4 All Natural Alternatives To A Traditional Theme Park

The theme park is a time-honoured go-to for thousands of parents looking to entertain their tiresome tots for the day, but although your kids might be getting their fill of fresh air and thrills whilst they’re getting whizzed around on a rollercoaster, it’s questionable how much value for money you’ll be getting as a full-paying parent.

Let’s suppose that even if you miraculously manage to wangle 2-for-1 tickets into one of the few well-respected theme parks in the country, the grim reality is that you’ll be spending a good chunk of your time stood in a queue playing repeat games of ‘I spy’. Factor in the spiralling costs of food, drinks and other treats that are casually inflated beyond any normal price in these places, and you’ll find yourself tragically out of pocket, as well as invariably bored.

Our recommendation? Avoid these places at all costs and opt for one of these ‘all natural alternatives’ that off a more wholesome day out with much shorter wait times:

Mount Stewart House, County Down


As long as you haven’t made the mistake of indulging in one too many of these already, a visit to this spectacular stately home should prove just as thrilling to you and your family than a long day at a busy theme park. Although you may find yourself occasionally queueing for the loo here (Mount Stewart is very popular with the older generations), unless your family is from a particularly well-monied background, there’ll be no shortage of ‘oohs and aahs’ as you explore the exotic gardens in these lands.

Zip World Fforest


If you’re determined to get your dose of high-speed thrills and spills, but aren’t keen on queuing, then Zipworld Fforest boasts some of the best in the UK. All activities at this revolutionary outdoor adventure park are booked ahead of schedule and whilst we wouldn’t describe any of them as cheap, the fun on offer here is second to none for all the family, no to mention rigorously tested (for those concerned with safety). Choose from exhilarating zip-line rides and gigantic swing, all set within this lush green Welsh forest.

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Whether in Winter or Summer, Wales’ Bodnant Garden holds some truly spectacular sights for young and old. Your kids might well yawn when you tell them you’ll be spending a day at a garden, but the sights on offer here will soon have them eating their hats (not literally though). During Winter you can take the kids (and the dog!) through the rather stunning Winter Garden Trail and finish up with a well-earned slice of cake and cup of tea in their quintessentially decorated cafe – a decidedly more wholesome alternative to a burger and chips.

Whipsnade Zoo

Finally, as long as your ethics agree, a trip to Whipsnade Zoo is well-worth the admittedly high price of entry, especially if your little ones are as as ours are. There’s a lot to get excited about here too, as Whipsnade is the largest zoo in the UK, covering a jaw-dropping 600 acres, it’s also one Europe’s largest wildlife conservation parks. There’s a big selection of animals on offer here including Sudan cheetahs, elephants and rhinoceros.