Sundown Adventureland Review + Photos

Sundown Adventureland is an interactive play park for young kids. Best suited for those under 5 it is located in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

We visited Sundown park for something different for our two kids and spent a sunny Saturday checking out all its facilities and having our own little adventure.

Sundown Adventureland Review + Photos

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Sundown Adventureland

One of the fellow mums at the kids school (yes I am the person that talks to everyone and would never be an introvert) mentioned that she was staying at one of the Sundown Adventureland Lodges and then when she got back what a great time she had.

I asked her first if I could interview her and she could share more about the Wildacre Village and then we decided a couple of weeks later to visit ourselves. We didn’t have time to stay there but had plenty of time for a day trip to Sundown Adventureland.

For the first Saturday of July, we did the 1 hour 25 minute trip from our home in East Yorkshire to Sundown and were keen to see what it was about, as we weren’t really that sure and see if it was the kind of place that our kids (or your kids) would enjoy.

Where Is Sundown?

Sundown is often referred to as either Sundown Nottingham or Sundown Adventureland Retford. Though if asked I would say Sundown location is in Nottinghamshire and just before Newark and to the East of Sheffield. It is also just 40 minutes from Doncaster in South Yorkshire. 

Does Sundown Have A Waterpark?

No, Sundown doesn’t have a waterpark. Sundown is more a big adventure park with a lot of interactive things to do, rather than a theme park or a waterpark. If you are looking for more of a theme park vibe, I would recommend Lightwater Valley instead or for a Waterpark I would recommend this waterpark in Scarborough.

What Rides Are At Sundown?

There are not many rides at Sundown and is mainly made up of train style rides. Such as the Sleigh Ride inside of the Christmas area, the tractor ride, the Robin Hood train ride, and the rocky mountain railroad. There is also little racetrack for them.

Beyond this for rides at Sundown you also have a boat ride (we didn’t do this because it wasn’t that warm and it soaks you), then there is the ostrich ride as well as flying pigs and their alternative to the cups and saucers.  

What Age Is Best For Sundown?

It says online that Sundown children’s park is suitable for under 10’s and an absolute no-no for taking your teens, yet I felt with a 6 year old and 8 year old that they way too old.

I looked around me at the other kids at the children’s park and noticed that they were on average 3 years old.

After asking other mums, they all said that they took their kids to Sundown Adventure Park when they were 3-4.

Our kids had a good time, but they said it was not as good compared to other family days out that we have had recently.

Sundown Parking

When you arrive at Sundown you will be impressed with how much parking they have. It’s a big area and there are staff directing you where to park. Note we went in early July on a weekend and there was still plenty of parking still available.

Then it’s a quick walk from the Sundown parking area to queue and then head inside.

Starting Your Sundown Adventure

Once you arrive at Sundown adventure and park your car, there is two different queues to go through before you enter the main area.

It starts with a queuing system similar to what I experienced on busy popular rides and at festivals.

the queue system at sundown adventureland
Here is the first of the two queue systems. You can see Sofia looking at the second one which looks very cute like little wendy houses and the start of a pretty theme throughout the park.

Then you have your QR code scanned before heading to the next section to hand over your tickets.

In between the two queues you also have 1 of only 2 sets of toilets for the entire Sundown Park.

The Sundown Adventure Begins….

Once you have passed through the two queues and you are inside, its like a market square, just a kid’s version.

We love the first look as you head in, and you get to see all the kids faces light up. You have a market section with pretend fruit, veggies, a cow you can interact with, and so many other little things and its easy to spend 30 minutes just here.

pigs at square market sundown
Here are the pig saying hello to the kids as they arrive in the market square. There is just so many different interactive features here and really impressive.
fruit and veg market square sundown
Another great is the fruit and veggies. You can touch and pull them for an interactive feature and the kids could have stayed there all day.
the cow at market square sundown
Though you will find most kids by the cow checking it out and pulling at it. It also makes a great photo opportunity with your kids.
market square sundown
Or if you wanted to see a photo of how the Sundown market square looks, then check this out and maybe you might get the kids wanting to eat their broccoli now.

