Not quite a theme park, not quite a zoo, not quite a water park, but neither is it just a playground. Whatever Plaswijckpark is - it’s a bucket load of fun.
This place is made for kids and has very few staff running the show. Unlike most theme parks, it doesn’t exude a corporate vibe nor are there overcautious limitations on rides. In fact rides that can be considered downright terrifying for parents makes them even more stimulating and fun for independent kids.
The generous serving of common sense and freedom for kids and parents alike is refreshingly empowering.
To reach the park, it was a pretty quick tram ride from the centre of Rotterdam to Meidoornweide station, plus an short walk through a regular park – the type with just trees and grass. Try to bypass the exterior park’s playground if you can, because you are going to want to spend the whole day inside Plaswijckpark.
The queue at the entry moved fairly quickly through the gift shop and into the park. Our first stop was a splashing boat ride. I sat inside a small plastic boat and it was pulled backwards up a steep slope. Then it was released. It zoomed back down like a roller coaster without brakes making a brief flying leap through the air to come down hard in the water, sending splashes in all directions. Mia and I loved it.
After our turn Caius was upset he wasn’t tall enough so we moved onto a giant playground with rope bridges and steel slides that seemed to extend forever.
It wasn’t long before I was bribing the kids to keep looking around and we visited several other parts of the park - screeching around on four wheels through traffic, rolling down a giant green hill, flying through the air, water park, petting zoo and more.
Even the restaurant, which provided a sizeable range of different foods, provided a sand box for kids to play in.
It was near the end of the day when we located an indoor playground with comfortable beanbag recliners for the parents to just sit and watch. Plus free Wi-Fi! The kids enjoyed climbing and exploring the whole indoor playground, while we leaned back and relaxed. The clock kept ticking and before we knew it, it was home time.
The kids didn’t want to leave and neither did we. Seriously, it was one of the most enjoyable places we have visited, which incorporated a whole day of play, education and exercise. Don’t be fooled by the lack of glossy marketing for this place. It flies under most parents’ radar, but when you visit Rotterdam you’ll know better.