If your kids are tired of holidays packed to the brim with walks and museums, remember the two little words that are bound to get them excited about a family trip: theme park. Children, teenagers, or big kids, can’t resist the thrill of rushing through the air on a rollercoaster, getting sprayed by the log flume on a hot day or stuffing themselves with sugary confectionary.
If you’ve exhausted the UK’s options, this half-term is the perfect time to venture abroad to find your family’s new favourite theme park. The US does a fantastic trade in larger-than-life rollercoasters and there are plenty of European parks bound to excite and delight the little ones if you'd rather stay closer to home. Weather around the October half-term can be hit and miss, but with a theme park on your doorstep, a little cloud cover won’t ruin your holiday.
Sound good? Here’s the Flexicover team's favourite theme parks for holidays this half-term.
If you like your rollercoasters with a side-helping of Norse mythology - and who doesn't - look no further than Liseburg, Scandinavia's largest theme park. Located in the Swedish capital Gothenburg, it's home to 41 rides set among beautiful landscaped gardens. Chief among the appeal is Valkyria, named after the mythical women who decided whether soldiers lived or died in battle. The longest dive coaster in Europe, it features a jaw-clenching vertical drop of nearly 50 metres and reaches eye-watering speeds of more than 65 mph. And don't miss Balder, which has twice been voted the best wooden tracked rollercoaster in the world.
An undeniably magical experience, Disneyland Paris brings Walt Disney’s famous characters to Europe, so you don’t have to shell out for a Stateside trip. Meet Mickey, Donald Duck and the whole gang, before braving the hair-raising Space Mountain, or enjoying a slightly more sedate whirl on the teacups if that’s more your scene. At night, hot-step it over to Main Street in time to watch the iconic illuminated parade, as fireworks streak the sky behind Cinderella’s iconic Castle. Fortunately, it couldn't be much easier to turn your kids' dreams of visiting Disneyland into a reality - either get a quick flight, or cut the hassle and hop on the Eurostar.
Let's be honest. Lego may be marketed as a kids' toy, but secretly we'd much rather they left us alone to play with it ourselves. With that in mind, it's fair to describe the original Lego theme park in Denmark as offering something for all the family…even if your children don't really appreciate it like you do. More than 50 rides are spread across the nine themed zones, including the impressive Miniland - a vast series of 1:20 scale models of some of the world's most famous landmarks built from more than 25 million Lego bricks. Of course, you could do it better if you just had the time…
Efteling, The Netherlands
It may be just an hour's drive from Amsterdam, but fantasy and fairytale-themed amusement park Efteling feels like it could be a million miles from the Dutch capital. One of the world's oldest theme parks, predating the original Disneyland by three years, it has a decidedly unique feel. Far from the bright-lights-and-huge-coasters gaudiness of many of its rivals, Efteling is surrounded by beautiful forests that add to the Brothers Grimm-inspired appeal of this delightfully kooky attraction. The rides are still great fun, but it's just as enjoyable to take a slow stroll through the Fairytale Forest, meeting the likes of Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretel and Tom Thumb along the way.
Universal Studios, Florida
If you’re planning a trip to the US, you’ll struggle to beat Orlando for theme parks. The Florida city is home to more than a dozen thrilling amusement parks, including the world famous Universal Studios. As well as the movie-themed park, make a splash at the Islands of Adventure with its myriad water rides and coasters. Are your wannabe witches and wizards waiting for their Hogwarts letter? Distract them with a magical trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where they can fill up on Butterbeer and wander down the enchanting Diagon Alley. And don’t forget to take plenty of snaps that will turn their Slytherin friends green with envy.
Wherever you plan heading to this October half term it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.