Quite the carry on up the jungle

The perfect place to take your kids when it’s cold outdoors

Normally when I’m playing Granny, I am flanked by Jake and Morfar. Reinforcements. Just in case my back gives out or I concuss myself on a horizontal strut under the table while making dens out of tablecloths that rarely get used for their proper purpose afterwards because I can never get the stains out or simply forget to get them out.

In fact the only time we consistently have tablecloths is Halloween – to obscure the monsters poised to stick their heads up through a hole somewhere and scare people. You’ll have gathered by now that I am stronger at ‘making it up as I go along’ than ‘forward planning’. But for this column, I was forced to plan ahead due to a forthcoming deadline and family holiday in Norfolk.

Expedition dress code
Once again, Jake was having fun at his dad’s and, as the play jungle we had decided to explore closes at 6pm, this was my  first try at being a granny single-handedly,  flying solo. Packing the nappy bag was easy as it’s my usual bag for weekend trips. It’s nice and colourful – green and yellow like Norwich City football club – doesn’t easily get lost and has lots of useful pockets.

We had a dummy from when Laura was little – the bacteria must have died by now but I washed it anyway – and a stash of back-up clothes. Trousers for climbing, I decided and for me too. My dark grey tracksuit bottoms were perfect for the job, though I looked like Colonel Hathi from behind.  They are cotton, which equals a comfortable speed rather than the kind of synthetic fibre that slicks along sending out sparks of static electricity at a speed that defies the term static altogether and any laws of gravity into the bargain.

Socks are obligatory. And we found out the hard way, literally, due to the polished  floor in places, that NONSLIP SOCKS with the footprints underneath are a VERY GOOD IDEA. We’ll be making our own very soon. See how and more photos at helendyrbye.blogspot.com.

Getting mangled I PICKED up dear little Petra (21 months) and Laura (6) in Copenhagen and we reached the huge play jungle in Slangerup with one and a half hours to go. All go! Laura hit the ground running and Petra and I did our best to keep up, down, under, through and between 3,500 sqm of well-padded indoor play equipment, ball pits and other obstacles. Phew. As Petra and I caught up with her each time, off she flew again.

I was particularly impressed that after only a few seconds of deep misgivings I attempted and conquered a padded mangle with a space between the rollers of about a foot. Luckily it stretched to a tummy. Head  first. I didn’t have much choice as both my charges had done just that: charged through already. If I hadn’t been chasing children, that would be the place I’d have chosen to sit and relax, watching other adults dice with destiny. I made it through. Add it to your bucket list. 

Three huge halls
Older kids (7-11s) will enjoy a number of relatively quick slides, including the Volcano Mountain (tallest in Denmark), the Tiger Slide and one that involved whooshing downhill on in inflated doughnuts that must also have had a jungly name.  The small hall for toddlers was sizeable, covering 250 sqm. And the middle hall had a big bouncy castle and a monster crocodile.

I couldn’t take photos of that because there were kids poking out of its mouth, and as Laura didn’t want to be eaten, we didn’t stick around. In fact, taking photos wasn’t easy. I kept having to tuck my camera inside my t-shirt to stop it bumping Petra on the back of the head as I shadowed her round.

As you can see from the photos, Laura had opted for tights and a parachute. Cool. Especially on the volcano mountain. Someone with less wind resistance and size four feet might have picked up more velocity and left their footprint in the plasterboard.

Running low
We had a brilliant time. Petra became increasingly tired, but she wasn’t the only one.  There were loads of chairs for spectators, and another time I’ll take Jake and Morfar so we can take turns. We went on a Wednesday night and there was a joint birthday being held – it’s cheaper on weeknights. It’s perfect for rainy days, though no doubt busier at weekends.

We only had one problem. We’d  finished our slush ices, had our coats and shoes on and were turning to go. But where was my bag? My pretty green and yellow Mary Poppins nappy bag. Not under the table, nor down by my seat. Holding Petra  firmly in my arms, I got to the point where I was striding about looking suspiciously at other people to see if they had ‘accidentally’ picked it up.  Then Laura took my hand. “Granny, are you looking for the bag you have slung across your back?” she asked. And there it was. Hidden behind Petra on my hip. What a relief. Well done Laura! What a little trooper. 

The four play jungles in this chain are in Slangerup, Køge, Slagelse and Falster. Adult admittance is free, while the kids cost 100 kroner. Find out lots more at legejungle.dk.

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