A quartet of theme parks to thrill the pants off you and introduce you to TV characters and animal friends.

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Theme Parks and Animal Parks

Kids of all ages will have a ball at Warner Park, Faunia and other fun places.

Themed after the films and TV shows of Warner Brothers Entertainment, the world-class Parque Warner is located 29 kilometres (18 miles) outside Madrid, off exit 22 of the A4 motorway. With something to please virtually everyone, from toddlers to seniors, it offers a rip-roaring day of entertainment (or more than one!) with rides like "Revenge of the Enigma", a tower which drops riders 100 metres (328 feet) at a hair-raising 80 kph (50 mph), a water park and scores of shows and dining venues for all budgets. (One caveat: really young children, less than one metre (39 inches) tall, have fairly limited options when it comes to rides). You can also make it even easier on yourself and the gang by buying the "Roadrunner" pass which will jump you past the regular queues. Another brilliant option within Madrid city limits if you don't want to venture quite so far afield is the enormous Casa de Campo park (Metro line 10, Batán stop). It includes another amusement park, the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, which in addition to thrill rides also features Nickelodeon Land, where youngsters will meet their favourite TV friends like Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob Squarepants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you have children, you'll have a ball at this park, not just for its attractions but at seeing your kids laughing and giggling all day long. And you can get pretty good deals on tickets by buying online. Also in Casa de Campo, the Madrid Zoo Aquarium makes for another fabulous day out with the youngsters, with stars including a pair of giant pandas and a dolphin show. Meanwhile, a newer animal park called Faunia, in the Vicálvaro district to the east, can also be reached via Metro. It's organised according to ecosystems and includes a number of interactive animal experiences.

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