Though note, if arriving when the Sundown Theme Park opens then it will be crowded, its much better to come back to this section later.

Then next is a series of places that look like regular old fashioned shops that are scattered around the main area.

You have the pet’s corner, the Santa’s sleigh ride, witches cauldron, the gift shop and so much more.

We started with Santa’s Sleigh Ride, then we did the Pets Corner and left the gift shop until we were leaving so that we didn’t have to carry everything around with us.

Santa’s Sleigh Ride Sundown was just like you would expect. A typical sleigh ride with some special effects as you go around. Thankfully not much of a queue and the kids did enjoy it.

santas sleigh ride sundown
Here is the sleigh ride that we went on. It was fun and the queue really wasn’t that bad considering it is a main attraction.

Pets Corner Sundown was the next one we did before we went to check out other parts of Sundown. It is a room with various pets and many of them are talking back to you and rather funny. Though the fluffy dog did make Jorge jump as we went past it.

pets corner sundown
Here is inside the pets corner at Sundown. Quite funny watching the pets make the kids jump as they started their talking again.

Then next it was a hard choice to make as like visiting a theme park, you have sections going off in different directions and it’s a hard choice to decide where to go next.

Sundown Playgrounds

Sofia took charge as she loves a playground, and we went into one of the playgrounds. Its just your typical playground like what you have at Dalby Forest, Burton Agnes Hall and William’s Den.

But I didn’t want to spend too much time at the Sundown playgrounds because a day out at Sundown is a lot more than some of these other days out, so I wanted to make sure we got value for money.

So, I think we spent about 20 minutes at one playground and then a bit more time in the Angry Birds themed playground.

Jorge at the playground at sundown
This is Jorge attempting to climb up one of the little walls. We love how he always has such a tight grip on things as is always suspicious.

We found the Angry Birds theme is a lot of fun and its easier to spend some time there instead because its also the place for their egg themed cup and saucers ride and their pig ride.

okie yolkie egg cup ride at sundown
This is the alternative to a classic cups and saucers ride though inside of cups and saucers it is egg cups. I went on with Jorge and Sofia also went on by herself.
giffy piggies ride at sundown
This is the pig ride which surprised me with how long the wait was to get on it. We must have waited 30 minutes which is unusual for a little place like Sundown.

What we did is have a session at the main playground not long after arriving and then when us parents wanted a sit down on the bench, we did the Sundown Angry Birds Theme then.

Storybook Village Sundown Adventureland

Now let’s move on, to one of my favourite parts of Sundown Adventure Land, though maybe I like this so much because I love a kid’s story, as really this section is the area that looks the most like it needs repairing.

What they have (you will love this) is a mini house that re-creates the scene from lots of fairytale stories. You have inside the Sundown Story Book, Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Jack & The Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood & so many others.

Then outside the little house you have a big book cover with the story and Sofia proudly went around each area and read out the story. But it was a shame that no all were in perfect condition as it did spoil the reading element of it.

Though, apart from that, the Story Book totally wowed me, and it wowed the kids and OMG how good the inside of the Goldilocks House looked was amazing!

sundown storybook goldilocks and the three bears
I loved how authentic it looked inside of Goldilocks & The Three Bears, you could pretend to cook some porridge, sit at the table and take your kids pics or get a good picture from above.
goldilocks at storybook sundown
Outside of this you will see the beautiful front of the house as well as the storybook. At each house we stopped at Sofia or Jorge read out the story.
hansel and gretel book
This is an example from Hansel & Gretel where you can see it needs repairing and is looking old.

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Another movie/story telling favourite of ours was dedicated to the movie The Wizard Of Oz. It was brilliant and as a grown up I was like a big kid in here.

It has a beautiful yellow brick road, and you find yourself saying “follow the yellow brick road, follow, follow, the yellow brick road”. It also has a pretend Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion.

