Reviewed by Ilze Lee
Oh, the joy of summer holidays! Parents trying to juggle some time off with the kids, teens glued to the screens, young ones getting bored within the first few days…
It’s not always easy, is it?
I know I am not the only parent of teens eagerly looking for ways to spend family time together, without the normal grunts and resistance that has become the norm. And I’ll be honest – when the opportunity to review Wicksteed Park came up, I wasn’t quite sure how well it was going to pan out.
Wicksteed is a bit of a treasure on our doorstep. A well-loved piece of history, and something that, as far as I know, has always been popular with locals. But, as often happens, it’s easy to forget our local gems, and look for something a bit further out.
We were so lucky with the weather, a rare bit of sunshine and mostly clear skies. I expected the park to be buzzing, with everyone getting out for a bit of warmth. I was pleasantly surprised at how uncrowded it felt though. Wicksteed has so much lush open green spaces. It was delightful seeing families relaxing, picnic blankets everywhere and children playing across the greens.
The rides seemed to cater for a younger audience. I wasn’t sure how much my teens were going to make use of it, but with the magic of a theme park… They got stuck in, and it was all smiles!
We first went on the garden wheel, and it was a great start to the day. The Sway Rider was next; a must do, and popular as ever.
From there we made our way to the Aviary. The birds were an absolute joy, and one in particular seemed to love all the attention, greeting everyone with a cheery ‘Hello Mate!’.
By this time, my teens have forgotten that they are supposed to be all cool and serious, and embraced the joy of being young and having fun!
We went on several more rides, most of which had a very short queue, even though there were many visitors in the park. The more popular rides had a reasonable wait time, and was absolutely worth it.
After a good three or four hours of fun, we had a quick meal. The prices were reasonable considering, and the quality was much as expected for this sort of entertainment. Again, no long waiting, which was actually such a relief.
It is worth mentioning all facilities were clean and well stocked with the essentials.
We took a ride on the little train, and once again realised what an absolute treasure this park is. Despite the voices and squeals of many excited young children, the atmosphere was still beautiful and calming. There is a lot to do for people of all ages, and it seems as if great consideration has been given to make it accessible.
Our family had a really wonderful time, reconnecting, laughing, walking, relaxing – and of course, making full use of all the fun things!
We were warmly welcomed by all staff members, and the more relaxed atmosphere really contributed to the overall feel good of the day.
The very best thing about Wicksteed is that it is suitable for all budgets. Entry is free.
If there are no spare pennies in the kitty, families can pack a picnic and make use of the free play equipment. Wristbands are available to buy for the day, which gives access to all the fun rides, or you can buy tickets for the rides instead if you are not planning on going on a lot of them. There is a charge to the car park, depending on how long you stay, and there are plenty of parking space.
There is a lot more to Wicksteed Park than what I have mentioned. This was just our family’s experience of the park, but have a look at their website to discover more. Camping, entertainment, The Playfactory… It’s all about tailoring your experience.
We went home happy and tired. This is family fun, as it should be!
For more information or to book tickets please visit Wicksteed Park – Theme Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire.