Disclaimer: I was given a product/service in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the company in anyway.
I’ve been going to theme parks and adventure parks for the whole of my life! I absolutely loved them as a child, and this hasn’t changed during adulthood! Now I have my own children, I love taking them out for the day to experience the things I did when I was their age. One of the places we went to quite a lot (and the place I actually got sunstroke as a 10-year-old!) is Sundown Adventureland. We haven’t always lived in Nottingham but as children we travelled to Retford, Nottinghamshire to visit and to see grandparents so it’s really strange that my mum now lives down the road from the park in Retford!
Sundown Adventureland is a family-owned adventure park especially for the under 10’s meaning its absolutely perfect for my 2 at the moment! What I love is that it’s unlike anywhere else I have ever been! It also still has many of the attractions that I used to enjoy as a child although obviously they have been updated! We went just before covid hit and it was starting to look its age however we have been twice in the last couple of months and its clear just how much work they have done during lockdown to update the place!
The first thing we have to talk about is the rides, they are the first things that my 2 head for once we get there! With different themes around the park, we always head over to the Giddy Pigs, Oakie Yolkie and the Wild Ostrich Safari. We then head for the Robin Hood’s Merry Adventure and Tractor ride for Lottie.
For the first time this year, we found a whole new section which we didn’t know about, where Mia could drive her own little car around a track and get her own licence (the Monkey Mayhem Driving School)! We have also never walked through Shotgun City so this was our first time on the Rocky Mountain Railroad which I have to say, was a bit hit with us all! If you visit the park from September to December, there is the seasonal Santa’s Sleigh ride which the girls were really excited about as they remember going on it a couple of years ago! It also wasn’t open in the summer when we went much to their disappointment, so they were so happy to go on it this time!
All rides are suitable for the under 10’s but some height restrictions such as Lottie not being able to ride the Wild Ostrich Safari by herself, are in place. All attractions state restrictions clearly so just make sure you check them before queuing.
Next there are the attractions, something that I remember being so unique as a child and I love seeing my girls enjoying now. The Market Square is immediately as you walk into the park and is full of noise, chatter, and music. It’s such a welcoming little place with lots to explore! The pet shop is one of my favourites although Lottie wasn’t sure about it at all (I think she thought the animals were real!) The best thing about the attractions is that they are so interactive. You go round and press all the buttons to make things move, people talk and music start. It really is a child’s dream!
Their favourite is the Toy Town, a little miniature set of shops including a butchers, doctors and fire station compete with fire engine inside. The kids can run in and out of the houses and explore what’s inside. They love being able to go off and do their ‘own thing’!
Then there’s Lollipoppet Castle and Storybook Village where you can go and explore a liquorice themed fairy-tale castle, walk along the yellow brick road, make 3 wishes in Aladdin’s cave, and then discover all of the stories from your childhood in one place! The girls loved playing the piano in the 3 little pigs house, trying to pull the sword from the stone, and then enjoyed meeting the dragon guarding it all! Again, here there are so many buttons to press to make things happen, it’s so interactive and don’t forget to touch the crown (just don’t wake the dragon!).
Shotgun City is where you can step into the wild west! There’s a saloon, a shooting gallery, a hotel, a cemetery, a bank (watch out for the loud bang in here though!) and even a little soft play area. We didn’t spend much time in this area as my girls aren’t great with loud noises and it gets busy very quickly as it’s the first area you get to when you come in. My aim would be to come back here later on in the day when people have moved on.
The last area is Sunnydown Farm where you can find singing chickens, a donkey with a question and a cow ready for milking! Make sure you try to fix the broken-down tractor before you leave! There are loads of interactive buttons to press and explore around here so the girls loved running between pens to find all the different animals!
The last places to explore are the play areas dotted around the park. Lottie’s favourite is by far the Angry Birds play area! We literally couldn’t get her out of it! She loved the swings and the slides! Mia’s favourite play area is Fort Apache where there’s so much to climb and explore! There is also a huge sand play area, 2 pirate themed play areas, and 2 indoor soft play areas. We didn’t go to these as the girls wanted to spend all of their time outside! These areas are great for giving me and Mario a sit down!
If you’re hungry while you’re here, don’t worry there are plenty of little places to grab a drink and an ice cream. For lunch there are 3 really reasonably priced café’s dotted around the park where you can get drinks, sandwiches, homemade cakes and hot food (sausages, chicken nuggets, burgers, chips, etc…).
If going to the Crash Landings café, I would recommend going before or well after the lunchtime rush as the area to order and collect food is VERY small! It could do with updating a little as it gets very busy and you have to order, stand back and then collect your food from the same place, which is obviously then full of people waiting to order their food! We find ordering about 11:15am just right as by the time you order, collect and sit down to eat, it’s almost lunchtime anyway! There are loads of seats inside and lots of room outside (covered and uncovered) for picnics so don’t worry about that if you bring your own food.
Sundown Adventureland is absolutely perfect for the under 10’s! We love it here and will continue to take the girls for as long as possible. The interactive attractions provide so much fun and laughter. The rides are really exciting, and the play areas offer a chance for the grown-ups to have a coffee and a rest! The car park is huge so you will always get a space and there are also a number of electric car charging points. At the moment they are asking you to book in advance so they can keep a note of visitor numbers so make sure you book online before you visit. Ticket prices as I write this are currently £17.50 per person with children under 90cm’s going free. We find the family ticket for 4 people at £64 the cheapest for us so just check the website for ticket options. It’s well worth a visit next time you’re in the area!