This week we achieved the Holy Grail of the summer holidays. We found an activity that the whole family thoroughly enjoyed and despite the rain, couldn't get enough of and all want to go back ASAP.
Introducing Dinosaur Golf at Heighley Gate Garden Centre near Morpeth.
We booked a deal via Groupon (you can find the same deal here) - a weekday round of golf for 2 adults and up to 3 children for only £9. This works out at only £1.80 per person which I think is a very good deal. Groupon is nice and easy to use - you buy your deal and then book using the link supplied. At the actual golf, the attendant just scans the QR code on your booking email and hands you your balls, clubs and score card. Easy peasy!
We've never actually been to Heighley Gate garden centre before but were impressed. It's HUGE (I think it's one of the biggest garden centre's in the country) and doesn't just sell plants and flowers. It's very child-friendly with an animal den play area type thing (good description) in the corner of the camping section, a lovely restaurant and soft play (chargeable), a costa coffee, an aquarium where children can help to feed the fish, a food hall with a Rothbury butchers and cake counter plus a separate shopping outlet. We were impressed. Wyedale Garden Centres have some fab bookable Brazilian activities available during the holidays too from creating a mini Amazon rainforest to making Samba shakers and carnival kebabs. I love this idea and how it links to the olympics. You can find the full list and book here. I digress though......
Back to the Jurassic golf. If you follow the signs throughout the garden centre you'll find the golf towards the back of the centre. You can book in advance as we did or simply turn up.
The staff are a real credit to the centre - the attendant was just a young lad but ever so friendly, chatting to us, finding the right sized club for the kids and helping us to choose different coloured balls. Sometimes when you book a groupon deal you receive a sub-standard service but that definitely wasn't the case here.
It was pouring with rain but we didn't let that put us off and we made our way between the dinosaurs and competed against each other during the course's 12 holes.
Some of the dinosaurs move and others make noise. All of them have little signs next to them telling you a little bit about said dinosaur. Not that we needed them with Jack with us mind, he filled us all in with his never-ending dinosaur knowledge as we waled around.
Harry took 24 shots on the first hole before he managed to hit pot luck but by the end he was beating me and managing to pot his ball in 3-4 shots. He was proud of his improvement and kept trying to give me pointers! We all improved though, even in 12 short holes which was a nice feeling (and I think great for the kids self-esteem). Steve even managed a hole in one on the last hole! Well done.
We spent a couple of hours at Heighley Gate Garden Centre but probably could have stretched to a half day if we'd have included lunch and soft play. Jurassic Golf is definitely worth a visit, especially if you grab the Groupon deal. It's fab for all ages too - when we visited a toddler was enjoying a game with his grandparents. Just make sure your ball doesn't fall in the waterfall!
Disclosure: We paid for our own activity.