When I heard about this magical woodland event I was excited to attend with my family, including my 4-year-old niece and baby nephew too. I hoped it would live up to expectations and we weren’t disappointed.
The lighting was breathtaking with different themes in various areas of the woodland. Special LED effects, changing colours, laser lights and hanging orbs made the park a sensory experience. The musical choice made it feel as though you were entering a Harry Potter-esque world so felt truly magical as we entered the wood.
Several paths wound their way through different sensory experiences to a central campfire area where you could purchase marshmallows on sticks to toast around the fire and there were a few food stalls there too selling hotdogs, mulled wine and sweets. The gooey toasted marshmallows certainly went down well with my niece Evelyn.
One of the highlights in the woodland was the Aqua Rhythm water fountain. Jets of water danced to along to music and a laser light show accompanied it. Evelyn and other children stood transfixed in front of it for quite some time. My baby nephew, 8 months old, watched it from his pram wide eyed so this proved a sensory hit for babies too.
Just beyond the “Heart of the Woodland” there was an owl marquee so children can find out about and see owls up close, including a Little Owl that proved a hit with Evelyn who wanted to take it home.
It was also a fun educational experience as there were some great interactive puzzles and games for children and adults alike interspersed around the woodland. The favourite for Evelyn was a game that distorted your voice and she spent quite some time making various bodily sounds through it finding it hilarious when it returned the noise with added depth!
There was a flamboyant chap in a flashing top hat that my niece described as “clearly a magician”, who introduced himself as a physicist so she was close! He demonstrated to us the concept of a sonic boom using a giant sized Newton’s Cradle style pendulum, that was lit up so as the balls swung they lit up the sky around them. The sonic boom you could hear rumble throughout the woodland. It was an amazingly fun way to introduce children to scientific concepts, it made me think they need to invest in one of these giant Newton’s cradles at the Concorde visitors centre to explain more clearly this concept to children.
The rainforest area had dry ice that emulated mist and bird/insect sound effects to accompany the lighting that transitioned into different colours. I found this area to be the most relaxing in the woodland, whereas my niece said she found it spooky and when there was a load rumble from the sonic boom she jumped out of her skin, proving this is also a great experience to bring your kids to for Halloween!
We were fortunate to have really beautiful autumn weather, it was pretty mild and dry which was good as we had two prams with us that if it had been wet we would have struggled to push round the site, so if you go when it is wet or after heavy rain I’d suggest taking a baby carrier instead as there are a few hills to maneuver too.
We had planned to spend an hour there but ended up spending just over two hours, as there really was so much to experience we lost all track of time. It proved a great way to tire out little and big ones, as it was excellent exercise walking them up and down hills. Evelyn also ran off to climb on tree trunks and play with the interactive games too.
We had a wonderful time in the woodland it really was magical and my niece didn’t want to leave. We would highly recommend visiting before the experience finishes.
For more information and tickets which start from £12.50 click here