Welcome to Jurassic Park

1993 was another momentous year for the summer blockbuster: Every kid who’d had the pleasure of seeing Jurassic Park on the big screen left the theatre absolutely awestruck by the thrill and terror conjured by their beloved Spielberg.

After the frenzy of the opening scene, Spielberg masterfully builds the tension thereafter, culminating with a rippling glass of water, ominously approaching footsteps and a disappearing goat, as the king of dinosaurs himself, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, makes his terrifying entrance.

Whilst never going to fully replicate the brilliance of Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name, the movie succeeds in capturing its essence, in part due to the skills of the CGI and animatronics teams. It is difficult to believe that this movie is now 25 years old, as it is still just as impressive as it ever was.

To mark this cinematic anniversary, we decided it would make a perfect backdrop to our summer garden party.

Clever Girl

Invitations were employee ID cards accompanied by a park information guide replica. The gorgeous vintage postage stamps were from Etsy (ArtStamped).

We were fortunate to have a day of good weather, which meant we could fully utilise the outside space to try and re-create the park.

It was quite easy to find plenty of Dino-themed decorative pieces online, helped no doubt by the recent release of Jurassic World, and so we picked up a couple of Natural History Museum cardboard cutouts, some large wall murals and the fantastic When dinosaurs ruled the earth replica banner (Amazon.com)! A large cardboard box (housing the cutouts) was transformed into the iconic Jurassic Park entrance gate. A selection of toy dinosaurs, a velociraptor sound effect mask and some print outs of movie signage from the internet completed the look and the John Williams soundtrack playing on vinyl.

Don’t get cheap on me Dodson

The menu focussed on classic American dishes, including the always amazing Martha Stewart Mac n’ cheese, pulled pork and turkey dinosaurs. We also created a nacho volcano with blue nachos and blue cheese dip and for pudding, some green jello, red velvet cupcakes and mud pots. It wouldn’t have been a JP party without some reference to the plot that led to it all: that doomed attempt by disgruntled Denis Nedry to smuggle Dino embryos off the park in a Barbasol shaving cream can (which here was a whipped cream).

We also placed some old 1980s Natural History Museum toys amongst the food.

Life finds a way

Guests were met with a G&T from our cryo bar and we had imported Jurassic World Dr Pepper and Mexican coke for the kids and drivers.

It was also an excellent effort on the part of our guests: we had a Lex, Hammond and a number of park rangers and a raptor keeper.

As the sunshine started to wane, we all settled down to watch the movie on a “small” big screen in the garden!

Whilst we have come a long way in dinosaur knowledge since 1993, it is still one of the most exhilarating and exciting action movies of all time and there is now doubt the first in the Jurassic Park franchise will continue to inspire budding palaeontologists for years to come.

Thanks everyone for coming!

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