Jul 3, 2014
|Wow! Today was a full day for the Verbanszky family. Our host family had quite a collection of brochures of things to do around the area. I spent quite some time going through them and picking out the ones I felt would be fun or different for us to do. One of the brochures that stuck out to me was of an Bauernhof-Erlebnissoase called Irrland near the German village of Kevelaer-Twisteden. Irrland is a hybrid of amusement park without mechanical rides and lines and a giant playground geared up to 12 year olds.
The best part of it is: it only cost us 5 euros each to get in. (Frank explained that the German government subsidizes these kind of places and one can find them throughout Germany.)
It did not take us long to cross into Germany and get to the park. Cars with German, Dutch, and Belgian license plates lined the lot along with tour buses from nearby cities. The place was huge. Thirty soccer fields big with tunnels going under the highway leading to various parts of the park. Literally hundreds of shaded picnic tables and barbecue stations are peppered throughout the park. The theme for this year was Ancient Rome, so many things had a Roman look to them.
The weather was hot and humid as we entered the park. For 3 euros we rented a radio-flyer style wagon for all of our things.
The park had a tremendous amount of things to do. Too many to go over each. But some of the highlights were the following:
A two-story high air-filled plastic mountain that dozens of kids could climb up on at once
A slide that had a 15 meter drop and went really fast. That one cause both Stephanie and my heart skip a beat for I swore we were going to fly right off.
A tennis court size water pillow on which we could run and jump and make ripples.
A waterpark with a life size pirate ship and with slides that Izzy went down on her own and one big one that she only went down with Daddy, but only once. (Unfortunately all activities were for kids, unless accompanied by an adult, so I could not go on it again.)
There was a large barn filled with corn to dive into and roll around in. Izzy and I spent quite some time covering ourselves with corn kernels along with dozens of other children, while Stephanie and Zenny went to the smaller kids area. Izzy and I were covered in a fine white powder when we got out that took a while to come off.
There were giant lego blocks with which to build life-size structures.
An entire miniature airfield with planes to climb in. One was an actual old passenger plane where you entered by the cockpit and had to go through a laser maze to the back and slide down. If you touched the maze, a laser shot would be heard throughout the plane.
There were two gigantic bouncy houses—one shaped like the Parthenon and one like the coliseum.
There were kiosks selling beer, ice cream, French fries, etc for 1 or 2 euros, but one was also allowed to bring in as much food and drink as one liked.
The list goes on and on. And what was great was that there were no lines to contend with and everything was nicely spread out.
I wish we had stuff like this near us in California, if even something like this exists in our country.
We arrived at 10 am and left at 8 pm so it definitely was a full day. We were some of the last people to leave—gotta get our money's worth!
The girls were spent and incredibly dirty and, again, fell asleep immediately in their car seats. They had a blast and so did we.