Try these 11 adventure days out with the family in 2020
PUBLISHED: 18:58 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 20:05 02 January 2020
Are you looking for adventurous activities in 2020? It can be hard to get kids away from screens and enjoying exercise, especially in winter - but here are 11 ideas for things to do.
Pukka Challenge Mud Races, Sunday, January 5, Trinity Park, Ipswich, 9am to 12 noon
This fun family event for the New Year will include a mix of obstacles, an off-road 4x4 track, woodland and bootcamp challenges. You can walk, jog or run, with races for both adults and children. The main 5K event is open to "Pukka Warriors", aged 14 upwards, but ages 14 to 17 need to be accompanied by a paying adult guardian aged 18 or over.
There will also be an event for "Pukka Little Warriors" aged from seven to 13 - the first time a Pukka event has allowed younger children to take part. Those taking part will set off in "waves", with the Little Warriors' waves starting at 9am and 9.30am, and The Pukka Warriors starting at 30-minute intervals from 10.30am to 12 noon.
You need to book in advance online and are asked to turn up 30 minutes before your wave time. Ticket prices are £20 for ages 14-plus, £10 for ages seven to 13 and £5 for spectators.
Foxburrow Farm Nature Reserve, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Melton, Woodbridge, open at all times
Great for a family day out, this nature reserve has a mix of farmed land including arable and grazing land, walking trails, and facilities including toilets and a picnic area.
A wide range of events are held all through the year. Coming up in the next few weeks are Family Forest Schools from 2-4pm on Saturday, January 18 and Sunday, February 16, with activities including wild art, woodland crafts, fire lighting and den building. There are also Wild Tots events, for under-fives and their carers, on Wednesdays from January 8 to February 12, from 10.30am to 12pm.
You can book for the events on their website. There is a cost of £4 for children over three and £2 for adult carers for the forest schools, and £5 per child for a Wild Tots session, or £24 for a half-term block booking. Visiting the reserve without attending a specific event is free, as for all Suffolk Wildlife Trust sites.
Thetford Forest, including Shaun the Sheep trail, open daily from dawn to dusk
If you are looking for outdoor activities that are open all year round, Thetford offers lots to do in winter. Youngsters will enjoy the Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon Glow trail at High Lodge - download the app before you arrive and solve UV puzzles in the forest. You can also buy a pack, including a UV pen, at the information point for £3.50. This 2km trail is suitable for children aged five to 13.
There are also play areas dotted throughout the forest, walking and cycling trails and much more. The new Heritage Trail, covering 4.2km, has a smooth surface to make it accessible to people of all abilities and at all seasons.
Parking is free at most of the forest's car parks but there are charges at the High Lodge Forest Centre, starting from £2 for up to one hour.
BeWILDerwood, Hoveton, Norfolk, open from February 15-23 and then at weekends
Described as "The Curious Treehouse Adventure", this popular family attraction is set in a woodland, around an hour and a quarter's drive from Ipswich.
Last year saw the opening of a giant wooden structure, The Towering Treetop Tangles, which children can scramble through to explore the giant flowers in the treetops. The forest park, which is celebrating its 10th birthday, puts the emphasis on wild play, with everything from enchanted boat rides to den building.
Prices vary depending on height, with discounts available if you book online.
Go Ape!, Thetford Forest, Treetop Adventure open during winter weekends
This popular outdoor adventure centre will be keeping its Treetop Adventure attraction open at weekends all through the winter. The adventure includes Tarzan swings, zip wires and stepping stones, and is suitable for all ages, although there is a minimum height of 1m.
Treetop Challenge, the centre's dual high ropes course, is closed until February 2, and Forest Segway, taking in a range of off-road trails, is closed until the spring.
Prices vary, with some discounts available during the winter. For more details and to book, visit the website.
Rendlesham Forest, open daily 8am to 4pm
There is lots of exploring to do all year at this forest. The popular adventure play area features a tube slide, obstacle course, zip line and swings.
There are also walking, cycling and mountain biking trails, plus a permanent orienteering course. Pick up a map from the information hut or forest office if you fancy setting off on a family orienteering session.
There is one free car park, at Butley Corner, but the other three car parks have charges of £2.50 for up to two hours or £4 for all day.
Muddy Boots Forest Adventures, Abberton, Colchester (Highwoods), Ipswich (Belstead), Chelmsford, Clacton and Mistley, dates and times vary
Would your children like to try a Forest School? The idea is to follow their own interests in woodland, including hunting for bugs, climbing trees, and using equipment such as climbing ropes and swings. All the sessions are very relaxed and provide hot drinks for adults and campfire snacks for little ones, depending on the weather.
Sessions run all through the year, so that children can experience a range of seasons, temperatures and weathers. The events include Muddy Totz parent and toddler groups, as well as Muddy Explorers and after-school groups. There are also therapeutic sessions for children with additional needs.
Prices vary - you can book online for either individual sessions or full courses. For more details, visit the website.
Splat Quack GO!, Poplar Park, Hollesley, July 11-12
Looking ahead to summer, this fun event is being described as "Suffolk's muddiest mud run". It will include adult obstacle races with more than 40 obstacles, including walls, monkey bars, cargo nets and balance beams. The Saturday event is aimed at families, with a 3km fun run where runners will start in waves from 10.30am to 12.30pm. It is suitable for ages six-plus, and everybody will receive a medal.
The Sunday event is for adults, and includes an 'Elite Wave' 12km course with limited numbers.
The cost varies from £19.95 to £54.95. For more details, visit the website.
Obstacle Course, The Playground, Barrow, Bury St Edmunds, Sunday, May 31
Another summer event is this obstacle course at the Playground, a 1km long, 25-obstacle outdoor assault course. There will be a 6km multi-terrain run, or the option to go round twice or even more. There will also be two junior race options, a 2.5km run for seven to 12-year-olds and a 4km run for 13-17 year-olds. Registration has not opened yet, but organisers are asking people to save the date and follow @theplaygrounduk on Facebook.
The Playground also offers weekly boot camps and pay and play sessions, with prices varying. For more details, visit the website.
WildTracks, Newmarket, open seven days a week
On a 60-acre site, this activity park includes a range of events aimed at both adults and children, as well as team building and corporate days out. Activities include junior quad biking and outdoor go-karting on a 700m tarmac circuit, as well as karting lessons. There are also motocross tracks, including a novice track for younger beginners, and a Battlefield Live combat experience which includes basic training and military exercises,
Prices vary depending on your chosen activity. For more details, visit the website.
Needham Lake, Needham Market, open all week
Youngsters can enjoy a climbing boulder and build their own shelters in the den-building area. You can also see a variety of wildlife, including ducks, and take a walk around the lakeside path. Part of the site is a local nature reserve with wetland areas and meadows. Needham Lake is a popular site for orienteering, and you can download maps online or pick them up from the information room on site.