Children’s Activities

Entertaining children for a few hours or a few days is easy in this area – you are really spoilt for choice. Most of the activities are aimed at acquainting youngsters with nature in the most fun-packed way. The attractions mentioned here are those that are firmly orientated towards children, but there are many others too that will be of interest.

SHERWOOD FOREST FUN PARK

This family-run amusement park in Sherwood Forest is free to enter (rides are operated by a token system) and includes a ghost train, dodgems, a caterpillar coaster and a terror castle, among others.

There is even a stall selling traditional ‘fair’ food, such as candyfloss. The park is located at the entrance to Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, home to the Major Oak, and is only five minutes’ walk from the visitor centre.

Location: located near Sherwood Forest Craft Centre at Sherwood Forest Country Park. Parking is free of charge
Admission: see above
Contact: Sherwood Forest Country Park, Edwinstowe, NG21 9QA
Tel: 01623 823536/ 01623 792532. Web: www.sherwoodforestfunpark.com

WHEELGATE ADVENTURE PARK (FORMERLY WONDERLAND PLEASURE PARK)

This children’s attraction is now under new ownership. Situated in 30 acres of parkland, Wheelgate offers a wide variety of adventurethemed activities to suit all interests and weather conditions. New features celebrate Nottinghamshire’s heritage, including an interactive ‘colliery village’, a ‘runaway mine coaster’ and a Robin Hood-themed adventure playground.

Location: off the White Post Roundabout on the A614
Admission: charge applies, please check for latest prices
Contact: White Post, Farnsfield, NG22 8HX
Tel: 01623 882773. Web: www.wheelgatepark.com

RUFFORD ABBEY PLAY LANDSCAPE AND CHILDREN’S GARDEN

Designed for children aged 4–8 years, these new features are guaranteed to keep your children amused on a trip to Rufford. The Play Landscape has an ancient village theme and the Sandpit Tower and the unusual Singing Stone are particularly popular. The Children’s Garden is a new area of the formal gardens that has been developed with the young in mind, including talking flowers, wicker beehives and a stone harp. Families can take a picnic as there are benches nearby.

Location: Rufford Abbey is signposted from the A614.
Admission: There is a small charge for parking of £3 per car (including blue badge holders) at weekends and Bank Holidays, plus daily throughout the school summer holiday. Season tickets can be bought for £20, or if you spend £15 in one or more of the shops/cafes, you will get your parking fee back.
Contact: Rufford Abbey Country Park, Ollerton, Newark, NG22 9DF
Tel: 01623 821338. Web: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/home/leisure/countryparks

WHITE POST MODERN FARM CENTRE

This 25-acre working farm has over 3000 animals including sheep, pigs, llamas, horses, cows, hens (and their chicks) and deer. One of the highlights is feeding the inquisitive goats on ‘goat mountain’ via an ingenious pulley system – guaranteed to provide amusement all round. There is also a pet learning centre, indoor playbarn, adventure trail, gift shop and café.

Location: off the White Post Roundabout on the A614
Admission: charge applies, please check for latest prices
Contact: White Post Farm, Farnsfield, NG22 8HL
Tel: 01623 882977. Web: www.whitepostfarmcentre.co.uk

SHERWOOD PINES FOREST PARK

The newly built mushroom-themed adventure playground is one of the great family features of this forest park. For more adventurous children, the Go Ape! high wire adventure course is a real draw.

Bikes suitable for all ages can be hired from the cycle centre and families can enjoy the signposted paths in safety, away from the dangers of cars. In summer, families often take a picnic and make a day of it.

Location: The main entrance and visitor centre (postcode: NG21 9JL) is situated off the B6030 between Kings Clipstone and Ollerton. There may be a small charge for car parking
Contact: the Forestry Commission on 01623 822447 or visit: www.forestry.gov.uk

SHERWOOD FOREST NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE

The legendary home of Robin Hood and a place where children can let their imaginations run wild. A visit to the well-stocked gift shop is essential so that they can purchase the typical green felt hats and bows and arrows.

Children can then explore the waymarked paths through the ancient oaks, stopping to marvel at the Major Oak – the legendary home of Robin Hood. Near the car park there is a small adventure playground. There is a good programme of children-orientated events here and often actors dress up in costume to entertain passers by.

Location: Edwinstowe. The visitor centre (postcode: NG21 9HN) is signposted from the village. A car parking charge is applied at certain times during the year
Contact: Tel: 01623 823202. Web: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/home/leisure/countryparks

MONKEY MANIA

With the British weather, plans for outdoor activities can often be scuppered by rain. Luckily, the new indoor play centre, Monkey Mania, provides somewhere to escape to with children on soggy days. It also has a café and baby changing area.

Location: follow the signs to Sherwood Energy Village in Ollerton
Admission: charge applies, please check for latest prices
Contact: Fountain Court, Darwin Drive, New Ollerton, NG22 9GS
Tel: 01623 860842

GO APE!

Adventurous older children aged 10+ will enjoy the high-wire thrills through Sherwood Forest at Go Ape! at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. Full instruction is provided.

Location: The attraction is located close to Sherwood Pines Visitor Centre (postcode: NG21 9JL) . The main entrance is situated off the B6030 between Kings Clipstone and Ollerton. There may be a small charge for car parking
Admission: charge applies, please check for latest prices
Contact: Go Ape! by telephoning: 0845 643 9215 or book online via the website: www.goape.co.uk

Toilets with baby changing facilities:

Council-run: Ollerton Tourist Information Centre, Sherwood Heath; High Street, Warsop.

Country Parks (free to access, but car parking charges may apply): Rufford Abbey Country Park; Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre; Sherwood Pines Forest Park Visitor Centre.

Other attractions: White Post Farm, Wheelgate Adventure Park, Sherwood Forest Farm Park and Monkey Mania all have baby changing facilities. Visitors to Sherwood Forest Fun Park can find amenities at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre nearby. Go Ape! is part of Sherwood Pines Forest Park, which has baby changing facilities.

Family-friendly places to eat:

All the venues mentioned above have family-friendly cafés.