It's true, we are to have a new theme park right on our doorstep!
Due to open in April 2010, Terra Botanica will cover 110,000 square metres and will be the first theme park in Europe devoted to plant life. So, as there will be no Mickey Mouse or Asterix to entertain, what can we expect from this new park?
According to the press release, there will be aquatic spaces, greenhouses and 40 attractions and activities, providing fun and education for young and old alike. I have had a look at the park map and it does seem that there will be plenty to do, although I would say a passing interest in plants, natural science or just learning new things will probably ensure you have a good day!
The park is split into 4 separate areas (classic theme park-style this!) Coveted, Tamed, Generous and Mysterous Plants, each with its own 'headline' show or attraction, quizzes and games for children, and areas to wander and enjoy the plants which fit that area's theme.
In the Coveted Plants area, you travel back in time to the great botanic adventurers of the 18th century, who brought back to Europe exotic new plants and spices. Highlight of this section of the park is a special effects film where guests take their own voyage of discovery, ending up by 'disembarking' from the ship into a vast hothouse recreating the jungles of South America.
In the Generous Plants section, the highlight of the visit is a trip down a river, crossing through the rich natural heritage of Anjou. Guests are able to learn about plants which 'give' so much to man - medicinal plants, vines (of course!) and traditional trades.
In Mysterious Plants guests will learn about the science of plants and really get 'up close' in the headline show -a 4-D film where visitors follow the journey of two water droplets which travel from the roots up to the leaves of a tree. In this section younger guests will enjoy the prehistory sections and the pedal-driven nutshells which travel high above the trees.
The final section is Tamed Plants; all about how Man has used, and continues to use, the rich resources of plants in his daily life. The jewel in the crown of this area is the Extreme Glasshouse where in the space of a few steps you travel from the Arctic to the desert via a tropical rainforest.
The park is due to open on 10th April - so if you come and stay during the Easter holidays you may get to visit - and will be open daily from May to September. Admission prices are 17.50 for adults and 10.00 euros for children - with family tickets also available. The park is about 45 minutes drive from us. We will be visiting as soon as we can after opening day, so check back on the blog for photos and our family's review!