THE SUMMER Holidays and the sun was shining – for once! I had promised my children aged 9 and 7 years a day out as a treat for being so good while mummy had been at work. What shall I do with them? Where shall we go?
In the end they decided for me as they have been on and on to go back to Adventure Island for months, so Adventure Island it was. They were ready and waiting at the front door very early and off we went to sunny Southend. I had very stupidly not checked my literature and thought it best to get there early (about 10.15am) so as to try and beat the crowds and get a parking space easily. When we arrived we found out that Adventure Island did not open until 11.00am as clearly stated in the flyer I had in my bag but never mind, we got parked easily.
I could not believe that there were quite a few other people who were early and the excitement grew outside the gates as members of staff arrived for work. Then at 11.00am, the gates opened and we all made our way down to the ticket booths. I must say that I was very impressed with the staff on the ticket booths that were full of smiles, useful information and were very patient indeed when asked the many different questions that they must have to repeat all day.
We decided to work our way around the park and I was dragged onto the little roller coasters by my son whose confidence was building with each ride. The pictures on their faces as they were whizzed around was priceless and it was nice to see them so happy and giggly. I wanted to have a look inside the new amusement arcade and there it was a glass cabinet full of Alvin and the Chipmunks just waiting to be grabbed by the crane hands. My little boy was desperate for one, as when they were on sale in The Bear Factory, by the time I remembered to go in there I was too late and they were all sold out. ‘I’ll put £1 in and have a go for you’ I said thinking ‘Oh my goodness this was a bad move – how are we going to get out of here’. Then a very remarkable thing happened – with my first go of the crane, not only did I pick up an Alvin the Chipmunk but he politely stayed in the grabber and dropped into the box to be collected by a very happy little man. I was shocked as in the past I have spent a small fortune trying to grab a toy to keep the peace and here I was on the first go winning!!
We then worked our way around to the bridge and there the security guards were offering wrist bands for your children with your mobile number on just in case you became separated – what a fantastic idea. By this time the park was beginning to get very busy and it would be extremely easy for a child to become parted from their group or family.
Our next stop was the camel racing – one of my favourites and the children loved it. We came first in our second race and won a cuddly camel so the children were equal, they had one prize each which is always good. Those camel races always remind me of trips to Butlins as a child and a teenager with friends, where you played on such stalls for ages cheering and thoroughly having a good time.
We then approached the ‘Green Scream Roller Coaster’ and I was convinced that my little boy would not go on his own with his sister but he did. I must admit I was very relieved as mummy was not feeling very brave. Off they came with even bigger smiles on their faces telling me how that was their favourite! We
Then we had a go at some side stalls but lady luck had already shone on us for one day, so we settled for using some pocket money to buy a cuddly Hong Kong Phooey (do you remember him?) which was very good as you do not find characters like him in the shops anymore.
One of our last stops was on the ‘Sk8Boarda’ ride which I hate but I had to put on a brave face and get on with the children. My best advice though is not to do this just after you have eaten an ice-cream as even the children said that mummy looked a little green after the ride!
Adventure Island is truly fun for all the family and an excellent day out for the school holidays. Check out the website www.adventureisland.co.uk for opening times and special offers and treat yourselves to a fun-filled day or evening. We are already planning our next visit!?!