Family attractions back for big weekend after months of shutdown
- 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.
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.
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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.
"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.
"For the first night it was steady, but we are hoping the numbers will go up and for as much sunshine as possible."
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.
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.
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.