I vowed that I wasn't going to squeeze any more activities into our Christmas break as we've had a super busy December and already have a few things booked this week. However, after reading all about the skating at Woodhorn over on Sprog on the Tyne and their new Frost of Forgetfulness trail by Babyfoote, I couldn't resist a visit. We enjoyed a chilled out morning watching Harry Potter and headed over to Woodhorn at lunchtime.
Woodhorn is FREE to enter and their Frost of Forgetfulness Winter Trail is also completely free of charge (car parking is £3.50 so make sure you take some cash with you - cards aren't accepted). Ice skating is £5.50 for kids or £6.50 for adults. I visited Woodhorn thinking I wouldn't blog about their Frost of Forgetfulness trail - after all it's only available until 23rd December. We honestly had THE best afternoon though and I couldn't not share!
Frost of Forgetfulness Trail - A Review
The trail is free of charge and you begin in the main exhibition centre where you are greeted by very enthusiastic staff and volunteers who will help you create your own canary and bird cage (which children can take home). These canaries form the heart of the trail and I have to say, the crafting stations were very well organised. Everything we needed was provided - no cases of blunt pencils or not enough card at all which is so often the case with these sorts of things.
Canaries and cages complete and our children were given a mission passport. Basically it is around 6 different missions that you have to complete - all based around the heritage of Woodhorn and mining in Northumberland and creating/remembering special memories. Your passport also folds out into a special trail map.
The trail was a lot more thoughtful than a few other trails we've tried and the activities were varied. We had to count the canaries in one room, design our own banner in another and even write a poem after listening to the sounds of the mine. I was worried Harry (aged 10) might have another moan but he honestly loved it. All three children did in fact and it's perfect for all ages. I even noticed a couple of families with teenagers taking part.
We took a quick break half way around our quest for Heidi and Steve to try skating. The skating rink at Woodhorn is made of synthetic ice and it's definitely not as slippy or fast as regular ice - this suited us just fine though as it was Heidi's first time and Steve's first time in around 20 years! They did well and had lots of fun. The atmosphere was fun and festive and Harry and Jack enjoyed playing in the park next to the rink. If you fancy seeing more skating action, check out our Facebook Live from the rink side here.
It was after 2pm and we realised we hadn't eaten lunch yet so we popped into the Woodhorn cafe. I was really impressed with the prices - lunch and drinks for the 5 of us was just £25. This is a serious bargain, especially considering I had fish and chips and Steve had a Ham and Pease Pudding Sandwich, Fentimans lemonade, fancy crisps and gingerbread biscuits! Because entry to the museum and trail was free, I certainly didn't mind giving Woodhorn some money back, especially when it was a bargain.
After lunch, we headed through the indoor part of the main museum and completed more of the trail tasks. We've visited Woodhorn on countless occasions so it was good to have something specific to find and added something new to our visit.
One of the tasks was for the kids to create their own banners featuring a special memory - Harry decided to create a Minecraft banner and Jack a Super Mario Bros one (predictable!). Heidi was so sweet though and designed a banner based around the time she made her first friend. Ahhhhh!
It was just after 3pm and the sun was already starting to set! We had finished the trail just in time and walked back to the main exhibition centre for our final task...........
There is so much pressure to spend a lot on a day out, especially at this time of year but I can honestly say that some of the regions free or low cost experiences have been fantastic this year and Frost of Forgetfulness is one of them. The trail is free and the day out could cost you just £3.50 parking which is a steal. Even with the £25 we paid for lunch and £11 we paid for skating, £40 for a full afternoon of fun feels like fantastic value to me. I will also say that this is the first day out in a loooooooooooong time where I haven't had to ask my children to stop misbehaving or put up with at least one of them moaning about something. They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as did Steve and I.
I would LOVE you to take a look at our short 4 minute video from our day - it gives you a much better feel of what to expect from the trail. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you'd like to see more videos like this.
Frost of Forgetfulness continues until 23rd December. Visit the Woodhorn Website for details.
Disclosure | We paid for our own day out
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