1 October 2015

Family Day Out at Diggerland

My boyfriend's friends are often slightly bemused at tales of things he's been dragged to in the name of educating and entertaining the young ones. Many a time have I overheard conversations that run a little like "Yo, are you coming the pub this afternoon?" "Can't dude, I'm at an owl sanctuary".... but none of these family-friendly days out have as inspired as much intrigue and wonder as Diggerland!

family things to do in yorkshire
I don't know if it's an ingrained fondness for favourite childhood toys, or just an ingrained refusal to grow up (which I by no means intend as a criticism!), but there is something about a theme park based on heavy construction machinery that really appeals to a large group of grown men, as our trip proved. Thankfully though, it was just as much fun for the actual children!
rides with diggers
Diggerland, for those not familiar with the concept, is exactly what you might expect - a theme park based around diggers. It's as brilliant as it is bonkers.  Rides, such as the Dig-a-round above and the frankly terrifying-looking Spin Dizzy, are made from modified diggers. In other areas the kids get to drive these machines - actual, real, full-sized things, around set tracks.
kids activities diggerland
And in other areas, the diggers are incorporated into games - little madam was most impressed with herself for completing her game of skittles!
skittles diggerland
Somewhat weirdly though perhaps, my son's favourite bit was using the digger for it's intended purpose, and making a massive whole in the ground. The next time he digs a whole on the beach with his little bucket and spade just won't be the same!
castleford days out
We've all been to Diggerland before a couple of years ago, and sometimes it's only when you return to things that you realise how much has changed in the meantime. On our last visit, the little lady couldn't reach a lot of the controls on her own and had to sit on my knee for most things....
stuff at diggerland
... and now she's off driving tractors and operating diggers all on her own! It's amazing how much she's grown... thankfully the young ones still need me to actually drive them to these places so I'm not completely defunct yet.
kid rides a jcb
Though it is nice to know she's not too grown up for some of the 'littler' attractions!
fun things for kids to do
I, on the other hand, am a great big wimp. I already mentioned my fear at the thought of the Spin Dizzy, but as you can see I didn't look much more confident getting on the Ground Shuttle - in which you essentially sit on a platform at the front of one of the machines before being lifted into the air and driven over some very rough terrain! 'Twas a bit bumpy for someone of my nervous disposition but the kids loved it - although they could just as easily have been laughing at me!  
groundshuttle diggerland
And since I braved that I allowed myself to give the Sky Shuttle a miss - this one lifts you straight up in the air for some great views of the park, but I was happy enough to see it via pictures from the safety of the ground!
high up on a ride
view from diggerland skyshuttle
I'll admit that when we first turned up at Diggerland we (the adults at least) thought 'This will be fun for a couple of hours or so, but along with a lunch stop at the on site cafĂ© and a quick run around the small indoor soft play area, we were there more than five hours - and probably spent no more than half an hour of that total time queuing! Not many similar places you can say that! We had a great day out, and now the Mr gets to be the envy of all his buddies!
(We visited the Castleford/Yorkshire site but you can also find Diggerlands in Devon, Durham and Kent!)
*Tickets provided free of charge. 

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