Your kids can pose with each of them, or you just have fun doing the yellow brick road song like I did.

tin man at sundown
This is what the tin man looks like in this area. We just love it and it got busy in the middle of the day but in the morning and just before it closes there was nobody about and a great picture opportunity.

It Smells Of Liquorice

Another favourite of ours was the Lollipoppet Castle. We have just been to York and being to the Jorvik Museum and when we went to the Jorvik, it was all about the scent in the air.

They achieve similar at the Lollipoppet Castle with a smell of liquorice. 

I will say now that I don’t eat it, but I loved the smell and it was such a great theme for the kids to walk through.

the lolipoppet castle sundown
Plus, the area does look fantastic, and it is fun to look around and smell the air as you do. But not good for your sweet tooth cravings!

Toy Town

Another favourite among the Sundown guests is Toy Town. The Toy Town part of Sundown Park looks beautiful from the outside, but I feel it could be much better, if it was more setup like The Storybook Village.

By this I mean the inside being themed more, as a lot of it is very basic when you go inside each area. Whilst in the Storybook theme you have the house set up inside and it really has a great vibe to it.

But from the outside Toy Town will great some brilliant day out photos for you and your family.

toy town at sun down
This is one of the many views from Sundown as you look at the front of the Toy Town section. They also have some nice benches for the parents to sit on as the kids explore the town.

If you are not familiar with Sundown’s Toy Town then what they have is a little town with a fire station, doctors, dentists, opticians, butchers and so much more. 

Robin Hood Theme Park

Another area you have is the Robin Hood Theme Park section. This has some décor that looks similar to the Robin Hood movies plus a train ride that you can take.

wanted poster robin hood theme park sundown
We just loved this wanted poster it was great for something authentic as you walked around the little area before going on the Robin Hood ride.

Compared to the Sundown Tractor Ride we thought the queue was very quick moving and we were on it so fast that Dom wasn’t ready to take a photo of us as we went past.

We loved the Robin Hood theme our only complaint is that we thought it was going to be bigger.

Ostrich Ride

The Ostrich Ride or Jorge on the Ostrich ride was so funny! He looked like a jockey on a horse ride the way he leaned forward and looked so shocked when it started up and then he got to where he was going.

They both went on the ostrich ride at the same time and did look like fun and another ride that was quick moving without a long queue.

ostritch ride at sundown adventureland
Here they are on the ostrich ride. They both loved it though it did jolt them about a fair bit.

The Rocky Mountain Railroad

This was also a quick queue moving ride (can you tell we have been to Disneyworld?) and was not as good as The Rocky Mountain Railroad at Orlando of course, but still great for a bit of fun during a family day out.

I went on it with the kids, and they sat in front of me.

Sundown Tractor Ride

This was the only one of the train themed rides that had a big queue, and we must have waited over half an hour to get on it. But when we did both the kids, and I had a great time.

Once you are on the tractor ride, they have a lot of things you can view as you are going around and if you ask me, the ride goes way too quick.

Also note that when you do go to do the tractor ride it is inside what is called the old cottage so not that easy to spot.

sundown tractor ride entrance
Here is the cottage and you walk through it and it takes you into the queue for the Sundown Tractor Ride if the kids hadn’t spotted it, I wouldn’t have know where it was from.

Monkey Mayhem Driving School

If you ask Jorge what his favourite thing of the day was, he would almost certainly say the Monkey Mayhem Driving School. Both him and Sofia went on it and it started with a really good safety demo and then they each went around the track with some other kids.

Unlike some other theme parks, they did get a decent amount of time on the Monkey Mayhem.

jorge on monkey driving school
This is Jorge concentrating as he takes on another lap with his sister. Dom was at one end and I was at the other to get some good pics of them as they went around the circuit.

Eating At Sundown

We went to Honey’s Pumpkin Patch Café and I ordered a warm sausage roll and fries, Dom had the small burger and fries, Sofia had chicken nuggets and fries and Jorge had a hotdog and fries.

One portion of the fries was missing so we need to go back and sort that out. Then when it arrived the sausage roll was wrapped separately and waiting around a while before I got the fries, so was cold by the time I got it.

