Did you know there is now a Go Ape activity for children and even toddlers? I used to think Go Ape was for team building days at work, or something those adventurous, outdoorsy types like to do. So I was very surprised to hear about the Nets Kingdom, an activity 30 feet above the ground that they say toddlers from 12 months can do. We went to check it out with Lily, 21 months, and Tyler, 5 years old. (PS I have a discount code at the end of this post)
The Nets Kingdom is at Go Ape at Black Park, just outside of Slough/Iver/Uxbridge, and it’s the first one in the country, especially built for kids. So we are lucky they chose Slough to be the first site 🙂 You can’t miss it, as soon as you enter the car park, you see all these nets between the trees high above the ground. It does looks really high up, and I was thinking how on earth will we get the kids up there?? But it was okay, you climb up a net that is fully enclosed – no falling off!
As you enter Black Park, the Go Ape reception is to the left and there’s a separate Nets Kingdom sign in point. We signed a form that basically says we agree that we are in charge of our children. We got wristbands, and I got another wristband so I could leave my bag with them. With all the climbing, you want to be as free as possible. Though of course I brought my camera and phone with me – Instagram stories! First we were given a talk on safety, how to go down the slides safely and then we were off. The photo above shows how we got up. Tyler raced up. Lily started off fine but is does get steeper towards the top and she was getting upset that she couldn’t see Tyler. We were crawling up on our knees, and as it was a rainy day, our knees got wet which made it harder. I sort of picked her up and crawled up – I’m a little scared of heights so there may have been a bit of girly screaming 😛 – but we did it!! We had to climb through a hole and then we were on a huge flat netted area (see below) – hurrah!!
We were so high up (30 ft), but actually got used to it quickly, in fact I don’t think the kids even noticed, they ran into the treehouse to our left. They were seriously excited. Me on the other hand, I needed to catch my breath – getting up that net was a work-out!
Tyler was desperate to walk through the netted bridge to the next treehouse. He had no fear. I was frankly terrified, but I will admit, I am a big scaredy-cat. Lily couldn’t wait to follow him, but it is wobbly so we thought one at a time would be better. I went with Lily, and it was hard to hold her hand and walk across and keep your balance. But it’s completely safe, the net is enclosed and you can’t fall through the holes. Basically you grab onto the nets at the sides to walk along. I found getting up to the treehouse at the other end hard as there’s a rubber bit. I had to lift Lily up into the treehouse, and then do a giant step.
I must admit, once we had done one, it was quite exhilarating, like, YES! We CAN do this! There were lots of other little kids just running through on their own like it was the easiest thing in the world, even a boy that looked about 3. There were quite a few bridges and treehouses, the last bridge was really steep – more like a slide – before we were back where we started on the flat net.
We sat here for a bit while I recovered (I’m ain’t so young any more!) – and you know what, I was well proud that I did this. Proud of Tyler that he’s into more than just trains – he can do this ourdoors-y lark. And proud of my little Lily – not even 2 years old and she is such a thrill-seeker! Not scared at all, she loved it. This was such a surprise to me. I would have always thought this sort of activity was for older kids, but I have been proved wrong.
We climbed back down the net – well, Tyler and his dad rolled down it! And then Tyler wanted to go on the slide. Which meant he had to climb up through a netted climbing frame type thing, walk across a huge netted area, through some giant red balls and then down the slide. He LOVED it.
Just look at that face. And this was the ‘smaller’ slide – there’s an even bigger one behind it.
We then checked out the ‘chill out’ ball pit area. In fact, we should have done this one first, as it’s good for practicing climbing up the nets with little ones. It’s not so high up, and once you are at the top, it’s a flat netted area with bouncy balls that you can sit and chill out on, and just take in the atmosphere – the fact you are sitting high up in the trees. It was lovely sitting here.
We had been at the Nets Kingdoms for an hour by now, but unfortunately it started raining quite heavily so even though the session is for 2 hours, we headed home. If it was a dry day, we would have definitely have stayed, as Tyler wanted to go on the slide again. But we are thinking to come back in the summer holidays.
So there you have it – Go Ape for toddlers and children! I would say that if you’re bringing your toddler, he or she has to be pretty confident at walking and not scared of heights. Or wobbly floors. Possibly 18 months and over. The good thing is that on Fridays in term time, they do special toddler mornings – so the whole of Nets Kingdom only have children age 4 and under, and it’s cheaper too. If you do decide to go, make sure you wear sturdy shoes/boots (no sandals or heels!), suitable clothing for climbing (so long sleeved, not shorts/skirts). Personally, I felt comfortable having my husband with me, so there were two of us to help the kids. You’ll have to pay for the car park – it’s £3.70 for 2 hours, but it goes up to £5.50 for longer.
I can highly recommend the Nets Kingdom for an adventurous family activity. You can book your slot online and the prices are: £20 per adult and per child age 5-15, £10 per toddler age 1-4. Tots in the Treetops on Fridays is cheaper at £10 per toddler age 1-4 and adults go free.
And good news – I have a 10% DISCOUNT CODE for you! Just enter BPAMB2
(Valid at Black Park only. Excludes Saturdays. Expires 31/12/18)
Go on, try something new and have an adventure! I would NEVER have chosen to do an activity like this, but it turned out to be really fun! It has given my children confidence and it’s good to get out in the outdoors.