Sundown Adventureland is a fairly large theme park for under 10’s. It is located near Retford, Nottinghamshire and is not too far from Lincoln. It’s only 6 miles from the A1. Sundown has no age restrictions so you can go safely in the knowledge that you all can have a great day out. Not only that adults can actually go on all the rides too, unlike some rides for little ones at other theme parks. Perfect.
We were recently invited to come for a day out to review Sundown Adventureland. What a fun filled day we had. Jamie and I walked around with big smiles on our faces for most of the day (minus a minor blip meeting the characters, shy child syndrome!). There’s such a great variety of things to do. There’s plenty of family-friendly rides, loads of outdoor-themed playgrounds, a huge indoor soft play area plus many houses, rooms, castles etc. to explore. The park must have hundreds of buttons to press and they were all, bar just one, working. Which is amazing in itself.
You always know when we’ve had a good day out because I take loads of photos and lots of video footage. But hopefully, it will give you a good idea of the park. I will break my review down into sections starting with the rides. Practical information can be found at the bottom of my blog review.
The rides at Sundown Adventureland
Currently, there are 8 rides at Sundown. They are all very family friendly and safe guaranteed fun.
Santa’s Sleigh Ride
The first ride we came to was in the Market Square and this was Santa’s Sleigh. It felt a bit strange going on a Christmas ride in June but we both loved it. In fact, it was Jamie’s favourite and we went on more than once, especially as it had the shortest queue. What a festive treat it was. Sights, sounds and I was pretty convinced smells made it feel like it was Christmas again.
This is a pretty much guaranteed to get wet on kind of ride. You sit in a barrel and sail along the water. It’s rapids but for the little folk. There are a few jets along the way that squirt water at you. I’d practically convinced a nervous Jamie that he wouldn’t get wet and that indeed it would be Mummy who would get wet. Yes, I was wrong. He got the brunt of it, bless him. It was funny though. This ride has a very nautical theme. We waited about 10 minutes on a relatively busy day but I noticed the queue was a lot shorter around lunch time.
Rocky Mountain Train
Next up we headed over to Shotgun city to ride the Rocky Mountain train. I loved the scenery along the way on this ride. There are tunnels and waterfalls with lots to spot and see along the way. You get a fun blast of smoke near the end too. The little ones loved to pretend to shoot at various things along the way. We again waited approx. 10 minutes. We queued for the same length of time later on.
The little ones can sit up front and pretend to steer you around in a tractor passing animals, farm equipment and even a car in the water. I love the use of sound on a lot of their rides. Sundown plays appropriate sounds and voices when you pass certain things which make the experience seem really realistic. This ride was one of my favourite attractions for that. This queue moved the slowest and on a busy day, we waited approx. 15 minutes. (not too bad a wait time I add!).
Over next to the large Angry birds playground where you will find two more rides and the soon to be opened new Safari ride. These two rides are the fastest of all the rides in the park. There’s
This is Sundown’s version of a teacup ride. It was great fun and you can spin as little or as much as you feel like doing. We walked straight on to this ride with no queuing.
The other fast and very bouncy ride is
I have never seen so many people laughing on a ride. It’s infectious, I don’t think I’ve ever been on anything quite so bouncy, what fun. You sit on a pink pig and get bounced up and down like you’ve never been bounced before. I didn’t get a very good picture so you will have to watch my video to see this ride, that’s a hint! We didn’t have to wait long for our ride.
Robin Hood Ride
This is another ride that was really alive with sounds as well as moving figures. You can’t be in Nottinghamshire without a Robin Hood ride, right? Our wait time on this ride was about 10 minutes.
Finally, the 8th ride was the Go Karts. This looked fun and I wanted Jamie to have a try but he was a little unsure. There were other younger kids managing just fine to peddle around though.
Sundown’s Play Areas
One thing Sundown does well and that’s its plays areas. Indoors there is a massive soft play on 4 levels called Crash Landings. This would be fabulous on a cold, wet and or windy day. We were there on a beautiful sunny day so I was a mean Mummy and wouldn’t let Jamie on. So I have taken a photo from their website to show you how amazing it looks. There is also a café with a large jungle themed seating area in here.
Another indoor soft play area is over at Shotgun City. This is Rodeo Coral which also has a café.
Play wise outdoors there is the very large Angry Birds Playground.
There is something to suit all ages with really large play equipment for the older kids and various smaller things to climb and slide down for the smaller ones.
