Next year will see the arrival of one very special guest to Rochdale, the Natural History Museum’s very own Dippy the dinosaur. And, in anticipation, shoppers are invited for a Jurassic lark around at Rochdale Shopping Centre’s official Dino Day.

Taking place on Thursday 1 August from 11am until 3pm, this fun-filled free event will be taking pint-sized palaeontologists on an action-packed ride back to prehistoric times. In honour of Dippy’s visit in 2020, the centre will be unveiling its very own Triceratops statue.

With an automated-sensor roar and life-like features, it is sure to have all visitors stop in awe and amazement. Making the perfect selfie moment, people will also be able to have their picitures with this incredble creature.

In a specially created dino digging pit, event-goers will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get stuck right in. Equipped with special tools and brushes, youngsters can go in search for fossils from thousands of years ago whilst learning all about these fascinating beasts.

Lorenzo O’Reilly, Rochdale Exchange Shopping centre manager, said: “We are all so excited to welcome Dippy next year. He is an iconic part of history and we are very proud that Rochdale has been selected as one of the official stops on his UK tour.

“We felt this summer would be the perfect opportunity to start gearing up for this special guest and what better way than to offer a dedicated Dino Day?” said Lorenzo.

“We are particularly looking forward to unveiling our Triceratops, which I’m sure will help spark people’s interest in this extraordinary period in history. This, alongside all our activities on the day will offer a fantastic taster for what’s to come next year,” he concluded.

On the day there will also be the chance for families to get creative with a giant doodle cube, which will be located on the mall. Children and parents are invited to pick up a colourful marker and put their stamp on this personalised creation.

Rochdale Exchange is also inviting members of the community to enter its Facebook competition where they have the chance to name the centre’s dinosaur. The person with the best idea will have their own name included on the statue too!