Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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A few weeks ago, I told my girls that I would take them jumping on trampolines in the trees. In the trees? Oh yes, and not just any old trampolines either. Giant trampolines suspended 9 meters (almost 30 feet) off the ground, with giant balls you can throw around, suspension bridges and netted slides to go down to the ground and do it all over again. Crazy! If you are passionate about getting kids outside in nature, you should give it a try.
It helps that most kids love trampolines, obviously, but my girls also have a big love affair with trees. For them, any tree adventure is worth trying, specially when it includes treetop treks, high ziplines and weird ladders between trees. But this? Trampolines? This was a first and we were super excited to try it.
It was a clear blue day and as soon as my girls had listened to the safety speech, they literally ran up the netted tunnels to reach the high trampolines in the trees. I followed, somewhat less gracefully, but with as much enthusiasm as I love trampolines too.
Already in the tunnel, they tried bouncing up and down hanging to the side walls but the bounce effect was too subtle.
The real fun was up high. However once we were at the top, there was no avoiding it. We were 9 meters off the ground. So high! You can see everything through a trampoline net, particularly the people below who look so small and you know perfectly well that’s not how small they usually are.
Was it scary? I’ll admit. We were very cautious with our first steps.
Would we fall through holes? The thought did occur to me. Hey, you’re pretty high up there! But in fact, we got used to the feeling real fast and felt totally safe surrounded by the tall netted walls. Time to bounce off the walls!
I haven’t mentioned it yet, but these aerial tree trampolines are set in the beautiful oak woodland of Brockhole near Windermere in Cumbria. That’s in the Lake District, if you happen to live in the UK or visit with your kids. Apparently. it’s only the 16th net adventure park to open in the world so we were quite lucky to find it.
Look at that ball. Who’s happy now?
And that’s how you go down a netted slide. It can be intimidating at first. It’s all good when the person below yells “You’ll be OK! The net is going to slow you down!”, but you still basically have to let yourself “slide” into a hole. It’s fun, though. Once bitten, twice going up to do it all over again!
We were very happy that we’d had the place to ourselves with plenty of space to play in the high canopy. After an hour of jumping, bouncing and rolling, we were spent. Trampoline is fun and it’s good exercise too!
We vowed to come back in the summer when the trees would have leaves. Oh, how glorious the place must look then, with the green canopy rustling in the wind and with views on the lake.
For kids who need motivation to go outside and be surrounded by nature, this type of park beats any screen any time. Try to catch that ball and tell me it’s not fun!
Do your kids like tree adventure parks? Have you tried them?