words, opinions and photos are my own and the links in this post are not affiliated.