Go Ape Nets Kingdom is an awesome adventure playground set 30 feet above the forest floor, full of treehouses, netted walkways, slides and inflatable balls. And it’s perfect for young kids.
We were invited there as guests of Vauxhall for a special Father’s Day event with eight other families, and my 3-year-old boy had the time of his life. Not only did Sonny get to drive there in the Vauxhall Grandland X SUV we’ve been testing out for the past week, but he also got to swing around in the trees like Spider-Man all day.
We’re a big fan of soft play centres, but not on a hot summer day, and Go Ape Nets Kingdom is a great antidote to sweaty afternoons indoors with hundreds of screaming toddlers. The nets are suspended a long way off the ground, but they’re fully enclosed with no danger of falling. You don’t need harnesses or instructors, you’re just let loose into the trees to crash around.
Arriving in style
I already drive a Vauxhall Astra estate (and I’ll bore you to death about how much I love it if you’re not careful), so we were mega excited to check out what the Vauxhall Grandland X could do.
It’s designed with families in mind – 5 elevated seats, spacious, loads of boot space, smooth ride, great handling, and some cool features. The boot shuts automatically, the built-in Sat-Nav means even dummies like me can’t get lost, and there’s a serious amount of technology on board including digital radio and Apple CarPlay.
I’ll never pretend to know much about cars apart from how much I like driving them, how good they are on petrol and how easy they make my life, and the Grandland X ticks all of those boxes and more. The only thing I don’t like is that I’ll have to explain to Sonny why we have to give it back to Vauxhall next week!!!
Into the Nets Kingdom
The problem with most outdoor activities in the UK is you usually have to spend about three hours getting told how to do it in a safety briefing, before you’re actually allowed to do it. No such trouble in the Nets Kingdom at Black Park. We got a quick safety chat from one of the Go Ape team, then we were off, charging up the nets and bouncing around in the trees on what felt like giant trampolines.
Sonny’s only just turned three years old and although he’s pretty fearless, he wobbled a bit when he realised how high he’d climbed so quickly. For a few minutes I thought our day might be over before it had even properly started, but he came round quite quickly and by the end of the day we almost had to drag him out of the nets into the car.
The Go Ape Nets Kingdom is a brilliant place for young children to build their confidence with heights. Once they’ve found their feet on the bouncy netting, you’ll hardly be able to stop them. It’s great fun and great value too – just £10 for kids under six and £15 for older kids.
The only downside is there are currently just two locations to do it in England, this one at Black Park near Slough and one further north at Sherwood Pines. Surely it’ll only be a matter of time before Go Ape add to that though.
Great family day out
Go Ape encourage children of all ages to explore the Nets Kingdom, with toddlers as young as 18 months allowed up into the trees. The whole experience is set in lovely woodland with cafes and snack bars nearby, so there’s plenty for parents to enjoy too.
And if you and your kids are feeling a bit more adventurous, just across from the Nets Kingdom is the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure, designed for slightly older kids, with a minimum height limit of one metre.
Sonny qualified by 1cm so the little champ got himself harnessed up and learned the basics of moving around a high ropes course using his own pulley and harness system. Massive shout out to the amazingly patient and helpful Go Ape staff, who couldn’t have done a better job of coaxing a nervous toddler over the low-level practice course. The very highest obstacles (especially the zip wire!!!) were a bit too much for him at this age, but we’ll be back!
Best. Father’s. Day. Ever
I’m one of those annoying people who always tends to say the most recent thing I’ve done is the best thing ever, but I honestly can’t remember having many better family days out than the Go Ape Nets Kingdom.
The team at Vauxhall made it a memorable day from start to finish, we got to meet and spend a few hours with some fantastic families, and it was all capped off by having the Vauxhall Grandland X to travel there and back in. Not really sure how we’ll top this next year!?!?!?
Outdoor Dad Verdict – Go Ape Nets Kingdom
If I’ve been to a better adventure playground for kids, I certainly don’t remember it. Great fun, great value and a great experience for kids from toddlers to teenagers. We’ll be going back for years to come.