All the small things

furie's picture

It's been a while since my last review/blog - sorry, I've been working on another major project for the last six weeks or so. Anyway, have a brief article I wrote for the CoasterForce newsletter recently.

One of the advantages of having young kids is the chance to legitimately visit and enjoy "kiddie parks". There's no major thrill machine to bring you in, or this year's latest multi-looper-launch-coaster-of_doom. Just the promise of somewhere to have a great time which is guaranteed to entertain the ankle-biters (and a bit older).

It's been my pleasure to visit a few of these parks in the past few years since joining CoasterForce. So, I shall give my recommendations now.

1. Paultons Park. Professional, caring and with just a superb degree of "love and attention". It's hard to pinpoint exactly where and what Paultons are doing right, but they are. The attractions gleam where they are cared for by the ride ops. The management has made sure that range of rides covers its entire demographic. The location is lovely, green and open. Possibly the most "well rounded" family park in the country.

Location - Southhampton area.

Paultons Park official site

2. Twin Lakes. Somebody at Twin Lakes knows what they're doing. While the park has a slight "corporate" feel to it, the attractions are all pretty spot on. There's a wide range of off the shelf rides to keep the kids entertained. The farm is pretty good and there are lots of play park toys for everyone to enjoy. While the slight lack of professional approach at times is a little jarring, the kids will love it, and the play barn which adults can go in is second to none.

Location - Melton Mowbray.

Twin Lakes official site

3. Milky Way. Pure love - the park oozes it. It's clear from stepping inside the family are proud of their heritage, and the park they have built around it. The owners and managers really care about the attractions they're bringing in (and they're not scared of investment). The entire park just smells of adults creating a park for kids, which they know the adults will love too. Worth it for the fantastically cheesy Clone Zone coaster, the adult sized play barn, the ferret racing and two shiny new Pinfari coasters. Oh, and possibly the best dodgems in the country!

Location - North Devon.

The Milky Way official site

4. Greenwood Park. A kind of ecological amusement park in Wales. It's a bit of an oddity and has the "human powered coaster". Apart from that, there's the massive grass slide (beware if you're a bit lardy), boat-on-a-rope, an enormous hill side climb and slide and general activities such as archery, shelter building, etc. It's basically a Boy Scout theme park, and it's superb. Lots of entertainment as long as you don't mind getting down on the ground and a bit muddy.

Location - Bangor area.

Greenwood official site

They're really my top four (in no particular order). If you get the chance, you'll no doubt adore each of these parks. So, pack yourself a child and head off into the great world of family friendly parks (just remember to check first if you'll be allowed in).