I was glad that I had packed Freddy's wellies because it was pretty muddy, but thankfully the weather was kind to us and it was quite warm for late October. Greenwood Forest Park is pretty rustic with attractions that blend into the forest setting, so don't expect flashing lights and fancy rides. Instead you'll find lots of natural materials and things that rely on people power!
There were plenty of Halloween bits and bobs around the park to get us in the Halloween mood, and kids in costume received a free hot chocolate, which was a nice touch.
The Great Green Run is a 70 m sledge run that allows riders to whizz down a hill in a toboggan. There is also a smaller version for younger children to enjoy. Freddy tried out both of the runs and absolutely loved it!
The Crocodile Maze is a boardwalk maze in the forest. Willow cuttings are dotted throughout the spaces between the raised platforms. When it is all fully grown it will be much harder to find your way through, but it was still a good challenge for Freddy who found his way to the centre to find the crocodile sculpture and then found his way back out, leading us all behind him.
The WildWEB is a 6 m tall double mast rope pyramid, which provides a great challenge! Freddy did really well working out how to climb up the ropes. Daddy looked on to help him across some of the trickier bits! It's a great activity for kids looking for a physical challenge.
The Moonkarts are pedal powered one or two seater carts that can be ridden around the quite extensive track. Freddy did really well getting the hang of the steering levers although he did have a few crashes, including an incident where he totally rear ended his sister's cart! It was great fun though!
The Barefoot Trail proved to be a real favourite activity. Children can walk through the trail exploring the different textures with their bare feet. There was water to wade through and smooth stones, rocks, fossils, mud, pebbles and straw to walk over. It is a real sensory experience that both Freddy and Kizzy really enjoyed doing. It is quite a long trail and very well designed with all the different areas to explore underfoot.
There is plenty of storage for shoes and socks and afterwards, there is a foot cleaning station with soap, water and paper towels to clean up messy feet!
We all enjoyed the Jungle Boats where we had to propel our boat through a canal using only paddles and ropes to pull ourselves along. It was a lot of fun and we went round twice, with Freddy being the chief oarsman!
There are lots of play areas including the brilliant wooden Tree Top Towers complete with netted walkways, tube slides and four tall timber towers. The Tunnel Warren is a smaller version for the under 7's to enjoy, but Freddy loved the challenge of the huge Tree Top Towers. The Giant Jumper was also very popular with Freddy. It is a huge 1500 sq ft pillow shaped bouncy jumper that children can clamber up and bounce on. It was a lot of fun! The Zip Wires and Trim Trail were also good activities for active kids.
There is a people powered Green Dragon Rollercoaster that runs on a 250 m track through the woods. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to ride it. Nor did we have time to take part in any of the craft activities, do a donkey ride or have a go at archery. There really is a lot to do.
The restaurant was really good, serving lovely veggie burgers, chips, kids' lunchboxes and traybake cakes. Four of us ate for £30, making it reasonable value. Inside is an indoor play area The Enchanted Woodbarn for kids up to 1.4 m tall. Freddy loved playing while we enjoyed a coffee after our meal. It is a really nice attraction for families whatever the weather. There are other soft play areas for toddlers too.
Greenwood Forest Park is a good value attraction with most of the things to do being included in the entry price. We spent a good few hours there and Freddy totally tired himself out. By the time we came home, Freddy was worn out and dirty after all his physical fun - just how kids should be after a proper day out!
It is nice to see a park that is eco-friendly, relying on nature and people power for many of its attractions. It was perfect for someone of Freddy's age as he could do everything, giving him the freedom to explore. And we were impressed to find a decent veggie option in the restaurant. All in all, it proved a good day out where we had lots of laughs, which for me is what a family adventure is all about.
You can find out more about Greenwood Forest Park here: http://www.greenwoodforestpark.co.uk/