During my recent visit to Denmark, it was definitely worthwhile and exciting to do something a little bit different. Something I used to do, when I was younger, and even now in my adult years, it still remains something I really enjoy.
Swinging from the trees and playing in the mud has always had its appeal and as a child, I was often found frequently enjoying both of these activities.
Of course, all children enjoy this kind of thing, and it is fair to say you would continually find me outside ( in the local woods) enjoying myself, swinging and dangling in the treetops.
Unfortunately, as the years pass by, your situations change and the once youthful body begins to slowly deteriorate, and you soon realise it is not so wise to not carry on indulging in such pursuits. While your playful mind continues to tell you otherwise.
Here, Adventures begin…
Close to the village of Skerne, in Denmark is a very attractive outdoor space. One that has now become a reality, after an idea was dreamt up by its owners. Nestled among the natural woodlands is an impressive outdoor playground, one that has emerged from an already beautiful natural space.
Its purpose and overall intentions are there to encourage adventurers of all ages to play and explore as nature intended us to and enjoyment to be found in its simplest form.
Of course, it could be considered that this particular concept has already been implemented several times before, in other areas of Europe and the World.
True, there are many similar woodland adventure parks out there but for me, they always appear to be too manufactured and controlled. Focusing far too much on health and safety procedures, as opposed to promoting the many exciting opportunities that help to support and build upon moments of free thinking and encouraging free play.
WOW-Park is most definitely a wow experience, and something that all visitors and would be adventurers are sure to enjoy.
How does the park work?
WOW-Park has a very distinct vision about utilising the woodland environment and natural spaces. By creating an alternative style Amusement Park, that is simply all about promoting play, family values, physical activity, opportunities for outdoor learning and supporting a healthy lifestyle. In a playground setting that is just perfect for children and adults of all ages, looking to get outside and enjoy was is all around.
By utilising what you have right in front of you, it is clearly evident that you can create your own adventure experiences, by simply enjoying what you have, right in front of you. The woodland is free and so to your creative mind; therefore the park actively encourages all visitors to explore great experiences of free play together with creative thinking.
How long did it take to build the park?
The park from vision, to a fully functional play park, took more than 2½ years from just a thought to construction. During that time the designers have realised their vision and created a remarkable play space, with unique opportunities to immerse yourself in the tranquil natural surroundings.
As a result, by embracing their vision, it is clear that the forest has always stood as a vibrant and inspiring location that invites all visitors to enjoy, play and socialise.
For the same reason, it was seen as a natural place to establish roots - and the perfect place to "raise the tree". Which again, is made up of good positive values, physical activity, play and learning. Therefore the WOW-Park serves as a suitable playground for children and adults of all ages to explore and enjoy this unique place.
At WOW-Park it is very apparent that the owners have learnt that play and challenges, found in nature is an important factor, when releasing and fulfilling the over potential of any individual. It creates and maintains a fun and challenging environment, building togetherness and a strong team spirit among groups.
So much so, WOW-Park is seen as the ideal destination for larger groups and school parties who wish to indulge themselves in a wide variety of exciting outdoor activities and use the experience in their wider learning.
What is on offer at WOW-Park?
Amongst this well planned and flourishing woodland environment is an impressive site, that has a wide range of activities, in the trees and also at ground level.
To reach the high points, in the tree tops, you can climb the steady incline of the ramp. Made from tightly weaved rope, it provides a really steady base for you to continue exploring. After completing the steady climb, all adventurers enter one of the many wooden shelters, positioned around the main tree trunk.
These brightly coloured shelters act as a central meeting point and from here you can traverse the many suspended walkways, towards other shelters or if you choose to, simply slide back down towards the ground, using one of the many plastic shoots.
At the top, the panoramic views are quite staggering, and the fact you are not attached to a safety harness gives a tremendous sense of freedom and indeed that adrenaline rush.
In other areas of the park, there are suspended hammocks, where you can enjoy your surroundings, just lie back, rest a little and stare at the impressive natural green canopy found above. Bigger, suspended nets house plastic footballs and giant inflatable balls (see images). This activity again, encourages free play and opportunities to bounce freely on a suspended floor space. The whole experience is very surreal, but exciting too, as you can immerse yourself in a frantic game of football, while being suspended some 30 foot in the sky. The sensation is incredible, but try not to look down!
At ground level, there is an impressive array of rope swings, suspended from one tree to the next. Together with a network of tunnels for any intrepid explorer to push themselves to the limits and also enjoy a beautiful meandering trail, weaving through the woodland. That is made out of cut tree trunks. Again this is a fabulous experience, as you hop from one tree to the next, over a distance that seems to go on and on.
Further additions to the park are the camping areas. Here, visitors can enjoy a night round the campfire and shelter under the stars for the night. Close by, a challenging maze tests your endurance, patience and imagination. You can also play a giant-sized version of table pool, using your feet as the cue and appropriately coloured footballs, to mimic the pool balls themselves.
Around the main activity areas are many different places to sit and simply connect with the surroundings. Nothing is better than simply listening to the wind whistling in the trees and the distant sound of visitors enjoying themselves. Picnic areas are also provided, and the impressive natural backdrop really does add to the overall appeal.
The park is on the site of an old farm, so there is plenty of indoor space for all visitors to enjoy. There is a beautiful and large dining area, made of wood. It also has an adjacent cafe, which serves fresh organic and locally sourced foods, as well as a well equipped shop. This space is well considered and the products on offer are very conducive to life in the outdoors and equipment you might need. The outdoor Popcorn maker, certainly caught our attention.
Next to the lunch room area is the craft centre, where anyone can gather materials and then create something natural. There is a wide range of materials and tools already in place, so it is an excellent opportunity to just let your mind wander and perhaps create something out of this world. I didn't, but I'm sure you could...
Once out of the craft centre there is a great big courtyard and a facility to house workshops, seminars and overnight indoor accommodation for groups.
There was no doubt, during my time here, I was in my element, during our stay. I thought the whole park was designed well and right down to the finishing touches; it was impressive. It is a hit with the children too. They had the chance to do what they should be doing, learning from play and their beautiful natural surroundings. There was no signs of iPads or video games here!!
I was also very impressed by the lack of health and safety overload, which is so prevalent in some places. When I was a kid, I was bumped and scraped all the time. I got dirty, sometimes I even cried, but I'm still here to tell the tale and have many stories to tell. Of course, we all want safety, and after my own experience of designing and running outdoor residentials. I will always be the first to make sure ‘anything’ is safe.
Unfortunately, I feel the world has gone mad, and there is plenty of idiots out there make rules and defining what they think is right. With that said, WOW-Park is a breath of fresh air, and it has been great to say that I have experienced it.
I would like to thank WOW-Park for this great experience and a memorable day in the trees. If you get to Denmark, find yourself in the area, there's no doubt in my mind that this place is worth a few hours of your time.
Once again, many thanks for reading. If you choose to like comment and share my writing 'Thoughts and Stories from the Great Outdoors’, then I'm eternally grateful for any support I receive.
Enjoy your time in the Outdoors!
Where is WOW-Park?
Address: Løvstrupvej 1, 6900 Skjern, Denmark
Here are a small selection of images from in and around the impressive WOW-Park.