Saturday, July 23, 2011

Playmobil Fun Park

Today we did a trip that was all about the kids (and a little about Mom and Sara, who were Playmobil enthusiasts once upon a time.) The kids REALLY wanted to go to the Playmobil Fun Park. It was three hours away, but we knew it would probably be the highlight of the trip, so we decided to make a LONG day out of it. Daddy was a serious trooper- he did all the driving.

The park was great. It was basically just a huge playground, where everything was a life-size Playmobil set. (Those of you who aren’t familiar with Playmobil are missing out! They’re some of the best toys for kids out there, in my opinion. I’ve been collecting since I was five in Germany. Back then, it hadn’t extended out of Germany and was called Spielmobil.)

We definitely noticed a cultural difference when we went here. In Germany, people don’t sue like they do in the States. “At your own risk” really means that, and as a result, there were tons of very fun playscapes that never would have passed the safety test at home. A plank over water (no rails) was the entrance to the pirate ship. The kids climbed up ropes, ran around on slippery wet rocks in Dinosaur Land (Megan and Evan both whacked their heads as a result of that) and rappelled down hills. They slid down three-story slides on mats (even Carsten), sat on thrones next to Playmobil kings, and panned for gold in the Western Town.

Another cultural difference: No kids’ fun park would be complete without a Beer Garden.

Now, the adults were profoundly aware that this park was built for CHILDREN, not adults. Climbing from area to area often involved walking over swingy rope bridges or crawling through very small castle passages.

And, just to add to the experience, there was a dethroning as was common in medieval times:

One of the biggest challenges for us big people was keeping track of the little ones! There were so many great things to do that they just kind of scattered. We used the orange shirts again, and I’m glad we did. Carsten wandered off once, and someone at the park recognized that he must belong to us because he matched the rest of us. I was a little nervous about losing one of the kids all day, and the announcements that kept coming over the address system didn’t help. Every so often, a cheerful voice would announce, “Dearest Guests, we are requesting your help to locate a child. His name is Michael and he is three years old. He is wearing a blue shirt and a diaper and was last seen near the Construction Area.” And then a few minutes later, “Thank you, dearest guests, Michael has been returned to his parents.”

There was also an indoor area with EVERY single Playmobil set out for the kids to play with. Our kids could have spent an entire day just in that spot. All in all, this was a great day and well worth the drive, although if we had it to do over again, we would probably have stayed overnight and turned it into a two-day adventure.

And, of course, no trip to a Fun Park would be complete without ice cream!

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