REVIEW – Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh


Picture courtesy of venue

Our Dynamic Earth is declared a hit by our mini-spotlight members

Last week, we took two mini-spotlight members aged 7 and 12 to Our Dynamic Earth.

TORRENTIAL rainfall, giant blocks of ice and frozen wasteland… no, not the Scottish summer we’ve just had, but some of the experiences you will encounter on a visit to Edinburgh’s excellent Our Dynamic Earth (ODE).

The eye-catching landmark which sits in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat is a hive of family entertainment, and attempting to stop the kids muttering the dreaded words ‘I’m bored’, we headed there to see what’s on offer this summer. Glad to report that it is definitely a boredom-free zone.

We arrived to find one of the thrice-daily dinosaur shows in full swing in the main, where ‘Tiny’ the 125 million-year-old Stegosaurus had a gathering of children captivated with a display that demonstrated how these creatures behaved when they roamed the earth and what became of them. It was funny and informative and is a welcome addition to the main exhibition areas.

Also on the go at ODE this summer is a science show – three times a day – which like the dinosaur display, encourages audience participation, and that too had everyone hooked – especially when volunteers were encased in a life-sized bubble.

Polar Gallery

On to the main attractions then…

The journey literally begins with a bang – the big bang – and after being transported back a 15,000 million years by ODE’s very own time machine, the creation of Planet Earth and how it evolved is explained, accompanied by special effects. How the continents and oceans took shape – powered by natural forces to give us our landscape we know today is explained in an easy-to-understand manner for the children (and while it may feel like 15,000 million years since I was at school, it also acted as a good refresher course for this adult!)

One of the best thing for me about the experience is that your journey does not feel hurried. The enthusiastic ODE staff add their own narrative, then let you take your time to work your way through the exhibition areas – including a collection of winners and losers in the battle for survival through the ages (the Sabre-tooth tiger offers a popular photo opportunity to stick your head within the giant jaws!), and even the bubbling swamp that spawned the tinier life-forms is weirdly fascinating. The ‘Polar Extremes’ feature is a favourite – and I defy anyone to resist touching the giant iceberg, which dominated the cavern-like viewing area.

Time to warm up, and the perfect way to do it is the adventure. Won’t reveal what goes on, as I don’t want to spoil it, but it was fantastic – a ride through the extreme climates the world has to offer, And believe me it IS 4D – a true test of all the senses!

After winding up in the tropical rainforest, we then enjoyed a spot of lunch in the bright cafe area and headed into the Showdome to see the ODE films which rounded off a brilliant visit… well, almost, there was still the gift shop to pass on the way out.


Our Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh EH8 8AS

Telephone 0131 550 7800

Opening hours

July & August 10.00 to 18.00 daily (Last entry 1 hour 30 mins before closing)

April to October 10.00 to 17.30 daily (Last entry 1 hour 30 mins before closing)

November to March 10.00 to 17.30 Wed – Sun (Closed Mon & Tues)  (Last entry 1 hour 30 mins before closing)

You can also follow them on twitter @ourdynamicearth and find them on Facebook.

Suitable for disabled?

Yes, the entire building is accessible.

Picture courtesy of venue

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