As far as I am concerned it is now most definitely too hot to spend any significant amount of time outside so like many families we are on the lookout for things to do with the kids indoors.
A popular place is Adventure Zone at Adventure HQ in Dalma Mall which opened just a couple of months ago. Adventure HQ is an “outdoor adventure” shop selling pretty much everything and anything for all manner of outdoor pursuits. Adventure Zone is an indoor adventure park attached to the store, suitable for kids Flossie's age and upwards.
The Zone offers a number of activities, including a cable climb (think mini “Go Ape” indoors), a climbing wall, a skate park, a bike track (involving a series of sharp turns and steep bankings), and a trampoline park (basically a large room completely full of trampolines). You pay to do the activities in 30 minute slots.
One negative thing is that at the moment you can't book in advance. I understand they will be implementing on online system at some point but for now you have to turn up and see what is available. Needless to say this means that as the weather gets hotter more people are turning up at opening time so if you're not an early bird you can find yourself having to kill a few hours before your slot comes round. Good for the shops nearby but not for families with impatient children.
We first went a few weeks ago, when the only activity available without a wait in excess of two hours was the trampolining. Archie and Flossie really enjoyed that so we bought them both a ten session pass which brings the average cost per activity down significantly.
Archie then got a new bike for his birthday, complete with gears and everything. He's been desperate to play on it as much as possible but its just been too hot to do it for more than a few minutes. Then Jo had a brilliant idea that he could take it to Adventure Zone and use it on the bike track there. She worked some magic and managed to secure us an unofficial booking for last Friday morning, not only for the bike track, but for the skate park and cable climb as well.
First up was the bike track. After an initial briefing from the instructor they both headed off on scooters to familiarize themselves with the track. Flossie decided she was going to keep using the scooter rather than her bike, which was probably a good idea.
Archie was determined to use his bike and did pretty well navigating the tricky turns and slopes for a couple of laps, before a lapse in concentration sent him crashing to the floor. After a cuddle with mum and dad he brushed himself off and went back to the scooter for a few laps, before having one last go on his bike which went fine.
Next up was the skate park, on which most of the smaller kids use scooters rather than skateboards. Once Archie had got the hang of using the brake at the back of the scooter he spent a happy 20 minutes trying out one of the medium slopes, going a little faster each time. Flossie however was more interested in flirting with the instructor who seemed quite taken with her and gave her a personal lesson on one of the smaller slopes.
Finally was the cable climb. I love this one as the trail goes out of the Zone and into the shop itself, so when people are browsing the shelves if they look up they will see one or more children dangling off a rope. Flossie had done the trail before at a party so once she had got her harness on she was off like a shot without a backward glance.
Archie was a little more circumspect so took his time, bringing back memories of Jo on “Go Ape” in the Lakes a few years ago. It took a while but he made it round and headed off for a second circuit.
Flossie managed to squeeze an extra circuit in although we did lose track of her at one point and finally discovered her, having lost her nerve, stuck half way along a suspended log in the middle of the shop that she had already crossed twice with no issues. With a little cajoling she recovered her composure and quickly finished the circuit.
All in all the kids had a great time and I would thoroughly recommend Adventure Zone to anyone with children of a suitable age. My advice is to get there early, especially at the weekend, so you hopefully won't have to wait too long for available slots.
You can find out more about Adventure Zone here (and no I'm not on commission!).
As always thanks for reading.