Are you looking to get your kids out and about this summer? Peel them away from their iPads, lure them from their smartphones and entice them from Netflix for some family-friendly fun in the sun!
Trentham Monkey Forest is a fantastic place to take your own little monkeys. There are heaps of opportunities to share lots of laughter with kids of all ages, as you make your way along the woodland trail.
Want to know more about Trentham Monkey Forest? Find out what lies in store with our fun guide and learn what to expect on a family day trip with your troop this summer.
Entertain your little monkeys at Monkey Forest
Families can get up close and personal with the 140 free-roaming cheeky primates who call the park home, as they go about their everyday monkey business! Giggle as they saunter along the path next to you, watch as they swing and crash their way through the branches above, and spot them as they relax in the long grasses.
Fun Tip: Your kids will love mimicking the monkeys’ sounds by chattering back to them in their monkey language!
Originally from Algeria and Morocco, the Barbary macaques are not confined to the bars of a cage. Instead, they are free to mischievously roam the 60-acre woodland to their hearts’ content. The trail winds its way through the trees for three-quarters of a mile. While human visitors must keep to the wooden walkway, it’s the monkey’s home, so they are free to monkey around wherever they want!
You’ll find numerous information boards dotted along the pathway teaching you all about the cheeky monkeys. Guides can also be found throughout the forested walk, who are on-hand to answer questions along the way. After your adventure, head to the video room, information centre and the two playgrounds where you can continue to amuse your little monkeys for hours.
You can buy a souvenir of your day from the Jungle Shop. All this exploring will make everyone hungry, so head to the Banana Café for feeding time to refuel your troop.
Go ape at feeding time
One of the most delightful times to watch the monkeys getting up to mischief is at feeding time, when their sassy sides really swing into action. The monkeys live in complete freedom in the forest and while their everyday antics are always rib-tickling to watch, nothing is as comical as watching them tuck into a banquet of fresh fruit!
The feeding sessions take place quarter past every hour, from 11:15 onwards. They are accompanied by educational talks delivered by the guides, providing visitors with an insight into the primates’ feeding habits.
What’s on this summer?
Summer 2019 looks set to be an exciting time for families to go ape at Monkey Forest, with all the following events on offer to visitors:
Time 4 Sport - Friday Kids Club
When: Every Friday in August
Back by popular demand, the Time 4 Sport sessions are the perfect way for your children to enjoy the outdoors, have fun, stay fit, be safe, make new friends and learn during the school holidays.
Butterflies at Trentham Monkey Forest
When: During garden open times till 3rd November
Butterflies is an inspiring, transformative art installation utilising iconic materials of Stoke-on-Trent - ceramics and metal.
In support of The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People, each ceramic butterfly is available to purchase to help transform the lives of children and young people living with life limiting conditions.
To find out more, and to place your order (which will include one free day admission to Trentham Gardens to see your Butterfly between 25 May and 3 November) visit www.thebutterflies.org.uk
Outdoor Parent and Baby Yoga
When: Every Thursday till 29th August 2019
Take part in a beautiful, active and fun bonding experience for new parents and their little ones. Please be advised that this event is weather dependent.
Other activities at Trentham Gardens
As well as meeting the hairy residents of Monkey Forest, there are lots of other opportunities on the sprawling estate to get your kids out and about this summer.
Take a stroll around the beautiful Trentham Gardens where you can enjoy a boat trip, a ride on the miniature train and a fairy-spotting walk along the lakeside.
Here’s a clue: There are 15 mystical fairies hiding in the enchanted gardens, just waiting to be found!
There’s also a maze to get lost in and plenty of spots to enjoy a picnic. Peel off your socks to prepare for the Barefoot Walk, where you can feel your way along the pathway with nothing but your bare feet. Keep your eyes peeled for the colourful Kingfishers, Giant Stag Beetles and playful Otters who call the gardens their home! And if all that isn’t enough to wear out your little ones, go to the adventure playground where energetic kids can zip down the zipline, soar on the swings and challenge the assault course.
Turn off the mobile phones, put away the tablets and leave WhatsApp at home. Instead, introduce your kids to Mother Nature this summer with a visit to Monkey Forest.
Check out this map of the forest to help you plan your route:
CrossCountry can take the stress out of travelling with all the family by taking you to explore many of the UK’s top attractions. Get a train to Trentham to visit Monkey Forest and explore the gardens with your family this summer. From castles and museums to zoos, many summer adventures await the whole family.
Written by Seb