And Nets Kingdom, Black Park, proved to be the solution.
A series of huge nets and walkways suspended 30 feet above the forest floor, linking a variety of tree houses and slides, the venue is perfect for birthday parties, particularly those of an age who have outgrown soft play centres.
And let’s face it, who really wants to host three hours of hyper manic pre-teens up to their eyeballs on birthday cake and Smarties at home?
Slightly worried the venue might to be too young for my too-cool-for-school charges, and that they’d be back at my side after 15 minutes saying ‘that’s done, now what?’ it proved to be anything but. The girls had AN AMAZING time and I even had to encourage them off the nets to eat a birthday lunch once their allotted two hours were up.
Connie, the birthday girl, and her friends loved crawling around the nets, playing with the inflatables and throwing themselves down the slides, only to race across the forest floor to do it all over again! Games of ‘Marco Polo’, ‘hide and seek’ and something involving crawling along commando style were conducted in the tree canopy, rests and chats were had and evil plans hatched in the tree houses and jolly good fun was had by all.
We were lucky to be able to secure a picnic table under a canopy, where the adult helpers could sit and observe the girls and enjoy many a cup of tea from the onsite cafe.
In fact the only ‘help’ we had to offer was laying out and clearing away the food and lighting the birthday candles. Which is my kind of party.
Feedback from Connie’s guests was that it was ‘the best party ever’ and they certainly seemed happy – reports back from parents was that they were all exhausted when they got home!
To book a party call 0333 331 7476 or visit goape.co.uk/adventures/netskingdom for more information.