It’s been ages since I last wrote, so a thousand apologies to start, but this is one day out I really can’t sit on and keep quiet about.
Yesterday Jack and I decided to take the boys to Monkey Forest in Trentham, near Stoke-on-Trent, on the recommendation of my brother and sister-in-law. I’m the type of person who still gets excited when she visit Walton Gardens in Warrington and sees squirrels running around the place; at Monkey Forest I nearly weed myself with excitement. Oh, and the boys loved it as well…
What is it?
Monkey Forest is exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a forest that is full of monkeys – 140 Barbary macaques to be specific. What’s great about this place is that the monkeys are free to roam around the expansive enclosure, literally crossing paths with the public!
The monkeys live and behave in the park exactly as they would in their native environments, making it a great place for anyone who has ever shown even half an interest in a David Attenborough documentary.
Monkeys roaming free? Aren’t there any risks? No, rest assurde you will not be dicing with death when you visit, and your children will certainly not be forced to fight tooth and nail with a flea-invested, sharp-toothed ape, however appealing that may seem to an 8 year old boy.
Jack asked one of the park rangers early on about the monkey’s level of interest in and interaction with humans, and apparently it is negligible. She said some of the young monkeys might try to grab loose clothing or bags from park guests, but the older monkey’s aren’t interested whatsoever. We, to monkeys, are what ants are to us, or so it seems!
Value for Money?
YES! My boys found it hilarious watching the younger monkeys chasing each other, play fighting, giving cheek to their elders and generally getting up to all levels of mischief; clearly they’d found their counterparts in another species, and would have quite happily wondered around for a few hours. Kids are £5.50 each and adults £7.50, and, out of the “enclosure”, the park offers a pretty good adventure playground and grassy areas that are ideal for a picnic, so the price isn’t bad for a special day out.
Make sure your Sat Nav is charged and you have the correct postcode! We got lost (I blame Jack), we’d left the Sat Nav at home (when I say we, I’m being kind; Jack again) and the directions from Google Maps DID NOT WORK! (For your ease, the Sat Nav postcode is ST12 9HR.) We had to stop to in a lay-by to sort out directions from our mobiles and, to my shame, it was a wee-in-a-bush moment for me.
Any Ideas for Something Similar?
I love taking my boys places that they’ll enjoy, but also learn something, even if it’s as basic as an appreciation for animals. If you have any ideas for places young children would really enjoy, I’d really love to hear from you!