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Wicksteed Park, Kettering

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On a beautiful sunny weekend during May (2018), my husband and I took Millie to Wicksteed Park, Barton Road, Kettering. Wicksteed Park is an amusement park which I know I used to go to as a child but seem to remember it was miiiiiiiiles away when really it was only a half hour journey from my childhood home. I didn’t remember it being quite so big either – I couldn’t believe how many fairground rides, playgrounds, attractions and places to eat there were! For a full list of the attractions, click here.
 
Entrance into the park is free (aside from parking) but you must pay to go on the rides or attractions. Each ride/attraction is worth a certain number of tickets (on average 2-3 tickets per ride) and you can buy tickets from kiosks around the park. The alternative is to buy a wristband and then you can access all of the rides for a one-off payment. If you know your child is too young/short for a lot of the rides then it makes more sense to buy single tickets at £1.25 each or 20 tickets for £22/40 tickets for £37. If you know your child is going to go on a lot of rides then a wristband is the way to go. Pricing information can be found here.
 
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As for access, you can take the pram/stroller everywhere; there are parts of the car park that are grass or gravelled so can be quite bumpy but other than that, it’s all easily accessible.

There are various toilet blocks throughout the park with changing facilities but two of the toilets I visited only had facilities in the ladies’ toilets which was a little disappointing.


The main playground area has lots of equipment and is fantastic for older children. There wasn’t a huge amount Millie could go on (at 20 months) but she enjoyed the baby swings, a small slide and a sit-on, wobbly jeep. 
 
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Near the lake there is a quieter, more toddler-friendly playground which Millie really enjoyed. She also had a great time in the large sandy playground area. It has lots of water play with guttering, and a small wooden playground area. The whole playground is fenced so it felt a little more secure than the main playground. There’s also a cafe next to the playground and toilets nearby so it was definitely my favourite playground here. 
 
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Wicksteed park also has an indoor play area called Wicky’s Play Factory. Adults and infants under 12 months pay a £1 entrance fee. Prices during weekends and school holidays are £5 for children up to 3 years old and 4 years and over pay £6 (it’s much cheaper during term time – click here). However, if you have a wristband, children only pay a £1 entrance fee. The Play Factory also has a cafe and the prices seem reasonable – I only had a latte so cannot comment on the food. They have around five wooden highchairs with straps and plenty of room to park up the prams. The soft play area is two tier and was lots of fun. Millie enjoyed playing with some large soft shapes including a car which you can Velcro together and sit on. One of the slides looked pretty awesome as it was so steep but I lost my nerve and didn’t try it! Within the soft play/cafe toilets, they have one toilet with toddler toilet seats and in the men’s there is a lowered urinal. Both the ladies’ and men’s toilets have a drop down changing table. The larger cubicle for wheelchair users also has a toddler step and nappy bin but no changing table. 
 
As well as the soft play cafe, there are various cafes and places to eat around the park. There are also areas for picnics and huge grassy areas to play on. 
 
Aside from the usual rollercoasters, log flumes and go karts that you might expect from an amusement park, Wicksteed park has crazy golf, lake boats, canoes, a monorail, car ride with old-fashioned cars, a train that goes around the lake, meerkats, llamas and a walk through aviary, to name a few. If you’re an adrenaline junkie there is also a zip wire, climbing wall and a bag jump – all of these are at an additional cost.
 
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After all the excitement of the rides, it was nice to take a peaceful, pushchair-friendly walk around the lake. Although Millie was too young/short to go on most of the rides, we still had a fantastic time and spent most of the day here. It’s a fantastic family day out and somewhere we will definitely be coming back to.

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