Tots in the Tree Tops, Go Ape Black Park (02/02/18)

We’d heard about the toddler-friendly Go Ape course at Black Park when doing the Gruffalo trail (now the Highway Rat trail) at Wendover Woods and chatting to one of the Go Ape staff there. Soon after we saw on  Chiltern Chatter’s Twitter that there was a free taster “Tots in the Tree Tops” session on, so we put the date in our diaries.

Luckily the free taster day was a bright and sunny one, if very cold,  so the session was very well attended.

We drove there as Black Park is near Uxbridge, but the trip took only twenty-five minutes or so via the M25 (if you’re going from Watford you can also go cross-country via Moor Park and Denham).

The ‘Nets Kingdom’ opened towards the end of 2017, and this was a free taster for the “Tots in the Tree Tops” sessions that will be starting back up regularly on Fridays at 10-12pm after February half term. The session is open for 1-4 year-olds under adult supervision, and there’s no minimum height restriction.

First up was a safety briefing (above) where we were told to remove rings, earrings, jewellery etc and were given an overview of the session.

Map of the play area

Our son was very excited and was raring to go! He practically sprinted up the first net ramp with no apparent fear of heights.

Then spent the next two hours racing around, going up and down, exploring the tree houses and generally throwing himself around!

The best bits were the ball nets and the large net canopies to bounce up and down on. The impressive looking slides were a little underwhelming and could have done with being a bit tighter to prevent the kids and adults stopping half-way down.

The smaller sized ball net

Some of the net ramps were pretty steep, but no-one appeared to struggle too much getting round. Despite the sun, it was pretty cold and the ropes were quite rough on the hands without gloves. It’s also worth wearing plimsoll-type shoes or trainers, as chunkier footwear tended to get caught more easily when climbing up and down.

Normal entry to this session is currently £10 per child and £5 per accompanying adult for two hours, and we parked for 2-4 hours (£3.50).

We’re in disagreement about whether that’s a fair overall price. Compared to a session at a large soft-play centre (e.g. Gambado’s), it’s more expensive, but compared to a visit to something like an indoor ski centre or similar, it’s probably much cheaper. The benefits of going somewhere like an indoor soft-play is that the adults can often sit down in the warm and there are toilets nearby (they are outside the venue here) which make things a bit easier. However, in the summer, somewhere like Tots in the Tree Tops would be great as you can picnic and enjoy being in the outdoors, and you don’t find attractions like this in every town.

They did throw in a free coffee for each adult with a wristband – we’re not sure if that’s a regular Tots in the Tree Tops toddler session thing or just a one-off for the free taster session. If it is, then it’s a nice touch.

The café beside the entrance. Service was efficient and the first coffee was free for each adult (on presentation of your wristband).

Tots in the Tree Tops is a one-of-a-kind type of place and our son absolutely loved it, so as a special, one-off visit, the cost would be OK. We should also add that the session was very well organised and run, and the staff were friendly and helpful. We’re thinking of going back when it’s summer time.

The view from the loos! This is looking towards the entrance to Nets Kingdom from the edge of the car park.

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