After months of being cooped up at home, anything that offers families a way to escape their four walls and explore local green spaces is likely to be welcome.
But if that exploration involves discovering a roaring T-rex or swooping Pterodactyl in your park, for free, that’s bound to get a big thumbs up from the kids.
Leeds families can now embark on a Dinosaur Safari in locations across the city, using a new, free app called Love Exploring. The app can now be downloaded via the Visit Leeds website .
Love Exploring is easily accessible to anyone with a smart phone – just download the app, select Leeds, and click on the location you fancy exploring. A map guides you to the nearest dinosaur, giving an alert when a raptor looms up close. Suddenly there’s a massive Triceratops right in front of the Roundhay Park bandstand, or a Stegosaurus by Leeds-Liverpool canal. The Augmented Reality (AR) dinosaurs roar, gnash their teeth and swish their tails – which makes for Insta-friendly, shareable photos. There’s also a fun quiz, so the whole family can test their knowledge of the Jurassic Age.
The pandemic had a big impact on children’s activity levels, as well as their mental health. At the same time, many of us really came to value our local parks and enjoyed finding hidden gems for walks close to home. Love Exploring offers a way to experience these green spaces completely differently, while also encouraging kids to walk a bit further than they might normally be willing to go.
The app has been rolled out by Leeds Public Health’s Children and Families Team and Active Leeds, following research in the city which showed that people want more accessible, social and no-cost ways to get active, and young people in particular want activities to be more fun and engaging.
Love Exploring also offers lots of walking trails, including the Street Art trail in the city, and Mindfulness strolls in several parks. Plus, the augmented reality games will switch themes several times a year – so in a few months you could find yourself on a space-walk, or tip toe-ing through a fairy dell….