We decided to brave the weekend's forecast of rain and head out of the city to the Dean Heritage Centre, taking this small boy on a big adventure. As soon as F saw the huge wooden Gruffalo at the entrance he was super excited and we were lucky that the Room on the Broom trail had recently been installed for Easter featuring one of F's favourite dragons.
As we followed the muddy trail, much to F's delight, we were met by huge wooden carvings depicting scenes from the book accompanied with a blown up page for you to read out loud. There were fun interactive elements making the story come to life, such as plaiting the witches hair or making the frog croak using stick down it's ridged back. F was thrilled to wave the magic wand and clunk out a spell on the outdoor xylophone before climbing aboard the witches most truly magnificent broom.
After the trail and a quick stint in the adventure playground, where we pretended to buy ice creams from the playhouse, we headed a bit further up the hill to explore the log piles and camps set up to show how charcoal pits were used in the past. F wanted to try and build a charcoal stack by following the instructions and crisscrossing the logs, but after a few attempts with the logs toppling over, F decided to change tact and build a car park instead. With grubby hands and mud stained trousers, we took our time to soak up the outdoors and cherish the sunlight pouring down, watching this curious boy in his element. F looked for bugs, reenacted the Three Little Pigs oh so many times, danced and drummed before heading off to explore the Victorian classroom and Foresters Cottage that is part of the main centre.
We took a quick peek at the wood yard where the carvings for the trails are made, spotting some new characters being brought to life out of giant tree stumps. As we headed to the car the heavens opened, signalling the end to our fun day out in the woods and we drove to the sanctuary of home for hot chocolate and toast.
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