This must be their newest playground. The rubber surface smelt lovely, brand new. The play equipment looked loads of fun. It’s set out like a wild west town and the kids can run around the top of the town or play on the new looking equipment in the centre. There’s a wooden assault course that I haven’t seen anything quite so large and fun looking before. Plus so much more.
Pirate Adventure / Smugglers Cove
There is a big pirate ship to explore in this area plus another playground with houses to run in and out of. New looking play equipment to play on and much much more. Some of the buildings have mini soft play areas, others slides and other things to see and do. There has been quite a lot invested in the play surfaces of their playgrounds, which I was very impressed with. The buildings are a fab way to fire little one’s imaginations.
This area is recommended for the under 5’s. There is so much seating here around the playground. It was fab and we sat for our picnic lunch here. Jamie especially loved the snail and mushroom slides and the ark itself.
Last but not least is their massive sand pit area. Jamie couldn’t wait to take his shoes off and get stuck in.
He quite honestly could have spent a whole day here. I felt bad dragging him away. He loved sliding down the slides into the sand and basically was in his element. In fact, I was surprised when he didn’t say that this was his favourite thing about our day out.
All of the above is in itself a fab day out. But Sundown adds even more fun by the way of different fairy tale and themed areas to explore. These areas are where your kids can push buttons to their heart’s content. There is so much to see and do. I challenge you to find everything because confession time we actually didn’t. I felt bad at times rushing him on and for that reason, I know we need to come back again. So what are the different areas to explore?
Full of fun and great photo opportunities. Jamie loved the singing bear by the entrance. We had to keep going back to watch him. The chap on the bench is a must to sit next to. There’s the Witches Cauldron with buttons galore and the pet shop too. Press a button and see what happens next.
Shotgun City (including Sing a long show)
Step into the Wild West at Shotgun city. The almost constant stream of bubbles is great fun for the little ones and there are so many great places to wander in to. You can blow a hole in the bank, go to jail, watch a talking horse. There’s an animated one-man band with his dog show to join in with a few times a day. Plus so much more, not to mention even more photo opportunities.
Explore various little houses based on favourite nursery rhymes. Again there’s plenty for the kids to see and plenty of buttons to press. We had a great time wandering in and out of the houses.
This one is more for the kids than the adults to join in with. The buildings are a little bit smaller than Storybook Village. I chilled out on a bench listening to various sounds while Jamie explored a post office, fire station and more.
Yellow Brick Road
Jamie is a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz, we’ve seen it countless time. So imagine his delight to be able to walk down the yellow brick road and meet all the characters. Of course, we sang the song too, I mean you have to right?
In this castle, there are rooms to explore with smells of mints and sweeties. Plus there are plenty more buttons to press and various things to activate within the castle square.
Monkey Mischief and Sunnydown Farm
We were distracted away from our visit to Monkey mischief by the park’s mascot bears Sunny and Honey on a cart. Jamie was quite insistent that we followed them. I checked if he wanted to meet them and I was met with a resounding yes. So off we set. There’s just a couple of opportunities to meet the characters during the day so I didn’t mind waiting a few minutes in the queue. Needless to say after 20 minutes crossing the park and then queueing he bottled it when we went in to meet them and wouldn’t stand for a photo. So we kind of time wasted and missed going to Monkey mischief as I forgot after that.
We didn’t get a chance to explore Sunnydown farm either, which is next to the Robin Hood ride, as we were really needing to head home by them. So it’s something to look forward to seeing next time.
As well as all these fun areas to explore there’s, even more, to see dotted around the place. There’s a huge animated dragon that moves and talks if you dare steal his treasure. A crocodile next to the water, plus shark jaws for a photo opportunity and much more.
It’s pretty easy to navigate your way around with all the helpful posts everywhere.
Useful Information about Sundown Adventureland
As you can see from the photo below they have 3 different price options for their non-Christmas entry days and two different price options during their Christmas season. Children under 90cm are free for most of the year. At Christmas, they are charged at just £3. As it was May half term it was classified as high season for us. Tickets for adults and children are priced at £16 each. Low season it is just £14 each. For everything they have there I feel this is a very fair price. The prices are similar over Christmas. Further pricing information can be found here. Read here for my review of our meeting with Santa at Christmas time at Sundown – Christmas at Sundown Adventureland – Meeting Santa.
They also have annual passes available, family tickets, senior prices, plus disabled guest and carers prices.
There are a few cafes to eat at around the site which serve hot and cold food plus drinks and snacks. There are also plenty of places to sit and eat a packed lunch.
I also made a Vlog which you can check out here…..I’m sure this will help you get an idea of the park and what there is to see and do there.
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