What’s it like at Family Paradise in Leverkusen? First of all, this is not an indoor playground like the others we have visited so far: GeckoFun in Burscheid, Hoplop in Cologne, Okidoki in Langenfeld, Trampolino in Hilden, Tiki Kinderland in Solingen, and Hugodrom in Remscheid.
The others have trampolines, inflatables, climbing structures, bungy jumping, mini golf, and a lake with boats, but Family Paradise looks more like an indoor fun fair: It sports Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, family shuttle cars that run on tracks above the visitors’ heads, and heavy gear you’d typically see at fairs.
The biggest difference when comparing Family Paradise to other indoor playgrounds is that the parents or other caregivers have to walk everywhere WITH their children (only kids of 10 years old and over are allowed to be on their own). And the reason behind it is that one adult always has to stand on a silver step and press a green button so the machines are switched on. As soon as the adult steps off or takes the finger off the button, the machine stops. The buttons are so high that children cannot reach them. Even the scooters are operated by an adult switching them on with a button high on a beam (but one doesn’t need to hold it pressed down all the time). This makes for a safe environment (and the kids cannot play tricks on others by stopping machines with someone stuck on them in the air).
The hall is 2,400 square meters big and offers many attractions. There were a few things Lyons Cub was already familiar with from the other indoor playgrounds he has attended: The climbing constructions, the trampolines, the inflatable fish that swallows children, and the rubber climbing volcano — only this volcano had handles to facilitate the ascent and featured a slide down.
A fun feature on the climbing structure consisted in the big hands that kids could run through and play boxing with. The huge yellow slides were a favorite with the kids, too. And the tube slide was very fast and went down in so many curves that the kids were a bit dizzy when coming tumbling out at the end.
Alas, there were also a few attractions that were only for older children, which made Lyons Cub sad. On the other hand, though, he has some things to look forward to when he’s older:
Trampolines are always a favorite:
There were a few things we had never seen before, such as the “hot air” balloon on a metal pole. Kids could enter the basket to be transported high in the air and down again.
There were two different Ferris wheels and one merry-go-round. Lyons Cub tried them all.
Of course, there was also a safe and padded section for babies and toddlers. It offered more toys and fun things than the usual areas for the littles, as can be seen on the pictures below.
We took a ride on the pedal cars on the tracks under the ceiling, but my son’s legs were too short to reach the pedals, so I had to do all the work 😉 However, the hit for my son that day were the scooters. He spent lots of coins riding them. When there were about four scooters on the relatively small field, bumps and crashes were prone to happen. Luckily, nobody got hurt. The children wore seat belts, but they got shaken around quite a bit when they bumped into each other.
What the other indoor playgrounds didn’t have were the many different ball games. You get a wooden ball for EUR 2.00 out of a vending machine and can let it run through various mazes. That was a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.
The slime toy from another vending machine obviously was very cool, too!
All in all, this indoor playground was a big adventure and totally different from what we had seen before. You should absolutely try it out if the ordinary indoor playgrounds get kind of boring for your kiddos.