Ahead of the Christmas celebrations, recreational parks across the Federal Capital City are already wearing new look. CHIKA OKEKE who visited some recreational parks to assess their level of preparedness to host the children and adults, writes that the environment is already glittering with Christmas décor, state-of-the-art gaming facilities.
Taking a cozy ride inside the carrousel at the Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort were two kids, Juliet Lawson and Emmanuel Okeke. Aged between 6 and 10, their faces beamed with smiles as the carrousel rotated for about a few minutes before the machine controlling the carrousel was finally switched off by the maintenance staff.
While Juliet is a primary 2 pupil of May Flower primary school Ikene, Emmanuel is a primary 6 pupil of Marcelina Udoji Memorial School, Ozubulu in Anambra state. Both children are in Abuja to spend their holidays.
Immediately after the carrousel ride, the two moved over to the Fulani ranch popularly called Wakawaka bridge and had another pleasant ride for. They did this continuously, using the flying eagle and pirate ship, while their aunt who provided the tickets for the jolly ride urged them on.
In a chat with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, the children could not hide their joy but described their outing as a memorable event that they would share with friends after the holiday.
'We are very happy that our aunts brought us to wonderland. We enjoyed everything here including the cotton candy that she bought for us. We are very excited and we pray that God will continue to bless them'.
Their aunt who pleaded anonymity said that apart from taking the kids out for the jolly ride, they were also fulfilled and had lots of fun. According to her, 'I am confident that the kids enjoyed themselves and would be willing to visit the park this Christmas and even during the New Year festivities.
Juliet and Emma's encounter is similar to those of over one million kids who are expected to visit recreational facilities across Abuja, including Maitama Amusement park, Millennium park among others during this yuletide season. The parks are already adorned with glittering facilities even with the presence of security personnel who will maintain sanity during the festivities.
Wonderland Amusement Park
In a chat with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, the General Manager of Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort, Mr. Hassan Kasim said that they are always prepared to host the children and adults anytime apart from this yuletide season saying that their charges are affordable.
"We are ever prepared to host the parents and children this Christmas. We do not wait for the festive periods before we start making arrangements or putting good facilities on ground. There is no time you come here without finding new things, so we are really prepared for the Christmas".
According to him, "Our charges are pocket friendly and I don't think that anyone has come here and has any reason to probably complain that our charges are exorbitant. It has never changed since the inauguration of this park in March 2007, by former president Olusegun Obasanjo. It is still the same low charge of between N100 to N300 for people to enjoy a cozy ride, while the entrance fee of N300 has also remained unchanged.
Also, management has engaged the services of comedians who will entertain the kids and liven their day.
Maitama Amusement Park
At the Maitama Amusement park located at Lake Chad crescent, there are also the presence of beautifully designed facilities like bumper board, mini jet, frog jump, arcade, ice cream joint among others that will make the kids and adults lively this season.
A staff of the Maitama Amusement park who pleaded anonymity, told our reporter that they were very prepared to host all classes of people at the park especially the children.
On the charges applicable, he added, "we charge each child N200 to use each machine but for those on free trip that may be willing to come along with up to five children, they will be required to pay N500 for each child to use as many machines as possible. So we are advising parents to come along with their children and key into the free trip.
Millennium Park, Maitama
At the Millennium Park Maitama, it was also discovered that the green areas have been neatly trimmed even as children and adults were seen catching fun. While Wonderland and Maitama Amusement parks charge some fees on their facilities, Millennium Park is toll free with the presence of few facilities on ground.
The existing children facilities at the park may not accommodate many children but the green areas are wide enough to serve as alternative to the facilities at the park which is managed by Salini Construction Company.