Category Archives: Top Tips

Sunny day forest activities

High Ropes for Kids

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure…to have some fun!

Scratching your head for things to do with the little ones this weekend? Well, we’ve got an idea: why not head to your local forest to check out the activities on offer? There’s more to forests than trees and trails – there’s so much to see, do and experience!

If you quite fancy a family forest foray, here are a handful of activities you can all get involved in:

Monkey around

Outdoor Birthday Parties Go ApeIf forests are nature’s playgrounds, then trees are nature’s climbing frames! Supervise your little ones as they monkey around, swinging from branch to branch. You might want to show them how it’s done first, though a sturdier tree may be required!

Take aim

Aim…release! How do you fancy a shot (literally) at archery? The beautiful surrounds of the forest provides the perfect setting for you and your family to brush up on those bow and arrow skills – just watch out for the wildlife!

Find the Gruffalo

How do you make walking fun for kids? Turn it into a game of hide ‘n’ seek, of course! Giant wooden Gruffalos have taken over 15 forests across the UK (here’s the list) and you’ll be able to find them hiding amongst the trees. Each sculpture is carved in a different position – if you visit Wyre Forest, for instance, you’ll find the Gruffalo on his side having a snooze!

Get building

There’s something hugely satisfying about scavenging for forest materials and constructing your own shelter. Not only is den building fun, it’s a great way to bond as a family and it teaches your little ones valuable survival skills. For some expert tips, check out Forest Holiday’s guide on how to build the ultimate forest den.

New Platforms at Go Ape ThetfordFairy tale forests

Forests are some of the most magical places on earth. Let your kids’ imaginations run wild as they explore the forest’s fairy tale features, from natural babbling brooks to fairy dens and giants’ chairs (which are perfect for story telling).

Fancy getting crafty? The Forestry Commission website has a number of fairy tale activity sheets available to download. Using the forest’s natural resources, you can choose to make everything from a fairy or elf outfit, to a leaf crown or bow and arrow!

Go Ape!

For an utterly unique forest experience, it’s got to be Go Ape! We’ve got a number of tree-mendous activities you can choose from, whether it’s our award-winning Tree Top Adventure and Tree Top Junior courses, our Segway Experience, or our one-and-only Zip Trekking Adventure in Grizedale Forest. With 30 courses across the UK, you’re bound to find a Go Ape near you!

Make Your Summer Checklist

Make a Summer Checklist

Have you made your summer checklist yet? No? Well, why not!?

With summer in full swing and the sun finally making an appearance (hurrah!), there couldn’t be a better time to get out there and embrace adventure!

There’s so much to see, do and experience here in the UK, that you might be wondering where to begin. If so, let Go Ape help! Whether you’re looking for adventures for one, two, or a big group (or a mix of all three), here are some fun ideas to get you started. Pen and paper at the ready…

Camp

Back to the simple life you go…pitch up, switch off (all tech), and spend some quality time with your loved ones singing songs under a star-studded sky. Check out this Guardian list of top campsites for some inspiration.

Go to the beach

As a favourite British pastime, a trip to the beach is a must this summer! Build sand castles with your little ones, jump over waves in the sea, explore hidden coves, and catch some crabs in the rockpools! Want to try something a little different? Head to the Jurassic Coast, pick up some hammers, and find yourself some fossils!

Get fit

Swap gym benches for park benches and get fit…outdoors! From bootcamps to group yoga and one-on-one personal training sessions, outdoor fitness classes have really taken off in the past few years and there’s bound to be one near you!

Row, row, row your boat

…gently down the river! Round-up the tribe and head out on a rowing boat for a few hours. Pack a picnic and take it in turns to row as you all tuck into some tasty homemade sarnies! If you want to extend your on-water adventure, why not hire a narrowboat and spend the weekend cruising canals with your pals?

P-p-p-pick up a paddle

A relatively new craze in the UK, stand up paddle boarding (SUP for short) is mega fun and a great way to explore the country’s network of waterways. Don’t be fooled by how easy it looks; there’s definitely a knack to it! To find out where you can SUP, take a look at the British Stand Up Paddle Association website.

Go 007

Take your little ones on a James Bond-themed adventure to discover some of the National Trust’s top-secret spots. In the houses and grounds you’ll unearth everything from twisted tunnels and secret doors to magical caves and mysterious mazes.

Go Ape!

Soaring through the air, wind in your face, with your arms stretched wide – sounds pretty dreamy, huh? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll be able to experience if you come and hang with us at Go Ape! Our Tree Top Adventures are set high up in the forest’s canopy and include a whole host of awesome obstacles, from wobbly bridges and tunnels to swings and zip wires!

This summer we want you to #TakeTheFirstStep, don’t be held back be the same old excuses and live life adventurously with us.

