As parents we want to create a memory bank for our children, filled with fabulous memories which as a family we can all enjoy dusting off, re-remembering and enjoying all over again. The best memories are the adventures that take you all out of the daily plod of home-school-work-home and give your children heart-thumping excitement and a feeling of anything is possible. Adventures like these…
1. Swim on the wild side
If the local chlorine-filled swimming pool feels too tame, why not up the ante by taking the family swimming in a lake, river or even a waterfall? Wild Swimming has details of all the best outdoor swimming locations throughout the UK.
2. Nights under the stars
Give your children a taste of a proper Swallows and Amazons childhood by going camping. The Cool Camping website has inspiration for the most off-the-beaten-track and beautiful campsite locations with not a TV aerial in sight.
From foraging for firewood to telling spooky stories around the fire, camping is an idyllic part of childhood. And while parents’ may be moaning about another night on a blow-up mattress, you can bet the kids will wake up full of beans. Make sure you bring a fire pit (collapsible ones pack away brilliantly) and marshmallows aplenty.
3. Climb a mountain
If you say ‘we’re going for a walk’, your children may roll their eyes and protest loudly and elaborately – at least until they are happily walking. But say ‘we’re going to climb a mountain’ and their eyes light up. Mountains are the stuff of fairy tales and the UK has a lot – from Snowdonia to Goat’s Fell on Arran.
Make sure you have proper weatherproof gear and check weather reports. The British Mountaineering Council has some inspirational ideas for different walks to suit every ability.
4. Zip down a zip wire
There is nothing more exciting than hurtling at high speed down a zip wire, shrieking at the top of your voice. For a taste of a truly adrenaline-fuelled day out in North Wales, check out the videos on the Zip World website.
On Zip World Velocity, two riders can reach speeds of over 100mph, 500ft high – ‘the nearest thing to flying’ – and Zip World Titan offers a four-man ride and zip wires in old slate caverns.
5. Indoor sky diving
If your children are too young to be jumping out of a plane, a trip to Milton Keynes Airkik is the next best thing. It is the UK’s first original wind tunnel offering an indoor sky diving experience with wind speeds reaching 165mph. Now that’s an adrenaline kick!
6. Surfing – or body boarding
Surfing is a fantastic thrills and spills sport for the whole family. Children have an advantage because they tend to be more agile – and obviously they have a lower centre of gravity.
Wales and Cornwall have the best beginner beaches – make sure they have a Blue Flag which means lifeguards are on patrol - and most surf centres offer beginners and family sessions.
If you want the thrill of the waves, without bothering with mastering the skill of surfing, then body boarding is the best fun as you compete to hitch a lift on the waves.
7. Go ape at Go Ape
For an adrenaline filled experience no one’s likely to forget, Go Ape is a brilliant bet. With new forest locations springing up throughout the country, there’s sure to be one near you. As well as the zip-wire and forest-canopy climbing fun, you can also hire segways to explore the woods.