Avalon and Milana love Playmobil. The obsession started when I bought a couple of figurines from a little French girl at a garage sale years ago. They’ve slowly built up their collection, and now have an enormous crate filled with fairies, mermaids, school-kids, and furniture.
It’s pretty expensive, and not all that popular, back home, but in Europe it’s as big as Lego. It’s not so much about building, but more about role-playing, which is right up our girls’ alley.
When we were flicking through a Playmobil catalogue last year, Avalon noticed an advertisement for “Playmobil Fun Park”. There are a few of them scattered around the globe, and the biggest is in Playmobil’s “home”, Zirndorf in Germany. Imagine the joy/relief when, as I was trip-planning, we discovered it was only an hour’s drive from where we’re based!
Picture the most enormous playground you could think of – climbing frames, slides, tight-ropes, and include all of your favorite toys supersized so that they’re as big as you are. Playmobil Fun Park is a kid’s dream! It was only 10euro each entry (cop THAT Dream World!), and we were all easily kept busy for 6 hours.
The park is divided into themed worlds – Wild West, Dinosaurs, Castle – and every section was highly interactive, and loaded with toys – diggers in the sand; boats, crocs and whales in big water tanks. You could milk the cows and wash the horses in the barn; explore hidden tunnels and mazes beneath the castle; and my favorite, sieve through sand for gold and gemstones in the Wild West’s gold mine. (Then for one euro, buy a Playmobil treasure chest to save them in). Imagine a life-size Noah’s Ark, Pirate Ship and Dinosaur World which you had to scale rope bridges to enter.
Unlike a traditional theme park, which involves a lot of sitting and having thrills handed to you, the kids had to use their imaginations, get active, wet and dirty. And all of the parents got involved too.
In Australia, our lives are now lived via mobile phone. An unexpected observation here, was that nobody sat dull-eyed glued to their phone as their kids played. Nobody! Also absent were the nervous parents hovering over their kids. Kids were allowed to run, hide, and feel free. And guess what? None of them were suddenly lost, returned with broken limbs or stolen like many parents back home seem to fear.
The Germans are a practical bunch too. Most families brought their own little wooden or fold out 4-wheeled fabric carts to drag food, backpacks, and even the kids around in. So cute!
Check out Cam’s great video from the day!
Playmobil FunPark? 10/10!