The food was okay, but not as good as some of the cafes at other kids places.

Sundown Gift Shop

This was my special place and for a gift shop I thought it was very reasonably priced and a massive selection of goods. I picked up some gorgeous looking ornaments for a lot cheaper than anywhere else and they are now sat proudly in our lounge at home.

We also had the fudge recommended and got the order 3 get a 4th free option, brought it home and we all loved this fudge.

fudge at the gift shop at sundown adventureland
This is a picture of the fudge that we took home with us. It was nice to get 4 different flavours and try a bit of each.

How Long Do You Spend At Sundown Adventureland?

To make the most out of Sundown Adventure Park we recommend 2 days to be able to fit it all in.

When we visited Sundown, we spent 1 day there from just after it had opened until just before it closed, and we didn’t manage to fit it all in.

We didn’t have time to do monkey mischief, we would have loved to have done the mountain railroad again, Jorge wished he could have another go on the racetrack, plus we didn’t have time for the smugglers cove or the rodeo indoor soft play area.

Sundown Adventureland Reviews

We liked our trip to Sundown Adventure, but I doubt we would go back. That is because it really did feel like our kids were too old for the place. It felt that the ideal customer was 3-4 years old, whilst our two kids are 6 and 8.

We also felt that Sundown Adventureland had a few negatives which given the high price, made us not want to return.

Firstly, the Sundown Adventureland Prices are much more expensive than some other places for what you get for your money. For example, I can get a 2 year season ticket for York Castle Museum, plus that has so much for to do, than one trip to Sundown. Or we can do a winter trip to Flamingo Land with its HUGE zoo + loads of kids rides for a similar price.

Plus, if you are charging a higher ticket price, I don’t expect for it to need a refurbishment. Such as the state of the Storybook area which really disappointed me.

I also asked another friend that went many years ago when her kids were 1 and 3 and she said she had an okay time, but it was just not somewhere she would return to.

We feel with some TLC Sundown could be so much better.

The toilets we feel is another issue. There are only one toilet that we found inside of Sundown and another outside before you go in. I seriously thought it was me and I hadn’t spotted it, but two different members of staff confirmed it. When their demographics are small kids, if you are at the far end and your kid needs to go, that is quite a walk and I felt like I spent most of the day, doing the walk back to the toilets.

We also felt that they were missing a business opportunity and could have really done with an ice cream van somewhere, or somewhere selling slushies in the middle of one of the playgrounds and that there was not that much in food and drink available. We were also disappointed in the food for the prices we paid.

If I was to give Sundown Adventure Retford a score out of 10 I would say a 5/10.

Sundown Park Visitor Information

  • Where is Sundown Adventureland located? The Sundown location is at Retford in Nottinghamshire. Its close to Newark and Lincoln and an easy drive down from the Humber Bridge.
  • Sundown Postcode. If using a Sat Nav or Google Maps the post code for Sundown is DN22 0HX.
  • Does Sundown Adventureland have parking? Yes, Sundown does have parking and plenty of it. You wont be disappointed with the parking and we had a nice friendly guy directing us in.
  • How long does it take to go around Sundown? We did ¾ of Sundown in one day, so if you want to see it all, or take the kids on multiple attractions then its best to stay at Wildacres and go for 2 days.
  • What age is best for Sundown? We recommend going to Sundown with under 5’s. We noticed those getting the most out of it were in the 3-4 age bracket.
  • Is Sundown open all year around? No, but Sundown is open most of the year. It opens from February half term through until Christmas and also closes for a few days in the winter.
  • What are Sundown opening times? Sundown Adventureland is open from 10am to 5pm. We recommend getting there for 10am so that you have time to make the most out of the cost for going.
  • How much are Sundown tickets? Sundown tickets for our family of four cost us £88.00. Which is quite expensive, and I blame this on that for our kids you pay the same as adult prices.

Pin Sundown Adventureland For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your day out then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board or days out board on Pinterest.

our trip to sundown theme park

About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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