We’re sure you’ve seen the whirling neon rides towering over Central at the moment and if you haven’t been over to The AIA Grand European Carnival yet mamas, now’s the time! We checked it out a little while ago to see if it was worth the hype…
While initially the somewhat terrifying big kid rides make the carnival seem not so family-friendly, there’s actually a lot to do as a family. There’s the picture-perfect mega-slide at the entrance of the park and you can’t go a few steps without stumbling across some ride just for the tots: be it a mechanical pony track, mini rollercoaster (don’t worry, some of them will let you on too mamas!) or a bouncy castle or three. They’re all pretty fun and there’s something for kiddos of every age, as well as things that everybody can get in on like the bumper cars or carousel.
Aside from the rides, there’s also a number of fun sideshows everyone can get stuck into. Tucked away in the corner, there’s an arcade where you can try your luck to score a few more tokens (believe us, you’ll need them) and if you get there early enough in the day, there’s even a bit of water zorbing to be done beside the bouncy castles. We’re sure you’ll spot the carnies wandering around the park as well and they’re always up for a good laugh, whether you’re chatting to a clown making balloons or gaping up at a man on stilts.
One of the coolest things about the carnival is undoubtedly the outdoor skate rink smack bang in the middle of the whole fanfare. Even if your children aren’t so great on the ice or even if you’re a little slippy yourself, they’ve come up with fun seal shaped supports that you can hold onto to keep you upright on the ice, rather than sprawled out across the floor.
If you get a little tired of running around mamas, there’s a number of games for you to take some time out. With stuffed toy prizes like the minions from Despicable Me, a bizarrely fantastic giant squid and a number of Disney characters, you’ll see the usual fare of games like milk can throws, coin tosses, darts (maybe keep the kids away from those) and more. Or if the tots are a little rumbly in their tumblies, there’s food stalls galore boasting different cuisines from Western, Chinese, Mexican and more. Just beware of the port-a-potties.
The carnival’s a great option for a family day out and we love how there’s something for kids of every age, as well as a number of amazing thrill-seeking rides for teens and adults. That said however, everything runs on a token-based system and with rides priced between 4-7 tokens ($40-$70), things do add up quite quickly so you’ll want to bring a little more cash. It’s impossible to walk through the park without feeling its contagious energy and we’re sure that in no time, you’ll be chasing ride after ride with the kiddos too.
Entrance is priced at $90 (inclusive of 7 tokens) for children between 3-11 years old, whereas adults tickets are priced at $125 (inclusive of 10 tokens). Children under 3 get free entry. The carnival runs until February 22.
The AIA Grand European Carnival, New Central Harbourfront, 9319 1732, tgec.asia