When we’re thinking about our summer holidays we often look outside the area we’re going for other forms of entertainment; let’s be honest there’s only so many days you can take your kids to ancient ruins and cathedrals and make them look interesting. Theme Parks make great days out for all the family and can break up the monotony of beach and tourist days and they also tend to provide more shelter and comfort from the blistering summer heat.5
An hour south of Barcelona PortAventura is easily one of the best theme parks in Europe. The park is set out over a huge area with a big focus on landscape as well as the thrilling rides. It can take a while to get from one side to the other. But don’t let that put you off, with five big thrilling rides set in its five themed areas all based on historic civilizations and the recently opened Sesame Street area as well there will be plenty to keep the whole family entertained. The theme park also has a water park on the grounds so when your hot and done walking, get your swimming stuff and go cool off on the water slides.4
Built on the eastern shore of Lake Garda in Italy, Gardaland has a total of thirty two rides including six roller coasters and three water slides. The park has eight themed areas and one of it’s newest thrilling rides ‘Raptor’ is one of the park’s most popular attractions. The grounds also contain a hotel and a sea life centre in case you’re looking for anything else to do. Lake Garda is one of the most beautiful places in Europe and definitely worth a visit.3
Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
Tivoli Gardens is the second oldest theme park in the world and should be a must see for anyone visiting Copenhagen even if you aren’t interested in the rides. Opened in 1843 the park offers well tendered gardens and dining experiences and one of the world’s oldest rollercoasters ‘Rutschebanen’ built in 1914. It’s an incredible place and has withstood the test of time for generations, through two world wars and has grown and adapted to stay open for almost two centuries. The park was actually the inspiration for Walt Disney when he was designing his Disney theme parks as he liked the relaxed atmosphere.2
Europa Park, Germany
Located near Rust in South Western Germany, Europa Park boasts eleven rollercoasters (soon to be 12). The park is also due to get a huge water park in the next few years that will be one of the biggest in Europe and if it’s built to the same standard of the rest of the park it is going to be amazing. During the winter season some of the water rides close but the park offers snow attractions instead including snow tubing and skiing.1
Just outside of Paris sits Europe’s instalment of Walt Disney’s masterpiece theme parks based on the Disney family. Disney characters, themed rides and the infamous Disney castle. It really is the most magical place to take your kids. It has enough rides to keep you busy for a couple of days and if you do manage to run out of rides there are shows and other attractions that will keep them entertained. The larger rides have been judged as more thrill orientated than their Californian counterparts proving you don’t need to spend a fortune and go half way around the world for the best experiences!
Europe is filled with seaside resorts and small theme parks so it’s always worth researching the place you’re going to, to see what’s around; but if you’re staying near or even travelling past any of our top five they’re all worth a visit! Watch their faces light up as they’re greeted by different characters, laugh at ride photos and feel the adrenaline rush through your body as you’re flipped and spun around at crazy speeds.