What a lovely way to round off the summer holidays at Into the Trees.
Into the Trees is in its second year and is put together by the amazing So Sussex team who bring Elderflower Fields festival to life.
Being as we are an outdoor family we knew this would be right up our street. Like Elderflower Fields, Into the Trees is set in the beautiful Pippingford Park in Nutley, East Sussex. It runs over the first weekend in September and advanced tickets were only £22 per family or £26 on the gate for a full day of outdoor fun.
The gates opened at 10am on Saturday and we immediately recognised that we were parking in the field that we camped in at Elderflower Fields back in May.
The kids each got given a wristband with our mobile numbers on just in case one of them wandered off.
We headed straight into the woods where there were hammocks in the trees and some very cool sounds coming from the sound prisms - these have been created by artist and musician Richie Crago, the sculptures are set out in a copse of trees and almost reminded me of a wooden War of the Worlds.
Next the art area - we were greeted by a colourful yarn bombed tree and areas to weave onto branches, tree stumps and a tipi made of sticks. People were also helping to put together a sculpture of a deer made with willow.
In the art zone there were also wood sculptures, mud monsters and bracelet making from bulrushes.
We decided to head further into the woods where there was the RSPB stand and seed planting in the shed with Wakehurst, the kids each planted a pot with broad beans which we will be attempting to grow at home.
Next stop was the pond for a bit of pond dipping - we were amazed how many creatures were in the pond - water scorpions, baby newts, water boatman and huge snails.
Heading back out from the forest there was the yurt, hedge laying, Schools Without Walls, a story telling tipi and archery and axe throwing.
We have been to a lot of festivals where you have to pay extra for these activities but this is all free! I swear my kids were warriors in past lives, their axe throwing skills were amazing, they got lots of goes each and same with the archery.
The stalls were lovely, there were local blacksmiths, carpenters, spoon whittlers and chainsaw carvers all selling their work and showing how they make things.
The food on offer was great - Oscar's kitchen had wild boar burgers. Veggie Love Bites served up delicious vegetarian food we tried pizzas from The Pizza Wagon all prepared and cooked in front of you in a wood burner. The kids had ice cream from Vintage Scoops. The Wildside Cafe and Bar was in a huge tipi with foraged foods and drinks on offer and cocktails outside. There was a also a cute tea wagon called the Grey Earl. The kids also enjoyed playing in an outdoor kitchen.
After lunch we went on a foraging walk. We forage a lot ourselves but we learnt a few new tricks. We tried some larch needles, hawthorn berries, ground ivy and ate some raw nettles and mint.
The kids had a play on the rope swings and hammocks which were next to the Woodland Tribe, people were helping to build some wooden play structures amongst the trees. Here we also tried out slacklining - this is much trickier than it looks as the line you are crossing is extremely bouncy.
We rounded off our day with a game of Disc Golf - great fun if you've never tried it before. There was also another archery area here, this one you did have to pay for it was £3 for 12 arrows - I think we may have to find a local club!
In the marquee there was Nam Nams face painting, this lady was also at Elderflower Field and she is amazing, this would set you back £5 each.
Before we left the kids had a rest in the Tentsile tents and Keira decided to check out the first aid tent after being stung by a bee.
We really had fun at Into the Trees, it's great value for money with the range of activities on offer for all ages. There are toilets around the site, water taps so you can fill your own bottles and lots of people were managing to get around with pushchairs.
Take some cash for a few treats if you fancy it - most of the food stalls took card payments - or of course you could take a picnic.
This was a lot more low key than anything else we've been to - but that added to the charm. Everybody we spoke to were really enjoying themselves and we'd highly recommend Into the Trees for a lovely day out.
#IntotheTrees #SoSussex #ElderflowerFields #PippingfordPark #AshdownForest