It’s that time of year again, and for some parents it seems to come around too soon. I’m talking about half term. For those of you who have planned the couple of weeks off with your children with military precision, you will probably be feeling quite relaxed with yourself. For others, who either forgot it was coming, or blanked it out of their minds, it’s time to panic! Unless you are prepared for cries of ‘I’m bored!’ emanating from your childs bedroom, you’d better get your act together and start organising some days out. Children love adventure theme parks and an excursion out to one could be one of your best decisions ever. The parks we have picked are notoriously popular and well renowned for catering towards families and you’ll find that even the adults will enjoy the atmosphere as there are a myriad of activities to entertain them also. So stop worrying about the lack of things to do and get booking your first park excursion now!
Alton Towers has to be the most famous of all the theme parks in the UK. This first class theme park is located in Staffordshire, is open from 10 am until 5 pm, and costs less than £20 to enter. Attractions include the famous rollercoaster – Nemesis – which has been voted one of the best rollercoasters in the world on many occasions. Other rides include Oblivion, which climbs to 65 ft, before dangling riders over a 180 ft drop at an angle of 88° at nearly 70 mph, Rita, Air and Th13rteen. If you want to stay for more than one day, and there is plenty to see here, then Alton Towers has its own hotel or you could rent one of the local villas for your stay. For more information visit Alton Towers.
Drayton Manor is particularly family friendly. It is located in Staffordshire, opens at 11 am and closes at 4 pm and tickets cost anything from £15.50 (online discount) to £28 (at the gates). Drayton Manner has many rides and areas especially set up for Children, such as the Ben 10 ultimate mission; and Thomas Land – a 6000 sq metre area of the park dedicated to Thomas the tank engine, with 12 of its own rides and separate play areas. For adults, there’s Europe’s only stand up rollercoaster; Shockwave; which features an 80 ft drop at 53 mph. Drayton Manner also has its own zoo with 15 acres of park land featuring over 100 species of animals. To book or for more information visit Drayton Manor.
Chessington World of Adventures Park
Chessington World of Adventures is situated in Chessington, Greater London, is open from 10am until 5pm and costs around £28 for children under 12 and £38 for children over 12 and adults. It has many different themed areas; each with their own different rides and attractions. The most popular mini-parks are The Forbidden Kingdom, The Pirates Cove, The Land of the Dragons and Transylvania. There are timed events which include several animal feeds and performances from sea lions. Also at Chessington is a zoo which is home to over 1000 animals including lions, tigers, gorillas, a sea life centre, and a sea lion enclosure.
Thorpe Park is located in Chertsey, Surrey, opens at 10 am and closes at 5 pm, it costs about £31 for children under 12 and adult tickets are around £38. The best ride at Thorpe is the Nemesis Inferno; made by Bolliger & Mabillard who also make the Nemesis ride at Alton Towers. You will have to wait to get on the ride but it lasts around two minutes and you’ll hit a G force of 4.5 as you ride through interlocking corkscrews, loops and a zero-G roll, so it is worth it. From March 15th Thorpe will unveil its newest ride – The Swarm, which is Europe’s tallest winged rollercoaster and bound to be a favourite amongst the thrill seekers amongst you. Other attractions are Saw – The ride, Stealth,The Colossus, The Tidal Wave, and Loggers Leap.
Legoland is located in Windsor, opens at 10am and closes at 5pm, prices for admission range from £31 for children and £41 for adults. Legoland is a children’s theme park based on the Legoland parks around the world. There are many zones within Legoland, such as the Driving School, Space Tower, Wave Surfer, Dragon’s Apprentice and Miniland to name but a few. There are over 55 rides and attractions for kids aged 3-12, including rocket races, water based rides such as extreme team challenge, and Atlantis submarine voyage where passengers ride a yellow submarine underwater to lookout for over 50 species of fish, and some strategically placed LEGO models.