Vicky Comerford Photographer Kilkenny

‘Jurassic Newpark’ will feature an interactive walk-through experience with life-sized (robotic) dinosaurs that move and roar.

Breaking!  A real-life Jurassic Park is coming to Kilkenny!  Dinosaurs will once again roam the land as the creative team at the 4-star Newpark Hotel, which is located on 25 acres of parkland and known as one of Ireland’s top family break destinations, is creating a prehistoric habitat called ‘Jurassic Newpark’.  

The Park, which will open to visitors at the end of July, will be home to a number of lifesize dinosaur species, which have been extinct for over 66 million years, including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor, and dinosaur eggs, making it a dino-mite experience for any Dinosaur fan!

Hotel guests booked in for the coming weeks may even get a sneak peek at some of the Jurassic Newpark dinosaur discovery as they enjoy the existing wildlife farm and fairy trail.  

Sharing the news of their secret dinosaur breeding programme to bring giant prehistoric reptiles back to Kilkenny, General Manager of Newpark Hotel Paul Beehan jokingly said “I am delighted to announce our successful venture into paleo genetic engineering, a little skill we picked up during lockdown.  We’ve been busy harnessing dinosaur DNA from local ‘black and amber’ fossils to create a new dinosaur park in Ireland!

 “The Newpark Hotel family loves to offer our guests amazing and unique experiences, so we can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they have the unique opportunity to see dinosaurs up close that move and roar! So far everything is going really well since they arrived on site – no raptors have escaped into the kitchen and the T-rex hasn’t swallowed any of our staff.”

Newpark Hotel is creating a safe and secure habitat for the dinosaurs and an interactive walk-through experience for visitors, which will officially open from August.  The space will be similar to the paddocks depicted in the Jurassic Park movies (but without the escaping dinosaurs or ensuing carnage). It will feature ‘electric fenced in enclosures’ for the carnivorous predators including the fearsome ‘king of the dinosaurs’ Tyrannosaurus Rex and the dangerous and yet fascinating Velociraptor, with its signature curved claw on each toe for pinning prey! There will also be large fenced in open paddocks for the plant eating herbivores including the distinctive three horned Triceratops, armoured Stegosaurus with plates along its spine, and the long necked majestic Brachiosaurus. These paddocks will be linked with accessible trails, with fantastic photo ops along the way and Park Rangers who will give informative talks about the different dinosaurs. 

The tagline for Jurassic Newpark is ‘not just a walk in the park’ and that is certainly apt as designing habitats to display ‘live’ dinosaurs is no small undertaking. Preparations for the launch of this new dino themed attraction include reallocation of space in the hotel grounds, major landscaping work, and extensive planting to create a lush natural habitat with an authentic prehistoric feel. This project involves a financial investment of in excess of €250,000 and will create 10 new jobs.  Roles will include ‘Jurassic Newpark’ rangers, maintenance workers, landscaping, gardening, café and gift shop employees and additional hospitality roles within the hotel. 

Newpark Hotel is a 4-star family run establishment in Kilkenny, part of the Flynn Hotel Collection. Renowned as one of Ireland’s leading family destinations, the hotel provides the ideal base from which to explore the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny, just a 10-minute stroll away. The long-term vision and commitment from the hotel’s owners the Flynn family, together with the management team, is to constantly innovate, while maintaining a sustainable focus.

The stylish hotel offers spacious deluxe family rooms perfect for two adults and two children, while the luxury superior rooms cater for families with three children. There are also interconnecting rooms for larger families or those with older kids looking for more independence.

There’s a plethora of existing family friendly amenities on-site, which include a wildlife farm, fairy trail, adventure playground, go kart track, attended swimming pool, and the Krazy Kats Kids Club with entertains younger guests with activities like yoga sessions, build a bear, movie nights with milk and cookies, and much more!

Set on 25 acres of landscaped gardens & parkland, Newpark Hotel is already a resort like destination with so many on site attractions meaning you don’t have to leave the hotel unless you want to! A highlight of any stay at the Newpark Hotel is a visit to the mini wildlife farm where you can make friends with llamas, alpacas, emus, highland cattle, goats, sheep, ducks, guinea fowl enjoy ‘feeding time’ on the farm, and much more. Enclosures can be visited from 10am- 6.30pm daily and is free for hotel residents who can conveniently access the park with their hotel key card!

For thrill seekers the new Dinosaur Park is sure to be a major attraction but already the lush grounds feature a tree-top adventure playground with a zip line to whizz across and Little Rascal’s Go Carting, which are both sure to set hearts racing.  There’s also a 2.5km nature walk around the Newpark Hotel Fen nature reserve, which is an ideal way to burn off some energy! Or why not stir your family’s imagination with a visit to the hotel’s very own fairy trail. Children and young at heart adults will be mesmerised by the fairy houses, wishing well and the chance to post a letter to the fairies! 

Of course, if the weather calls for indoor entertainment there is plenty of options including “The Zone” indoor games room and a separate wobblers and toddlers ‘Under the Sea’ sensory playroom (for younger kids) or a family trip to the supervised swimming pool located within the Escape Health Club and Spa at the hotel. 

One of the major challenges for parents when thinking about a family break is how to balance family fun with self-care and relaxation.  This is where the Newpark Hotel Kids Club comes in!  The Krazy Kats Kid’s Club is fully supervised and secure and suitable for children aged between 4 and 12 years. The Kids Club runs daily during school holidays, and every other weekend throughout the year. Time slots are from 10am to 4pm in the day or between 7pm and 10.30pm in the evening. Grown-ups can then have the freedom to enjoy the leisure facilities, book a spa treatment, or experience live music in the lobby by night.

Best of all, the experienced kids club team keep the youngsters so busy they won’t have time to miss you with activities including trips to the playground and petting farm, kids’ yoga, arts and craft, musical activities, movie nights with milk and cookies, science experiments and build a bear!

Newpark Hotel Kilkenny offers a unique memory making getaway for families, with something to suit everyone’s interest and needs. Family Breaks for two adults and two children staying in a classic room start from €648* for two nights B&B with 1 evening meal. 3 or 4-night stays are also available.

For more visit NewparkHotelhotelkilkenny.com or jurassicnewpark.com or stay tuned to social media #NextStopNewpark Hotel #NobodyDoesItLikeNewpark Hotel #JurassicNewpark.

Article c/o

Niamh Murphy, Managing Director ETC  The Events, Tourism & Communications Agency p: 087 0617705 w: www.e-t-c.ie

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