Theme parks are the best post-lockdown treat for kids of all ages. With parks reopening their doors this month and everyone wanting to blow off steam, the tickets are selling out quick! I love that so many of the big theme parks have super-cool rides and play areas that cater to younger kids too. I’ve picked out the best theme parks that offer a good selection of activities for the little ones, as well as brilliant family activities and attractions. Do let me know if I’ve missed one that you and your family absolutely love.
Peppa Pig World, Paulton’s Park
All toddlers seem to be mad about Peppa Pig. So, a meet-and-greet, along with a chance to immerse themselves in the world of their favourite character, will be a dream day out. Paulton’s Park has plenty of family rides, water splash parks, as well as birds and animals. It’s really worth booking accommodation near the park and making it a short break out of it.
Location: New Forest, Hampshire
Find out more on PaultonsPark.co.uk
The Gruffalo, Chessington
Ever since the Gruffalo moved into Chessington, the park has been a delight for young children. While the Lazy River ride is the main attraction, Chessington also has short-break options with the chance to stay in a hotel room decked out in all things The Gruffalo. Spend a day in the theme park and a day in the zoo. New for this year, Chessington has unveiled The Rainforest – three new jungle-themed family-friendly rides.
Location: Chessington, Kingston upon Thames
Find out more on Chessington.com
Angry Birds, Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park has some of the absolute best rides for adults but there’s a good balance of family fun too. Angry Birds Land is best for kids four years and above with the Angry Birds 4D experience, dodgems and Detonator, the ride with a birds-eye-view. The park also has rapids, teacups and water rides.
Location: Chertsey, Surrey
Find out more on ThorpeBreaks.co.uk
Duplo Valley, Legoland
Legoland is one of the best places for young kids and even I love walking through miniland looking at the miniature landmarks made of Lego! Duplo Valley is just perfect for toddlers (or Little Builders, as Legoland call them!) with its Dino Coaster, Playtown and theatre. Under 3’s can enjoy Playtown and Splash Safari. Don’t forget to get their L-Drivers license in Lego city.
Find out more on Legoland.co.uk
CBeebies, Alton Towers
I’m not sure anyone ever grows out of Alton Towers. There was so much for the little ones to do before CBeebies Land and that has also been a fantastic addition to the park. Join Peter Rabbit, In The Night Garden, Teletubbies and the rest of the CBeebies gang your kids have fallen in love with. Don’t forget to book a day in the water park too!
Location: Alton, Stoke-on-Trent
Find out more on AltonTowers.com
Thomas Land, Drayton Manor
Full steam ahead to Drayton Manor! Thomas Land goes all out for kids: it has 25 rides and attractions! All of the Thomas and Friends characters come to life here through brilliant rides, including Toby’s Tram Express, Cranky’s Drop and Harold’s Helicopter Tour. I recommend a day in the zoo and a day in the theme park as neither can be rushed. To read more about my trip there, click here.
Location: Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire
Find out more on DraytonManor.co.uk
Neverland, Oakwood Theme Park
Rollercoasters, rides and attractions for all ages are what you’ll find at Wales’ biggest theme park. Kids will love Neverland for an adventure with Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys. My favourite place is Dahland where all the best Roald Dahl characters come to life.
Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Find out more on OakwoodThemePark.co.uk
Nickelodeon Land, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Join Spongebob, The Backyardigans, PAW Patrol and other characters from Team Nick at Blackpool Pleasure Beach – a classic theme park day out if you’re based in the North of the UK. I also love a visit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not which will have plenty of surprises for everyone.
Location: Blackpool, Lancashire
Find out more on BlackpoolPleasureBeach.com
Angry Birds Activity Park, Lightwater Valley
Suited for children from one year old, Lightwater Valley is an amazing place for a family adventure. It’s also the home to the Angry Birds Activity Park. Your young adrenaline junkie will be thrilled to ride the Twister, the Eagles Claw and the Falls of Terror. With 40 rides to choose from, they’ll be something for everyone to enjoy.
Location: Ripon, North Yorkshire
Find out more on LightwaterValley.co.uk
Heart Kid’s Zone, Pleasurewood Hills
Pleasurewood has a good mix of entertainment and attractions, including sea lion and parrot shows. As for rides, enjoy the classics, including dodgems, carousel, wave swinger and a couple of roller coasters. The kids can go for the spin in the teacups and sail the seas on the mini pirate ship in Heart Kid’s Zone.
Location: Lowestoft, East Anglia
Find out more on PleasurewoodHills.com
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This is one of the oldest theme parks I can think of (it’s over 40 years old!) and now they have four parks and another one opening soon. Don’t expect any big rides though, as these parks are specially designed for those under 12. I’m only familiar with the Matlock Bath Park which is built into a hillside in the beautiful Peak District – take the chair lift ride for the best views. The park has something for everyone, whether your little one loves princesses, dinosaurs, pirates or diggers!
Location: Warrington, Milton Keynes x 2, Matlock Bath, Rother Valley (opens 2020)
Find out more on GulliversFun.co.uk
Diggerland is much bigger now than I remember it and it’s truly a digger-themed experience for the whole family. For the kids, there’s the digger train, knocking down skittles and hunting for treasure on a digger, go-karts, mini tractors and land-rovers. For adults, get behind the gears of an actual digger.
Location: Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire
Find out more on Diggerland.com
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