We are always looking for new family fun things to do and with Mario working away a lot at the moment, the weekends tend to be spent as a family doing things together. We do enjoy going to local parks and feeding the ducks but sometimes we want to go somewhere a little further and spend the day. For this we usually pick Robin Hoods Wheelgate as we have annual passes for there however my mum has started taking Mia to Sundown Adventureland which is literally down the road from them.
I last went to Sundown Adventureland when I was about 10 years old and I had really bad sun stroke, spending the day sat in my little brother’s pushchair. I don’t remember a lot about the day at all so when we were asked if we would like to go and experience their Summertime Fun event, I have to admit, I was pretty excited to see what had changed!
Sundown Adventureland is a family owned and run attraction set in Retford, Nottinghamshire that has been open since 1968. Boasting 30 acres and open all year round, the park has many different attractions for under 10’s to explore and enjoy. As well as the usual attractions there have been special events happening over the Summer months. ‘Summertime Fun’ includes party games such as four corners and the limbo, disco dancing, conga lines, agadoo and the macarena, and activities perfect for children where they get the chance to win their very own bears. The parks longstanding family bears Honey and Sunny have been joined by 2 new monkey mascots Kiki and Koko to pose for photos too!
Sundown Adventureland is made up of various themed areas, play areas and rides. As you go in there is Market Square, a pet shop and a Christmas themed sleigh ride. The whole place is interactive with lots of buttons for children to press which sets off various moving scenes, music and fun! Lottie has never been on a ride before so once Mia and I had ‘checked out’ the Sleigh Ride, we took Lottie on it and she loved it! The musical pet shop is actually a singing pet shop full of furry animals and the girls thought this was so funny!
What we love about Sundown Adventureland is the fact it is very ‘hands on’ with lots of different areas for children to explore. You can walk down the yellow brick road to meet Dorothy and Tin Man and then sit alongside Humpty Dumpty on his wall. The green dragon was a favourite of mine as I remember him from 20 years ago, so it was so exciting for me to see him in action again!
Another family fun favourite is the village set inside the park. With a mini fire station, sweet shop and castle, there are so many things to explore! Each doorway leads to another surprise! Storybook Village is lovely as there are little buildings to explore, each with a different fairy-tale theme. Mia sat in mummy bears chair in the 3 bears cottage, played the piano in the 3 little pigs house, and talked to the magic mirror in Snow White’s house!
The most exciting things for Mia are always the rides! She loves the Giddy Piggies ride (unfortunately this wasn’t working when we visited) and the Jolly Pirate Barrel Ride (which she didn’t tell me you get wet on until we were sat on it!). Lottie loved driving the tractor round and also had a great time on the Sleigh ride as it was her first real experience of Christmas! It will be lovely to take Lottie again when she’s a bit older.
Finally, there are a number of play areas dotted around the park including the really popular Angry Birds Activity Park and 2 separate cafes (one with a soft play inside) with plenty of food and drink choices. We thought the cafes were reasonably priced for this type of park and the food is all locally sourced or made on site which I think is great!
I think they could make more of the Summer events as we didn’t realise that they were going on until we were leaving. It wasn’t mentioned anywhere so having this a bit clearer as you go in or advertised around the park would help people find it. The park itself does show its age in places but it’s really clear that its being slowly revamped over time and there is so much to do that you don’t really notice it too much. There are some new attractions being built at the moment as well as luxury accommodation opening soon so it will be great to go back for some more family fun and see what they have done next year.
We had a great family fun time at Sundown Adventureland, and it was a really lovely day out. With plenty to do, see and explore, there is loads of under 10’s to enjoy, as well as bigger kids too!
Tickets for adults and children over 90cm are £16.75 and children under 90cm go free. Family passes are also available.
Disclaimer: I was sent the products/services/tickets in order to write this however all views and opinions are honest and our own