The Challenge Woods at The Nest (Norwich City Community Sports Foundation)
I hadn’t heard of the The Challenge Woods at The Nest until I saw a post about it on the Norwich Mumbler FB Chat group – they’re always so knowledgeable – so we booked to visit as the prices looked reasonable and the Mini Mumblers have been desperate to go and explore places now restrictions have lifted.
Located just near Norwich Airport, it isn’t too far out of the city and the benefit of being near the airport, when you have a Teeniest One that LOVES aeroplanes and helicopters, is that you get a brill view of them coming in to land!
I’ll be honest, the play area is smaller than I thought it would be, with just one main ‘hub’, one slide and one zip-wire. There is a climbing wall, fireman’s pole, a climbing net and a few tunnels, but not heaps to do. However, you get a two-hour slot when you book (booking essential!), and we managed to fill this quite easily, especially with a quick cafe trip/snack stop too.
The cafe is in the main building, a short walk away from the Challenge Woods, and this is where the toilets are too. The cafe sells a selection of hot and cold drinks, sausage/bacon rolls, sausage rolls and sandwiches etc and the coffee is provided by the local company Green Farm Coffee Company, which apparently belongs to the husband of one of our Mumbler Mums!
What age is Challenge Woods is suitable for?Is it suitable for 2-year-olds? My Mini Mumblers are 6, 4 and nearly 2-years-old and the two eldest ones were able to do everything by themselves. The recommended age is from 3-years, so I wasn’t expecting my nearly 2-year-old to be able to do a lot, but he was able to go on everything with an adult helping – he LOVED the zip wire! I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it if you only have a 2-year-old, unless you’re happy to do a lot of the lifting/climbing with them.
Going on Monday…buggy or sling for baby? There isn’t really a lot of ground to cover, so you would probably be better with a sling. You will find it hard to climb up and down everything if you have an older one though, perhaps take a buggy if you’d like to pop baby in it if you need to help an older child?
Can adults take kids on? Absolutely, adults can go on everything on the play area. I love a zip-wire, me!! BE WARNED: Kids don’t seem to come flying off the slide, but adults can do. I literally landed on my bum miles away from the slide after flying off the end. I had that moment half way down the slide where I knew it was going to happen, just wish I’d filmed it – hilarious!
How baby friendly is it? Not really very baby-friendly. There isn’t anything for crawling/new-walkers to do.
Is coffee available? Yep – see above for the cafe info!
Are you basically paying to play on a park or is it worth paying for? Like I said above, it is smaller than I thought it would be, BUT the price it is at the moment seems reasonable for a safe and friendly play area, with access to a cafe (the life-blood of all parents!). It wasn’t over-crowded with people and each of my Mini Mumblers had a lovely morning, though I’m not sure I’d pay to go regularly as there aren’t enough play items to keep them entertained time after time.