Home Days Out Go Ape, Real Christmas Trees And Meeting Father Christmas in the Forest

Go Ape, Real Christmas Trees And Meeting Father Christmas in the Forest

by Jessica Amey

We had the most amazing festive day at Moors Valley Country Park on Sunday and after all being ill for weeks it was so nice to get out and do something fun.

Cherry and I started the day with a session on the Go Ape trail, this was a major thing for me as I’ve had a phobia of heights for quite a while now. In fact last time we were at Moors Valley Mr C had to do it as I said that I wouldn’t get up there for a large sum of money, that was only a couple of months ago. Strangely I didn’t find it that scary, in fact it didn’t seem like a big deal which is odd as I couldn’t even look up at them last time without my legs going funny! I had just been telling myself I could do it, I really did believe it, and I did so it just goes to show you can achieve anything if you believe in yourself. It’s definitely triggered something in me that wasn’t there before too, I really want to go back and do the adult one and would even consider a sky dive. Mr C is wondering what has happened to me!

After Go Ape we went to take part in a golden pine cone hunt which was such a perfect experience to meet Father Christmas, I have to admit I don’t usually take the kids anywhere to meet him. We did go into our village centre last week to see him driving through it but I don’t take them into grottos. This was different though, meeting him in the forest felt really magical and instead of a rubbish plastic toy he gave all the kids a mini tree to plant which is such a lovely idea.

After meeting Santa we all went into a little undercover area to do some Christmas crafting and the kids all had to write a wish on a star then go and hang it on a tree and sprinkling it with fairy dust. It was such a perfect festive experience and we said we would definitely go back and pay to do it next year, I actually heard a lot of families talking to the lady running it about how they had been coming for years. We loved it and I really would recommend it. You have to pre-book and it was only running for two days this year so if you are interested then keep an eye out on the website next year.

After the pine cone hunt we had a ride on the steam train which Tiger loved, he had a big smile on his face the entire time which is rare for him these days! Then we went to choose our Christmas tree, the Forestry Commission had a big area where you could pick your tree and everyone there was so friendly and happy. The lady said that it’s mainly volunteers who just love the spirit of it and we definitely picked up on that.

I have to admit I wasn’t sure about getting a real tree, we had been speaking about which was more eco-friendly: a real or a fake and thought we would just stick with fake as it saved a tree being cut down but I do feel differently about it now after it was pointed out to me that Christmas trees are grown as crops, just like all the food that we grow to eat, and having these trees growing is still helping the environment. Plus even if fake trees are kept for 20 years they will still eventually end up in landfill unable to decompose. We do have a fake tree and the kids have it in their room but should it ever break we won’t be replacing it. The Forestry Commission trees are grown in a sustainable way too, they re-plant more trees than they cut down each year and are giving out a mini tree with each sale so that people can plant their own at home. Obviously not all companies selling trees are doing it responsibly so it’s important to choose the right place. It’s also important to choose the right tree, we’ve actually gone for a Norway Spruce this year which has a strong Christmas smell, this is one of the main things we wanted from our tree and after having a Nordman Fir for the last couple of years we decided to try something new. Nordman Fir’s are better at keeping their needles but don’t really smell, at the end of the day all trees drop needles though and I like vacuuming so it’s fine by me! This guide by the Forestry Commission asks you questions to help you decide which type of tree is for you. We are so pleased with ours, it smells amazing. There is just something so nice about having a real tree in your living room.

After picking up our tree we headed home, after the kids found some puddles to jump in of course. It was such a lovely day and I can’t wait to go back again.

I also made a little video of our day, for anyone who wants to see me landing on my bum after going down the zip wire!

Thank you to Moors Valley for inviting us and to the Forestry Commission for gifting us one of their trees.

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