If like us you’re always trying to rack your brain for cheaper ideas to entertain your little ones, we have recently found a great park near us that’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area! 20 minutes’ drive from Nottingham City Centre sits a Theme Park perfect for a whole day of fun! We were recently asked on a playdate to Wheelgate Park and since we hadn’t been before, we were really excited to see what it had to offer. We hadn’t taken Mia anyway like it bar Alton Towers and Paultons Park so I was looking forward to how Mia would find it.
Wheelgate is a theme park and water park situated near Mansfield and Nottingham and across the road from another of our favourite places White Post Farm. It boasts something for everyone and boy they were not wrong! On first entrance Mia was hooked and I must admit we were too! There is so much to see and do there. Mia got in for free as she is (just!) under the 95cm mark. However they do toddler tickets for £6.99 and children’s tickets for £13.99 which I think is great as many places just have a standard fee and little ones sometimes can’t go on a lot. I think that’s what puts us off these places sometimes. Adult tickets are £13.99 but can be bought online for a discount and on the day there is often 20% at the gate.
After the entrance fee there isn’t a lot more to pay for especially if you bring your own picnic (there are plenty of picnic spots dotted all over the park). Little food outlets are in every area of the Park so you can pick up some drinks and snacks as well as the main café serving hot and cold food at reasonable prices. The only things we paid extra for was Mia’s pony ride at £4.20 for a really nice pony trek round, 50p for some animal food, and then she wanted to play a fireman arcade game where you squirt water at targets.
There are various rides around the park including merry-go-round style ones in the 2 indoor buildings (more about them later!), a full size Runaway Train which was for the older ones, a Car Ride which Mia really enjoyed and then the full size Carousel which I had to sit with Mia on but she absolutely loved and we went on at least twice! There’s also a miniature train that goes from one end of the Park to the other, with its own little station which Mia really liked.
Then there are the cute miniature buildings that the children (and adults!) can run in and out of, some even have an upstairs! There’s a shop with a till, a church, a school, stables and houses. Mia loved standing at the Pulpit giving us a sermon and then pretending to play the organ!
Moving further into the Park, there are at least 3 separate play areas; a couple for the little ones and a bigger one towards the back of the Park which Mia had a good go at but then got a bit stuck on a twirly-whirly slide! There’s also a big sand pit area with buckets and spades ready for some good old-fashioned sand castle making! The sand pit is surrounded by little tractors and push along toys. There is an outdoor maze which we didn’t do and some trampolines which were Mia’s first experience of one so she wouldn’t stand up but she still enjoyed bouncing around on her knees!
As well as all of this, there is a water park which I was amazed at! It looks huge! It wasn’t open when we went but opens in July and has lots of water slides, a bit of a pool and plenty of sun loungers for the adults so will be great for when it’s hot and sunny!
Then there is the little farm area where there are goats, sheep, alpacas and ponies. There are 3 out-buildings that house pigs, baby alpacas, bunnies, chicks, chinchillas, ferrets, and lots of tropical animals like land snails, iguanas, monitor lizards, snakes, and many more! All of the animals look really well and each area is well maintained and clean. There is an owl area where you can get close to some beautiful birds and the keepers come round quite often with the owls and birds so you can get really close to them!
If the weather isn’t great, there are 2 indoor buildings full of things to do. An alien themed Galaxy Zone with soft play for little ones, rides for a bit older ones and a Martians Mirror Maze which I made the mistake of taking Mia into and she screamed the place down! #mummymistake.
The 2nd one is a Pharaoh’s Zone which has a massive bouncy castle inside, a soft play for younger ones and a huge 4 storey soft play centre for the older ones. I took Mia on but she was a bit little, although she loved the wobbly slide!
On the way out, there is a Tropical House which has fish and turtles in as well as a large array of tropical plants. This is entered through the Gift Shop which is completely avoidable which I like, as places like this always get you by having to go through some kind of shop on the way out! So it’s nice that you can choose at Wheelgate.
The staff are really friendly and they all seem to have the time to stop and talk to you. It makes the day even more special as you know that they are on hand if you need anything. Everything is really well thought out and you could easily spend all day there. When we went a couple of weeks ago we were there for 5 hours! I don’t know who was more shattered; me or Mia! We have only been on weekdays and it’s been so quiet each time even though the weather was good so I don’t know what it’s like on a weekend or in the school holidays but its well worth going on a weekday if you can, as you can ensure full-run of the park! Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and Titan the Robot make appearances throughout the year and there is always something going on extra to the Park itself. There is so much to do (we still haven’t seen everything!) and we have enjoyed our visits so much we have been 3 times in around 2 months so we are considering an Annual Pass, which gets you into both Wheelgate and Twin Lakes (their sister park) unlimited times a year! A great family day out!
We were in no-way asked by the Park to write this review, we wrote it as we just loved the Park and we paid full price on each of our visits!