We hope we’ve given you inspiration for activities to include on your summer checklist! So the next time you wake up on a Saturday morning pondering “what shall I do today?” you’ll know where to look!

(Psst…if you have any recommendations for summer adventures you’d think we’d enjoy, do let us know!)

An adventure for two please

Take the First Step at Go Ape

In our opinion, shared adventures are the best adventures! That’s why all of our forest activities are suitable for any size group, whether you fancy tackling tree-top obstacles with your tribe in tow, or rolling through the forest en masse aboard our all-terrain Segways.

Our adventures are particularly perfect for pairs, whether you’re other half is actually your other half, or perhaps one of your parents, mates, or kids. In fact, if you’re looking for an adventure for two and are swinging by the capital anytime soon, you’ve got to check out our twin Tree Top Adventure course nestled amidst the woodland in Trent Park!

Aside from Go Ape, here are some other adventurous activities-for-two that you and your partner can get involved in:

Zorbing

Why walk down a hill when you can roll down it in a giant, inflatable ball!? Choose to be strapped in face-to-face (harness zorbing), or enter the ball with 40 or so litres of water and slip ‘n’ slide your way down (much more fun, in our opinion). Prepare for zorbing to turn your world upside down ñ literally!

Biking

Now, there’s definitely a knack to tandem biking, but it’s mega fun once you’ve mastered it! The first thing you’ll need to agree on is who’s at the front (captain) and who’s at the rear (stoker). And if you bagsied the back, you must resist all temptation to sneakily ease off the pedals! Stick to quiet, flat cycle paths to start, remembering to count down from three before pushing off!

Kayaking

What better way to explore the UK’s glorious coast than via a tandem kayak? Depending on where you visit, you could discover everything from hidden coves to giant caves and deserted beaches as you paddle around, and you’re bound to spot some sea life, too.

Hovercraft

Turning up the notch a little, how do you fancy becoming hovercraft pilots for the day? Skimming across the water, you can take it in turns to steer this powerful beast, which reaches up to 40mph! Definitely one for the speed freaks!

Bungee jump

If you like living life on the edge and then jumping off it how about signing up to a tandem bungee jump? Prepare for a huge adrenaline rush as you and your partner take the leap of faith while locked in a tight embrace!

Have you embarked on any daring duo adventures other than the ones mentioned above? Let us know what they are, and we might check them out ourselves!

Child safety week

Go Ape School Trips

Did you know that this week (6-12 June) is child safety week?

Run once a year by the Child Accident Prevention Trust, its aim is to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.

If you’ve got little ones in your family, keeping them safe is no doubt your #1 priority. But that’s not to say you should wrap them up in cotton wool (metaphorically speaking) and barricade them inside the house.

Remember when you were young, all those days spent catching bugs, building dens and climbing trees with your best buds? These will be some of your fondest, most vivid childhood memories, and your kids deserve to experience them too!

Kids crave adventure. Being able to explore the great outdoors is key to their development, even if it involves an element of risk. As a parent, you need to strike the balance between protecting your little one, and giving them the freedom to play, discover and learn all about the wonderful world around them.

Tree-climbing tips

Trees are nature’s climbing frames and are virtually irresistible to kids of all ages. Here are some tips for climbing them safely and reducing the risk of an accident:

1. The first rule to safe tree climbing is to always supervise your little one as they scale the branches.

 

2. Choose a tree with a big trunk and thick branches that are positioned so your little one can easily clamber from one to the next without making any giant leaps (save that for Mr. Armstrong).

 

3. Watch out for trees with lots of dead or decaying branches as they could easily snap. If you spot any bird nests, move to another tree.

 

4. As you keep a close eye on your little one from the ground, you might want to help them pick the best route. Tell them to take it slow, looking for good branches as they climb, and testing them before applying their weight. They should also watch out for knots and holes in the branches that they can hold or slip their foot into.

 

5. The trick is to always look up, this way your mini Tarzan will be able to spot any obstacles before they make contact with their head. Gazing skyward will also help them set and follow a clear route through the tree-top.

 

6. Let your little monkey know that they needn’t go all the way to the top. Besides, sometimes the higher branches are young and weak, and so won’t be safe to step or swing on! If they climb too high and start to panic, it could also tarnish their tree-top trip.

 

7. When it comes to tree descents, slow and steady wins the race. It’s best for your little one to take the same route down the tree, as they (and you) can be sure the branches are safe and sturdy.

 

If you think your little one would prefer getting some practise in before going solo, why not swing by Go Ape and have a go on one of our Tree Top Junior courses? They’ll wear a harness for their adventure, helping them to feel safe and secure and building their confidence for the next time they head skyward.

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