Let the children play...

How much help do we need to have fun?

You know how you will drive for hours to see the latest hotspot, but never check out the attractions just next door? Well, for years I have driven past signs to the Playmobil Funpark in Zirndorf near Nuremberg. Some friends from far-away told me they wanted to see it so I went along for the ride.

Now Playmobil is an important local firm here (they sponsor one of the local soccer stadia), but they are, well, local. Frankly, I was expecting something well-meant but a bit parochial and tacky. How wrong I was.

The FunPark turned out to be a hit. For a very low entry price we stepped into a well designed world which was built to the highest quality standards and utterly engaging - the parents were having as much fun as the kids. Yes, I too was climbing the treehouse, boarding the (full-size) pirate ship, paddling my raft around the lake and pushing every button I could find in the mirrored labyrinth of light. Boy, I wish I was seven.

And the best bit? There were a few Playmobil folk here and there if you needed them, but no costumed "characters", no "play leaders" or whatever. And no rides. Just acres and acres of (giant sized) toys and thousands of kids, big and small, having a blast. Perfect.

You know, most experiences seem to think we need help to play. Playmobil proved different. But it got me thinking... is it because their customers are kids, or is it because the experience is so well - and so simply - designed?

No comments:

Latest posts...

There was an error in this gadget