I am a huge advocate of letting kids be kids and encouraging outdoor play as much as possible. We have a National Trust membership now—not to explore stately houses, but because their grounds and gardens make excellent playgrounds for my kids. Same with English Heritage. Castle and abbey ruins entertain my kids endlessly. Adventure playgrounds abound in the UK, and they provide a challenging opportunity for my kids to explore and test their limits in a safe environment. BeWILDerwood easily made my Top 60 list of nearby family-friendly attractions solely based on the rave reviews of some similarly minded local moms. I’ve wanted to go check it out myself for ages. But it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever and I feared I might not be capable of chasing around three kids all headed in different directions at a giant outdoor forest playground. So after forcing my husband to re-arrange our entire house last weekend, he was more than happy to oblige my request to go to BeWILDerwood if it meant no more crazy “nesting” at home.
This is what we’ve been missing. That sense of adventure, a little risk. An exciting environment to run wild and be a kid. Get lost in that maze. Go down that insanely steep slide over and over again. And that rope bridge super high above the ground? Have at it. Crawl through that tiny tunnel and see where you end up. Balance on those narrow beams. And race across that zip line as fast as you dare.
BeWILDerwood is one of those places that threatens my resolve to want to try something new every weekend. Even my HUSBAND loved it—and he’s typically begrudgingly dragged along on many of our spur-of-the-moment weekend adventures. But here there was no hollering at the kids not to climb on that or trying to shush them. Run and be free. And see if daddy can keep up. In fact, I got the worse end of the deal. He took off with the big kids and I was left to follow the toddler around. This worked for awhile. He loved the toddler play areas and was quite proud of himself as he explored independently. But he was completely unwilling to be left out of the fun on the big kid mazes and tree houses. He’d see his dad and siblings climb up and next thing you know, I’m crawling through tiny doors and venturing across rope bridges. And when it got challenging, he just waited for his well-balanced super pregnant mom to pick him up and cautiously continue on.
I won’t lie, it will be a lot more fun for me when I’m no longer pregnant. I wanted to do the zip lines and go down the gigantic slides like my husband. So next time we go, he’ll be wearing the infant and trying to keep up with the toddler while I’m off gallivanting with the big kids.
That’s right, we’ve already made plans to go again. Which is practically unheard of in this house. The kids keep asking when we’re going back. My four-year-old had been begging for months to go back to Legoland. Now he tells me he’d rather go back to BeWILDerwood. And their annual passes pay for themselves in three visits, so it’s an easy decision for us.
(This is not a paid or sponsored post/review. No money or compensation was received for writing this post. We loved our experience at BeWILDerwood and are thrilled they offered one of our readers complimentary tickets.)