In our family the older two kids are wary of rides, Ruby the 6 year old loves rollercoasters or fun rides of any kind, she once threw a tantrum when they didn’t let her on a spin ride in a theme park as she was only 4. So we have been to a variety of theme parks over the years that cater for different ages of kids, here is my reviews of them all.
Paultons Park – Peppa Pig world
We went here a few summers back on a combined trip with National Holidays and unfortunately it was awful. I don’t know whether it was the time of year being August or whether it is just too popular but the queues for rides in Peppa pig world were at least 1 hour, when your with 3 children under 7 years who don’t want to wait it isn’t enjoyable especially when the rides just last 30 seconds themselves, it also seemed many people could queue jump for various reasons which delayed the process even longer. The rides themselves were varied and the ones not in the main peppa pig world part didn’t have such long queues which was welcoming. I don’t know how much entry cost as we went as part of a trip but a quick search shows ticket prices as around £30 per person once you are over 1m. Personally for a family of now 6 people I couldn’t justify £180 to spend in queues most of the day. Maybe at other times of the year it is quieter.
Anna from popitha recommends Peppa Pig World/paultons Park and says it is Perfect for all ages but plenty to do for small people too. She went in April when it was a little quieter.
Lego Land – London
This was part of the same trip with National Holidays were I took 3 kids down to Legoland in London for a day. Tickets on the website show around £32 per person however there may be other offers on. I think we might have got in August at the wrong time of the year as queues were around 90 minutes for each ride. The rides were good and different and it was nice to walk around the little miniature town and the park is massive so lots to walk around but the kids kept needing the toilet half way through queuing which just meant more delays and more stress for everyone. We probably got on around 4 or 5 rides in the full day which to me didn’t seem like a successful day. I get the hype as it is LEGOLAND so we really should have expected it to be busy but I don’t want to spend all day queuing.
Niki says “Definitely Legoland for us! Both kids love playing with Lego as well as all of the characters (Ninjago, Lego Friends, Nexo Knights…) so it’s perfect for us as they love the rides, the shows and the themed events. ” www.playlearneveryday.com
We went on a National Holidays trip to this theme park, Cbeebies land and also Cadbury World (Cadbury world is fab by the way, I am a chocoholic, have been twice and love it). The cbeebies land queues were around 40 minutes for each ride, the Justin house ball shooter thing maybe a little longer. We went in February so the full park wasn’t open but a few of the bigger rides were and we had a nice walk around the areas of the park we could get to. The turning around boat was a nice ride the kids enjoyed and the food in the pub was pretty reasonable in price which shocked me. I would probably go here again in May school holidays when everything else is open so we can have a more varied day. We did recently look for a weekend to stay here but the prices were just too high for a family of 6, we ended up booking a week in Disneyland Paris cheaper.
Jennifer loved Alton Towers. She says “for us as a family, so much to do for all ages and they are really good at all round entertainment too, not just thrill rides. To put the cherry on top they are in such a beautiful setting with the towers and the gardens. We were there this week for scarefest and it was amazing!” Read more about Jennifer at http://www.mymummyspennies.com
We went here in October 2017 (Review for this on this site somewhere else) The park was very quiet which was lovely, we didn’t have to queue for anything apart from the green rollercoaster and the troublesome trucks where we waited about 15 minutes. The car parking is free and simple to get in and out with the entrance process. The rides are very varied and they have many offers such as 4 for £80 and then £20 for next person so all in all a good value day out for a family, just not in Summer holidays when it is mega busy.
Bec from Twentyishmum and her son also loved Drayton Manor. She says “my little boy absolutely loved it! But he’s is a complete Thomas monster, it is so clean and reasonably priced to stay over too. We can’t wait to go back again soon”.
Another vote for Drayton Manor with Tracey from packthepjs She says it “Has something for everyone – ThomasLand for the little ones, adrenaline rides for the bigger kids – and a zoo for everyone to enjoy”
Blackpool pleasure beach
I have great memories of Blackpool from my grandparents taking me when we were young so I do love to go here. The pleasure beach has many offers through the year so worth signing up to their membership, we paid around £20 per wristband and we went on many of the different rides, they have something for everyone to enjoy. My favourite ride is the avalanche ride that takes you down like a bobsleigh (not suitable for kids). The Wallace and gromit ride is pretty cute and the story is nice, I also like the alice in wonderland themed ride. Ruby also loved there was a character dressed as Dora – She loved dancing with Dora – It absolutely made her day.
Eva also recommend the Pleasure beach because they have so many different rides.
We booked to stay in a caravan here which gets you access to the park and zoo. The zoo is nice to walk around and see some animals, you are quite far away from them and it seemed a bit run down a few years ago. We went at the start of the year so not all the rides were open but they do seem to have a few different rides. It wasn’t the best theme park for us as the variety of rides wasn’t there and many of them seemed to be for thrill seekers however we went on the tractors and a few other small rides. It isn’t somewhere I would hurry back to or recommend for young children or kids that don’t really like rides.
I have been here twice now and really enjoyed it at different times of the year. They have a huge variety of rides for every age, the park is well spaced out and the prices aren’t that ridiculous compared to others. The wait for rides is no longer than 15 minutes each even in the warmer months which is great for families with impatient kids. I would highly recommend this place, the only issue I had was that sometimes rides closed early or weren’t open at all some days.
Gullivers @ Matlock Bath
We have been here twice now just with our girls as the dynamic for rides works better. Our favourite ride is probably the water slide as it is just so much fun. They have recently put in a high ropes course which as the kids needed adults I had to go on with them and conquer my fear of heights – The staff were very helpful and put you at ease as well and the price is included with entry – I think for 4 of us we paid £55 for entry for the full day and we got on rides multiple times. There isn’t really anything thrill seeking, even the rollercoaster is pretty tame with just one medium sized drop so a nice theme park for the younger kids who want to try out bigger rides for a reasonable price without having to queue much. Below is Ruby at Matlock bath.
We have also been here twice with the stay play explore Leicester offer. The theme park has a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions which are great for the unpredictable weather. The slides in one of the indoor bits are really fun as they include a drop slide. The rides are varied and again suitable for all ages, nothing is really thrill seeking and they have a varied programme of entertainment and also some animals at the park. We paid as paid of the offer so not sure on the price but the Stay Play Explore package is definitely worth the price.
This is a theme park aimed at young children, our 18 month old nephew loved the rides here as they are all for that age group, they have indoor play areas and outdoor play areas so it isn’t that much of a theme park but it is nice especially end of season where is it really quiet, check out their quiet days on the website.
So there you have all the theme parks recommended or not so recommended for young children that we have been to and others have recommended. I know there are some others that are more thrill seeking or further south but we haven’t been to those yet.