Reviewed by Lindsay Burton
Digital artist Barret Hodgson has let his imagination run wild to create a fantastical woodland unlike one you’ve ever encountered in reality! We were privileged to be able to visit this Enchanted Forest with other families in the Djanogly Gallery before it opened to the public today. We were met by the very enthusiastic staff who explained the thought behind the entire project. And I fully agree that as a parent of three children of varying ages, keeping them entertained during the summer holidays is nothing short of bankruptcy especially when the weather is as temperamental as our lovely British weather.
Before entering the enchanted Forest and the children and I got treated to a craft activity and we were all taught how to make delightful origami frogs. There were other craft activities available and play areas that could entertain your children especially the younger ones while waiting to enter the enchanted forest.
Upon entering the enchanted Forest we were immediately transported to a different world filled with relaxing music and absolutely delightful interactive animals and a mesmerising waterfall. It is mainly aimed at younger children but I was interested to see whether my 13 and 11-year-old boys would find it completely boring or if they would be interested in interacting with the different forest creatures. And much to my delight, they were very much taken with the interactive water pool and turtles and fish that swim after you. On one of the interact falls the butterflies chase you and you can hop from one stepping stone to the next across the water pool. A little trip trap bridge crosses the same water pool and children abs a delightful time skipping across the bridge, enjoying the freedom this forest provides you with. Clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into this project and even though it didn’t entertain my eldest two for more than 40 minutes, together with the play area outside the café at the Lakeside bistro, a very real woodland and the other galleries present on site, one can very much make a morning or afternoon of visiting this spectacular venue.
Prepare for your visit prior to arriving as there is a car park that services the Lakeside gallery and is free. All the galleries are free to attend including the enchanted Forest.
A big shout out to all the staff involved in this fantastic project, a great treat for the eyes and ears! And you get children would find the calm environment very relaxing and creative. A fabulous space for creative imaginations to be let loose. Definitely more projects like thirds should be encouraged to provide families with budget friendly outings so that they all can enjoy a family day out. £6 for local families to visit the venue by tram also provides another cheap option of travel.
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm | Wednesdays 2-4pm SEN friendly sessions
Suitable for all
Any other details and contact details can be found here.