Sunday, 8 February 2015

Taipei Children's Amusement Park

It isn't often a new amusement park opens in Taipei. Prior to the recent opening of the Taipei Children's Amusement Park the Children's Recreation Center was where most parents would head when their offspring were in need of a spin on a ferris wheel or a whirl around a carousel. We regularly visit the Recreation Center on school trips and as a family. It's cheap and convenient, and not bad for a day's outing. But now the new amusement park is set to take its place.
Situated in Shilin, the Taipei Children's Amusement Park is the third point in a triangle of attractions, the other two points being the Science Museum and the Astronomical Museum. This might seem to imply that the three venues together provide a day's entertainment, but in fact the Amusement Park and the Science Museum by themselves require nearly a day to fully enjoy, and the Astronomical Musuem occupies at least a morning or afternoon.

The closest MRT line to all three places is the red Xiangshan - Danshui Line. You can get off at Jiantan or Shilin Station, though announcements tell passengers to alight at Jiantan. From there, buses 41 and 529 go to the park. At Shilin Station you can catch the Red 30 bus or the shuttles 255 or 620. As the park is less than a mile from Shilin Station, we prefer to walk.

Taipei Children's Amusement Park isn't a world class theme park, but it has rides to make you scream in terror, if you like that kind of thing. There's a roller coaster, a rocking pirate's ship and space tower. There are also bumper cars and rides that spin you round and make you feel sick (you may detect a certain reserve I feel about amusement park rides). For younger children there's a carousel, a ferris wheel, a monorail - the only ride I go on - and an indoor playground.

Hygiene standards are high in the indoor playground. Park assistants wipe the equipment down between sessions, and measure children's temperatures before allowing them in. I confess I personally appreciate this kind of thing, though others may find it overkill. Bugs spread among children like wildfire.

We arrived at the park early because it had only recently opened and was very busy. We avoided queueing to enter by going through the Easycard barrier. Compared to the Recreation Center the Amusement Park is expensive, but compared to other countries it's cheap. For example, a monorail ticket is NT$20, or about 40p. We paid for everything except food and arcade games with our Easycards.

I would say Taipei Children's Amusement Center is best for families where most of the children are under 11. There aren't the spectacular rides you see in world class theme parks, but there's plenty for younger children, including free areas such as an outdoor playground and sand pit.

There's also plenty of indoor space for picnic lunches. This space is to be found at Gourmet Street, which, rather anticlimactically, only hosts a 7-Eleven. In other areas of the park there are a few more, slightly pricey, fast food joints.

We had a good time at the Taipei Children's Amusement Park. Another of the long list of things to do in Taipei.

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