Bangor has many appeals for both locals and tourist families. It’s by the sea, and has some delicious eateries, but when it comes to summertime and kids, Ni4kids Rebecca Reid says there’s really only one place worth talking about… and that’s Pickie Fun Park!

I took my family of four, plus a friend, down to the marina for some fun in the afternoon sun, and what a fab time we all had. I was a tad apprehensive at first, purely because my kids’ ages range from two to 12 – which usually means it’s difficult to find entertainment and activity options which appeal to all – however, I shouldn’t have feared as it was superb. We hit the play park running for plenty of crazy, out-of-breath, jump-around fun. Then it was “All Aboard!” the famous Pickie Puffer which had caught our eye chugging past full steam ahead. We all hopped on and the resulting squeals of delight were enough for me to declare the afternoon an enormous success already. But there was still so much more ahead!

Leaping off we bounced straight over to the zorb water walkers (for those of you who, like me, have no idea what these are – they’re the big blow-up balls kids climb into and roll about on the water). While little cub and I devoured an ice cream in the sunshine, it was hugely entertaining watching my trio of girls falling around inside while they played at being hamsters in a wheel. They all exited a little exhausted from their mini-workout, so ideal timing then to try out the new Medieval-themed water guns. Plenty of hilarity followed shooting at the pop-up knight targets and making the dragon squirt water – even our tiniest adventure seeker soon got to grips with it and after that it was giggles all the way.

Even though we had cooled us down considerably during our water play, I figured there was still time for a sprinkle of slightly more relaxing aquatic action and chased after my little chicks, more dripping ice creams in hand from the well-stocked Pickie Cafe, to the disco ducks and swans. There is oddly nothing quite as peaceful and calming as gliding along on the water in a glorious super-sized swan, or if you prefer crazy to lazy, whirling around madly in a motorised duck – because kids just love to spin in manic circles and get dizzy, don’t they? Of course they do!

“There is oddly nothing quite as peaceful and calming as gliding along on the water in a glorious super-sized swan.”

Right next to the swans are the new motorised boats, which are a lovely, simple way to enjoy water play. The kids loved getting their hands on the steering wheel and watching the boats whizzing around the water. It’s a little tricky to start but once they got the hang of it, they were off. Racing. Sabotaging each other. Navigating their way out of a shipwreck. Super seafaring family entertainment at the seaside heaving with plenty of belly laughs.

We definitely saved the best until last. High-octane action with the new laser karting! What could possibly be more fun than racing around in a go-kart, aiming a laser at your sister and firing to see her go spinning around and around? Brilliant! Big kids (like me) will love this new attraction too and I certainly took my revenge, zapping them to my heart’s content and zooming off before they could zap me back. We absolutely adored it!

So, on fair-weather days ahead, if you’re seeking some seriously awesome outdoor entertainment, put Pickie on your to-do list, take in the view, enjoy the laughs and make some magical summer memories.

Find Pickie Fun Park at Marine Gardens, Bangor, BT20 3JR. Open daily 9am-9pm. Admission to the park is free. Prices for individual attractions can be found at pickiefunpark.com

Nadia Duncan

Author: Nadia Duncan

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