As mentioned in ‘A break in the woods’ I will write a more detailed review of the activities we tried and our accommodation. Bear in mind Henry is still only 3 so there was quite a lot we were not able to do as he is still too young.
Our Woodland Lodge was a quaint two bedroom, open planned style. As you entered your lodge, it opened into a small entrance with a door to the main bathroom on the right. Behind you was a door into a separate toilet and through that was a cupboard which housed the boiler, safe, high chair, cot and cleaning equipment. I’ll be honest and say we didn’t open the toilet door till a couple of days in so didn’t even know this was here till then.
A couple of steps forward and there was the dining table on the left, with a chalk board on the wall, (nice feature) and the kitchen to the right. Through the kitchen was a door to the children’s bedroom. The kitchen area and living area were completely open planned and quite cosy. The kitchen had all the appliances you would expect, kettle, toaster, cooker, dishwasher, microwave and a coffee machine also. There were patio doors to the right of the lounge area, which lea out to a small, private patio with a BBQ area and table and chairs. Through the dining area was the master bedroom.
We really liked where we were staying, it was really comfortable and the size suited us perfectly. It was in a nice quiet area of the Parc as well, which was nice too. We had plenty of animal visitors every morning too.
Off road explorers
Priced at £15 for 45 minutes.
This was as expected, a mini off road jeep that is suitable for toddlers to steer and drive themselves. Upon arrival at the activity, you are greeted by your instructors who lead you around the corner for a brief introduction. All the children get a little flat cap to wear, which is a nice touch. The instructors then give the children a little run down of the driving instructions on the stationary vehicle. They are then all taken to their little jeep, with one supervising adult. The adults all get given a button on a lanyard which will cut the engine and stop the car if there is an issue. At the back of the jeep is a picture board of all the woodland characters you need to collect throughout the drive.
Before starting the actual task, they have a small loop around where the children do two laps with their adult to master the driving. When the instructors are happy, you all set off together with the instructor and the adults walking beside each child’s car.
The track itself was nicely done, with a couple of water dips to go through and much rougher areas also. At the end of the activity when you have driven the route and collected all your animals, you are parked one by one in front of the picture board for a photo. Everyone then parks up and hands back the lanyards and flat caps. As a well done to all the children they all receive a little certificate and badge. We didn’t know about this, so that was a really nice little surprise at the end.
Priced at £9 for 30 minutes.
This was an indoor activity done on the badminton courts. There was one instructor doing this activity and it was only 40 minutes long. To start with the instructor went through some basic walking backwards and forwards with the child and parent. This was done a couple of times. Then the children were given a foam sword to start practise the sword ‘Stabbing’ motion. After this there was a little game between coloured cones, then the adult gets a sword. The instructor then teaches the children a defensive move. All in all this was a fairly basic activity aimed at the younger age group. At the end of this activity the children also got given a small badge for taking part.
Mini Captains Adventure
Priced at £18 for 40 minutes.
Mini Captains Adventure was a very similar set up to the Off Road Explorers, as you enter the area, there is an instructor ready. All children and accompanying adult get kitted out with a life jacket and a hat. You then have a brief introduction about the areas of the boat, then you are all given a clipboard with various items to search for on the buoys on the lake. The instructor then leads everyone down to the jetty where you receive your driving instructions and a walkie-talkie. The little boats were brightly coloured and easy to spot out on the lake. All children and adult are then helped onto their boats and sent on their way out into the lake.
The task as mentioned is to find the items on the buoys and I believe you had 20 minutes on the lake to do so. The instructor was also keeping contact with all the boats over the walkie talkies, which was great for safety reasons. The only thing to be mindful of is the lake is also used by the electric boats, row boats and canoes. So I can imagine that it could get quite busy at times, and with children driving little boats, could be a worry perhaps. Although I think it was quite easy for an adult to take over and steer around their child.
Once the allotted time was over the instructor ushers everyone back to dock their boats everyone disembarks and heads back to the meeting point. All equipment is returned and again all the children get given a certificate and a little badge.
All in all I think we picked the right type of activities and the correct amount for our child, there are slightly more activities on offer for this age but we didn’t think were suitable for us. The price for all the above I thought was quite reasonable.
Updated – We tried some different activities in Sherwood Forest and if you would like to have a look you’ll find it in Centre Parcs Sherwood Activites Reviewed