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ParaPark Gran Canaria

October 22, 2014
Reddy steady go at ParaPark Gran Canaria

What does Gran Canaria offer families? Well, there are its family-friendly beaches, of course. And then there are its water parks such as Lago Taurito.

But what about if you want to do something different from splashing about in the ocean or pool? How about visiting museums like Gáldar’s Cueva Pintada and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Museo Elder?

All these are tried-and-trusted techniques Mr and Mrs Gran Canaria Local have adopted to keep the kids out of their (ok her) hair. So, we were delighted to be invited to the island’s latest tourist attraction. Playa del Inglés’ ParaPark Gran Canaria, though, is aimed for families with older kids.

So, four-year-old Tom spent some time with his abuela. As Mr and Mr GCL headed south with Dani, 14, and 11-year-old Alex. We weren’t allowed to take photographs inside the attraction, but we’ll try and reveal what went on without spoiling any surprises. Here’s what we learnt.

  1. To go with the flow
  2. Red herrings don’t smell
  3. Timing’s everything at ParaPark Gran Canaria

1. To go with the flow

The ParaPark concept was born in Hungary’s Budapest. It was here that Attila Gyurkovics designed the first escape room. ParaPark translates as FearPark in Hungarian.

And ParaPark Gran Canaria follows the classic template, meaning you’re locked into a room and given 60 minutes to make your escape. It was a fellow Hungarian, psychology professor Mihaly Csksentmihalyi, who coined the concept of flow. Namely, that you’re so wrapped up in an activity; that your absorption leads to a state of contentment.

Not that Mrs GCL was particularly happy at first. Suffering from claustrophobia, ParaPark’s Room 113 looked like becoming her Room 101. But she resisted the temptation to press the panic alarm that would have triggerred an early release; to seize the moment to work closely with Dani cracking codes.


2. Red herrings don’t smell

Whilst Mrs Gran Canaria Local and Dani raced against the clock, Mr Gran Canaria Local and Alex took a more leisurely approach. Adopting the sofa as their base, young Al played Watson to Mr GCL’s Holmes. Although the clues they were investigating would turn out to be red herrings.

In their defence, father and son didn’t know what they were looking for. And they wanted to step back from the dilemma; to analyze it coldly and rationally. Except the clues they uncovered led them to a dead end rather than the way out. Thankfully, the other half of the family concentrated more on working out which keys opened which locks.

3. Timing’s everything at ParaPark Gran Canaria

With a family of five featuring four footballers, the GCL household’s certainly competitive. So, we were keen to beat the record for the fastest exit from the room. But wouldn’t you know? Time flies when you’re having fun.

ParaPark Gran Canaria owner, Vivien Boszormenyi, made sure we kept an eye on the clock, though. Inside the room, there’s a monitor which occasionally flashed up with a helpful message. Failing that, she communicated with us by walky-talky.

In the end, we made it out of the room just as our allotted hour was up. We were loud and proud as we stepped out of the door. And we’re already looking forward to return when ParaPark Gran Canaria add a second room to test our wits against.

Disclaimer: Ordinarily, entry to ParaPark Gran Canaria costs 60€ for a group made up of a maximum of five members. However, that price is slashed to 50€ if you’re resident on the island. The Gran Canaria Local family, though, were guests of ParaPark Gran Canaria who offered us free entry in return for this review. Our opinions, nevertheless, remain very much our own.