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Rochdale to go dino mad as huge Dippy events programme is unveiled

03 January 2020

Lego artist Warren Elsmore with a giant dinosaur Lego model and young children.

A jam packed programme of roarsome dinosaur inspired activities has been unveiled as Rochdale gears up to welcome Dippy the dinosaur to the borough in February 2020.

The Natural History Museum's famous dinosaur cast, Dippy, left the museum for the first time in 2017 to embark on a national tour and Rochdale has been selected as one of his stops.

Rochdale, which is the only North West stop on the tour, will play host to the famous dinosaur from 10 February - 28 June 2020 at Number One Riverside, with an accompanying Dippy exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale. It's free to see Dippy and visit the Dippy exhibition.

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure, is being brought to Number One Riverside and visitors across the UK by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation, and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill. And the council and Link4Life, who are organising Dippy's stay in Rochdale, are determined to make it an experience to remember, with the accompanying events programme featuring everything from a giant Diplodocus Lego build to a dino inspired Halle orchestra performance.

More than 20 events and activities will be on offer throughout Dippy's stay. Highlights include a dino Lego build, which will see Lego artist Warren Elsmore come to Number One Riverside to build a giant Diplodocus out of Lego bricks, with the help of children and families.

The Halle Dinosaurumpus family concert will see the world famous orchestra perform at Middleton Arena with dinosaur explorer Tomas O'Redmond in a special show.

Over at Touchstones Rochdale, visitors can explore an exciting and ambitious Dippy Exhibition which will be filled with interactives and hands on displays. There will be an opportunity to learn more about the Diplodocus and other dinosaurs and get up close to some fossilised bones including teeth, eggs and even dinosaur poo in the dinosaur gallery.

In the swampland gallery, people will travel back in time to see what Rochdale would have been like 300 million years ago, before heading to the 'Our Changing Planet' gallery to look at how we can all work together to make a difference to protect the future of our planet.

And children can get even more hands on with an opportunity to meet mini beasts like spiders and scorpions at a special session at Touchstones Rochdale, one of many activities which will take place there during Dippy's stay.

Those who prefer getting active can get involved energetic pursuits like the Dino Dash at Rochdale Leisure Centre and building boats on Hollingworth Lake.

The borough's 17 libraries are also getting in on the dinosaur act, with events including Ahhhhh Dinosaur – a fun and interactive poetry show by award winning poet Dominic Berry from CBeebies.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for culture, neighbourhoods and community at Rochdale Borough Council, with responsibility for Link4Life, said: "We want everyone's visit to see Dippy to be just the start of their journey to lots more natural history adventures. That's why we've put on a huge range of fantastic events to create a festival atmosphere which will keep visitors entertained for the duration of his stay and hopefully spark a lifelong love of the natural world in our young people."

Dippy on Tour has proved a record breaker, with over 1.5 million people visiting the much-loved dinosaur at his tour stops so far; Dorset, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle and Cardiff. Rochdale will be the penultimate stop, before the tour finishes at Norwich Cathedral in October 2020.

A 16 page guide to Dippy events in Rochdale will be distributed in the next few weeks at family and arts venues across the North West, as well as Rochdale's official Dippy venues, Number One Riverside and Touchstones Rochdale.