HFT Gruffalo Adventure 2015

Catching some and apple juice with the Gruffalo
Catching some and apple juice with the Gruffalo
I'm not entirely sure how I managed to find out about HFT's Gruffalo Adventure weekend, which had been set up in Arundel's Sussex Orchards; I do believe I found out about the event whilst on Facebook, possibly a local parenting group.

SO glad that I did!!

HFT is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and their families and one of the ways in which they raise money is through fundraising and hence the Gruffalo Adventure was born.

HFT is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and their families and one of the ways in which they raise money is through fund raising and hence the Gruffalo Adventure was born.
Gruffalo Village at Sussex Orchards in aid of HFT
You could book online and on the day, but best to book online as there are timed slots to visit the deep dark wood and if this event happens again next year or later on in the year, I can see them being sold out before the day!

Once we booked on line we were sent an lovely email explaining the day, what best to wear and some print outs to complete before and on the day.  I'm not going to go into detail as to what we received in case this is repeated, then it can be a nice surprise for those going next time.

We had the first trip of the day (the 2 males in my life are early birds .....I, am not!), anyway, we had the first slot of the day and we took our tractor ride into the deep dark wood.
HFT Community Fund Raising - Gruffalo Hunt
Off on a Gruffalo Hunt
Obviously we weren't left to fend for ourselves in the woods - we had a HFT guide with us the whole time and Paul was fantastic!  He was great with the kids, controlled them better than any one of us adults, got them joining in, calling out and at one point holding Max's hand to the next event!
Obviously we weren't left to fend for ourselves in the woods - we had a HFT guide with us the whole time and Paul was fantastic!  He was great with the kids, controlled them better than any one of us adults, got them joining in, calling out and at one point holding Max's hand to the next event!
Explaining to the children to be aware of sleeping snakes..... (tree roots)
As we took a stroll in the deep dark wood we came across a fox's den.  Fortunately for us the Fox was not home, apparently he was somewhere near by, so all the children went hunting for food to give the Fox so as not to eat us.
As we took a stroll in the deep dark wood we came across a fox's den.  Fortunately for us the Fox was not home, apparently he was somewhere near by, so all the children went hunting for food to give the Fox so as not to eat us.
Hunting for food for the Fox
Once we found some food we then placed it in the woods for the Fox to find and hopefully leave us all alone, so we continued on our stroll in the deep dark wood with Paul every now and then asking the children if they believed in the Gruffalo, and they would answer nooooooooo, there's no such thing as a Gruffalo.

As we got to the next clearing we saw the Owl and he'd brought some friends along with him.
Greeted by the beautiful Owl in the deep dark woods
Greeted by the beautiful Owl in the deep dark woods
Owl keeping an eye out for the Gruffalo
Sussex Falconry Owl keeping an eye out for the Gruffalo
The children sat down on some hay bales and listened to Sussex Falconry explain the differences between the owls, dispel some old wives tales (apparently Owls are not that wise, hunt during the day and can not turn their heads 360 degrees.....) and then... fed the beaut you see in the picture above.... with a dead mouse.  The kids were fascinated and Max was talking all about the owl until the next clearing, even re-enacting how he ate the mouse - obviously that owl wasn't afraid of the Gruffalo!

Now if you know the story of the Gruffalo, you will know which creature the mouse stumbles across next...... as we reach the next clearing we see Luke from RepTylers waiting for us with one of his snakes around his hands...arms... body!
Meeting the snake whilst on the hunt for the Gruffalo
The children again sat down on the hay bales and listed whilst Luke spoke about the various snakes he had with him and then gave everyone, yes, everyone... the opportunity to hold, stroke and sit with the snakes.

A video posted by Rachael Jess (@mclarenmax) on

My son, asking to hold the head!!
My son, asking to hold the head!!
and this would be me not wanting to hold the head....
and this would be me not wanting to hold the head....
Due to her strength this little blonde was only handled by adults
Due to her strength this little blonde was only handled by adults
Oh joy... another snake!
Oh joy... another snake!
This was a very very popular part of the day with all the children getting involved, all the dads and quite a few mums.  Luke and his son were great with the kids and really enjoyed talking to them and helping them become less (if at all) afraid of the snakes.

When the children finally said goodbye to the snakes we carried on in the deep dark woods, but no Gruffalo, of course no Gruffalo!  Don't you know, there's no such thing as a Gruffalo!

In the next clearing there was a screen set up for the children to watch the Gruffalo.  With gingerbread biscuits and juice they sat still (!) and watched the entire film, well earned rest for all, but we still had not seen a Gruffalo, he really does not exist.....
Watching the Gruffalo
Outdoor cinema
We continue on in the deep dark woods until we get to the next clearing, where a girl announces to the group that she's seen the Gruffalo...... but there's no such thing?  She then tells the children that's he's run off and is hiding from her........

and then this happens.


We found the Gruffalo

And gave him a hug!
so there is such a thing as the Gruffalo!
so there is such a thing as the Gruffalo!
So the children weren't hanging around waiting for everyone to have a hug and photo with the Gruffalo, Paul had some craft materials near by so the children could make themselves some crowns with the leaves and twigs in the woods whilst they waited for the tractor to take us back to the Gruffalo village.
making a crown
Making his crown
Once back at the village we had some apple juice from Sussex Orchards, bounced around on the bouncy castle, played in the craft tent and had a go on the raffle games - with all proceeds going to HFT.
Going on a Gruffalo Hunt
All in all this was a fantastic day!  I would highly recommend this day out if HFT repeat it.  If you have Gruffalo fans they will love the trek in the deep dark woods and if they are not Gruffalo fans... what a perfect way to get them into the book - by experiencing it.

Brilliant day out, well organised, beautiful animals and friendly staff.

Right, I'm off to have some Gruffalo crumble.......................


3 comments:

  1. Hi Rachael. Thanks for this awesome review of our Gruffalo Adventure, which we've just stumbled across. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!! Tickets to our 2016 event are now on sale at www.hft.org.uk/gruffalo adventuresussex and www.hft.org.uk/gruffaloadventuresouthkent; do you mind if I share this blog on our events page please? Thanks, Jodi (Hft)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jodi, thank you for your kind words.
      Of course I don't mind, it's such a good course.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jodi, thank you for your kind words.
      Of course I don't mind, it's such a good course.

      Delete

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