We recently decided to do a Family Day Trip to Schloss Beck Freizeit in Bottrop - about 45 minutes from home. It was a tip given by another parent on a mum group I joined on Facebook. I was a bit skeptical at first, since Miss E is still not old enough to go on normal children rides. But we had a look on their website and read reviews and just decided to go check it out. And wow! What a day we had.
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This park is fully catered for the young-ins. And with adults only paying EUR12 (kids from 3 years old pay EUR11), it really does come up as a cheap family day out. Most Theme Parks cost upwards of EUR35 per person and they all too often do not have many rides and attractions for very young children.
Bonus is that you can also bring your own food into the park. There's loads of picnic tables spread throughout the park, so pack a nice lunch and lots of drinks!
Once we got our tickets and got into the park, we rented a cart (Bollerwagen) for EUR2, packed all our belongings inside as well as Miss E. But she didn't stay in it too long - the first attraction was right in front of the cart rental and she wanted to go: the Park Train.
It started drizzling as we got off the train and we quickly looked for cover. It didn't last too long and once the dark cloud passed over us, we made our way to one of the indoor play areas. Miss E did not enjoy that too much (and neither did I), because there were bigger kids in there who were a bit rough, so we decided to move on. We reached the outside playground. Here are a few different swings and slides: some Miss E wanted to try, others she found a little intimidating.
There are also water attractions:
There are peddle-boats for up to 4 people (two peddling at the back). These boats you may take out into the water for roughly 20 minutes. The lake is not big enough for a 20 minute round though, even with only Papa Bear peddling.
Once back on dry land, Miss E and I went "horse-riding" and then went onto the mini-Ferris Wheel.
That was loads of fun. Miss E also wanted to fly in an airplane (which Mama Bear thought was too fast, but she enjoyed).
We crossed the lake high up in the trees and she met a Bat. On this side of the lake is a much larger Ferris Wheel (not as big as at Kirmes), big enough for even Papa Bear and Bobo the Traveling Monkey to join us. From the top, we could see most of the park as well as decide what other rides we wanted to do.
Miss E was adamant that she wanted to do the one ride I was not looking forward to - the Lady Bug Coaster. I'm not a huge Roller-Coaster fan, however I will try them once. Of course I was not going tell Miss E that she couldn't go on this one, so I gathered as much courage as I could and headed for the long line.
One thing Miss E thoroughly enjoys is a good slide. In the outside playgrounds around our house, she enjoys going up the stairs and sliding down. She could do that all day. At Schloss Beck, there is a very high, very long and colorful slide. And so we HAD to do that. She first went with her dad and they had so much fun coming down. So of course I wanted to go too.
Yes! Only one negative I could come up with: We started getting hungry and sat down for some waffles - which took forever! Even though the weather was cloudy, the park was super full. Yet, not all the refreshment booths were operating. There are a few scattered all over the park. But Papa Bear had to walk a bit further down the way and then had to wait in a really long line of other hungry patrons. And they also only had 4 staff members manning the booth and only 3 waffle irons.
It was a really long wait and Miss E was eager to go onto the next attraction. But seriously, that was the only negative that came up that day - besides the weather, which they don't really have control over.
We had made our way back to the entrance / exit and Miss E wanted to spend a few more minutes on the trampoline. As luck would have it though, rain started coming down again and we quickly made our way under the canopy, where Miss E ate her Bretzel and mum and dad had a warm cup of coffee.
We completed our day with a short walk back to the car and of course, Miss E fell asleep on our journey home.
It was a really really good day. For the cost of the adult ticket, it really is such good value for money. Many of the rides and attractions do not have staff standing by - those rides are easy to navigate and you actually just press a button once you are ready. There are loads of picnic tables and if you bring along a picnic blanket, that works too. We had a great time! Miss E enjoyed it so much and we will definitely be returning.
So, if you are ever out this way, and you have smaller children, this park is definitely something to put on your list to visit. It is less than an hour by car, you can also get there by train. It's cheaper than other theme parks and it definitely caters to Tiny Humans. Well worth the trip!
I highly recommend wearing layers. Even in Summer, when the rain hits, the temperature goes down. Of course bring either a poncho or umbrella for the unforeseen showers that happen now and then. Water or drinks is a must (there was even a group of young men who brought their own beer). I would also bring my own food and snacks, especially for the kiddies. One other thing I also would recommend is your own wagon (Bollerwagen). The one we rented was fine, but a little small. A lot of families brought their own and of the ones I've seen, they are a bit more spacious.
Till next time, Happy Day-trippin'