Family attractions back for big weekend after months of shutdown

Family fun on the Go Gater ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. From back,

Family fun on the Go Gater ride at the Funderworld Theme Park. From back, Sharni Charlton holding five-month-old Isabella Ward; Ayisha May holding 11-month-old Blake; with Sumayah Simpson, four, and Jaylen Charlton, seven. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Many months of frustration can finally be released this weekend - with family days out back on the agenda.

Lockdown rules and home-schooling have seen children and their parents cooped up together, with patience being tested.

But this is the first weekend that outdoor attractions including funfairs and zoos are open for business - and staff cannot wait to welcome visitors.

Five-year-old Naoise Browne braves the Sizzler ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Sho

Five-year-old Naoise Browne braves the Sizzler ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground with her dad Jake. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Funderworld travelling theme park set up at the Norfolk Showground from Thursday with more than 25 rides and attractions on offer at the site until May 9.

As part of the measures in place, a long-lasting anti-viral spray called Zoono is being used so that the rides do not have to be wiped constantly, which would increase queue times. 

Fun on the Sizzler ride for Florence Andrews, seven, left, with her sister, Emilia, 10, right, and t

Fun on the Sizzler ride for Florence Andrews, seven, left, with her sister, Emilia, 10, right, and their friend Scarlett Behm, nine, at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021


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Director Michelle Matthews said: "It's absolutely lovely to be back. It's been a very long time not seeing any customers as we are used to interacting with so many people. It's not been a nice feeling not being able to see the public and doing what we enjoy.

Youngsters enjoying the Freefall ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. Pictu

Youngsters enjoying the Freefall ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"We are receiving lots of comments from people who are positive about coming and seem to be happy to come out. I think people are used to sanitising hands and keeping their distance now.

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"The showground is a huge site which is naturally spaced out in the fresh air. At the moment internet sales are looking quite good. It is early days.

Fun on the Go Gater ride for Sumayah Simpson, four, and Jaylen Charlton, seven, at the Funderworld T

Fun on the Go Gater ride for Sumayah Simpson, four, and Jaylen Charlton, seven, at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"For the first night it was steady, but we are hoping the numbers will go up and for as much sunshine as possible." 

Youngsters enjoying the Freefall ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. Pictu

Youngsters enjoying the Freefall ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! are also gearing up for the return of families this weekend with a maximum of 200 people allowed to enter the attractions per hour. 

Africa Alive and Banham Zoo are welcoming families back after months of lockdown 

Africa Alive and Banham Zoo are welcoming families back after months of lockdown - Credit: Ben Thomas

Non-members have been able to pre-book tickets online for Saturday onwards as families start to plan days out again. 

The zoo had dedicated the first five days from April 12 as a members only week before the full reopening. 

Africa Alive on April 15 as part of the members only week

Africa Alive on April 15 as part of the members only week - Credit: Ben Thomas

Claudia Roberts, joint managing director, said: “We are delighted to be reopening again and sharing our beautiful open spaces and diverse collection of animals with the community that have supported us so much over the last year. The animals have missed them too.

Adam Goymour, park director at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure in Lenwade, said: “We recognise that the last lockdown over the winter months has been particularly tough for everyone."

“Our first week back has felt very positive. It’s been fantastic to have visitors back at the park and seeing the excitement on everyone’s faces - we’ve even managed to sell out of tickets for the entire first week, so we feel very grateful and honoured that visitors have chosen us as one of their first days out.

“The outside attractions at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure are open, whilst the indoor ones remain closed until May 17 but with some sunshine forecast for the weekend, there should be plenty to keep families entertained and children occupied in a safe environment."

The Funderworld theme park is open from 4-9pm on weekdays and noon until 9pm on Saturday, Sundays and Bank Holiday Monday until May 9.

Sharni Charlton holding five-month-old Isabella Ward, taking a selfie on the Go Gater ride at the Fu

Sharni Charlton holding five-month-old Isabella Ward, taking a selfie on the Go Gater ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Evan Bedwell, left, and Archie Drake, both 12, enjoying the Air Raid ride at the Funderworld Theme P

Evan Bedwell, left, and Archie Drake, both 12, enjoying the Air Raid ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Evan Bedwell, left, and Archie Drake, both 12, enjoying the Air Raid ride at the Funderworld Theme P

Evan Bedwell, left, and Archie Drake, both 12, enjoying the Air Raid ride at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Riders enjoying the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showgroun

Riders enjoying the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Riders enjoying the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showgroun

Riders enjoying the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster at the Funderworld Theme Park at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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