Theme parks are a great day out for thrill-seekers and families. Packed with rides, attractions, arcades, places to eat and drink and animals, they are a popular treat for all ages during the school holidays.

And what's better, we're lucky to have some of the best parks in the country just a short distance away, including Thorpe Park, Legoland, and Chessington World of Adventures.

To help you plan your day out, we've put together some handy information on making the most of your visit.

Thorpe Park

Derren Brown's Ghost Train will join a host of other fast and thrilling rides and rollercoasters at the theme park in Chertsey this spring.

The parks main attraction include I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Maze, Stealth, The Swarm, SAW - The Ride, Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Tidal Wave and Angry Birds 4D.

2016 season: March 17 to November 2

Address: Thorpe Park Resort, Staines Road, Chertsey, KT16 8PN - 0871 6631673

Price: £49.99 on the door or £27.99 in advance online

Time to drive*: One hour, three minutes

*From Waterloo Rail Station, data from Google Maps

Read our Thorpe Park Visitor Guide here for more information and opening times.

Chessington World of Adventures

With daily shows and activities, this theme park also has a zoo, aquarium and a pair of themed hotels. The park includes 10 themed lands and more than 40 rides and attractions. The theme park is closed during the winter and opens in March but the zoo is open.

The zoo allows you to get face-to-face with more than 1,000 exotic animals, including lions, tigers, gorillas, monkeys, penguins and sealions.

The Sea Life Centre is packed full of fun exhibitions, including interactive rock pools, daily talks and feeding sessions as well as a breathtaking walk-through ocean tunnel.

Address: Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Leatherhead Road, Chessington, KT9 2NE - 0871 6634477

Price: Zoo tickets from £9 each, Theme Park tickets from £27.60 each (under 3s go free)

Time to drive*: 51 minutes

Why not head to Chessington World of Adventures this year?

Legoland

With more than 55 interactive rides and attractions, guests can fly through the treetops to escape fearsome dragons, ride the thrilling rapids with a Viking Fleet, join Lego divers on a magical underwater adventure on Atlantis Submarine Voyage or enjoy the UK's only Lego Star Wars Miniland Model Display (closed during the winter, opens in March).

With a hotel at the resort featuring fully themed bedrooms and a splash pool, families can make their visit even longer.

Address: Legoland Resort Windsor, Winkfield Road, Windsor, SL4 4AY - 0871 2222001

Price: Adult £50.40, child (aged 3-15) £46.20

Time to drive*: One hour, six minutes

Paultons Park

Paultons park is not only a family theme park with more than 60 rides and attractions, it is also the home of Peppa Pig World. Set within 140 acres of beautiful parkland on the edge of the New Forest National Park, it reopens on February 14 for the 2016 season.

Paultons has a wide variety of children's rides, family rides and thrill rides to enjoy including roller coasters, water rides and a 4D Cinema.

A must for all Peppa fans, there are seven themed rides and attractions, an indoor playzone and a muddy puddles water splash Park.

Address: Ower, Romsey, SO51 6AL - 023 80814442

Price: Advance tickets from £25.75 per person, children under 1m free

Time to drive*: One hour, 58 minutes