Another new adventure for us, and another local adventure too. The Challenge Woods is based at The Nest, which is the Norwich City Football Club Community Hub. Friends of ours had visited, and raved about what a fun (and affordable) experience it was, so we decided to give it a go!
The Nest’s Challenge Wood offers 330m2 of outdoor play, built into the surrounding trees and woodland. It has climbing frames and climbing nets, a small climbing wall, and a long enclosed slide. The boys favourite part of the experience was the 35 metre zip line, which they rode again and again. Scarily fast, from a parents point of view, but so great to see them challenging themselves and trying new things.
In reality, the Challenge Wood is like a larger version of a local play park, but because you have to book and pay for tickets to visit, visitor numbers are limited. That means that it feels covid safe, and that it never feels particularly crowded. Younger children would definitely need a parent to go around the play area with them, but after we went around with our bigger boys a couple of time (just for fun!) they were happier running off alone, without us oldies slowing them down! There were plenty of picnic benches around the play area, which is where we parked ourselves, and you could see the whole area from there, so they were perfectly safe. The playground is also fully enclosed, which might put toddler wranglers minds at rest!
Our eldest son is 8 and he felt that he’d had enough, having done everything over and over, after about an hour. Our younger son is 5, and he was the perfect age for the facilities here, and could have played all day. When deciding if we’d visit again, the boys said that it would be a lot more fun if they’d had friends to play with (to chase, and run around, and plan adventures) so we plan to go again in the summer holidays with friends: I’ll report back then, and let you know the official verdict from the play experts!
The Nest also has a very nice looking cafe where you can get the usual coffee and cakes, as well as hand made pizzas and sandwiches. We didn’t have the time to stop for lunch this week, but that will definitely be on our list of things to try during our next visit too.
You can book 2 hour sessions to visit the Challenge Woods via their website and it is an incredibly cheap morning (or afternoon out). £3 for children, £2 for accompanying adults, and children under 3 go free, but they will still need to book a ticket.