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Oh Help, Oh No...! Where to find the Gruffalo and friends across the UK

Updated: Jan 30

If you've got a little one obsessed with the Gruffalo and other Julia Donaldson stories then we've got some great ideas for days out!

There's a few trips that are within a day trip from Nottingham but most you will have to go a little further afield for.

Sherwood Pines (and many other Forestry England sites)

Forestry England managed sites all have similar trails which change every couple of years. We have seen the Gruffalo, Superworm and Zog trails at Sherwood Pines, Fineshade wood and Thetford Forest over the last few years and had a great time at them all (Fineshade is a long walk for little legs though!!)

There will be a 25th Anniversary of the Gruffalo Birthday Activity Trail starting this month that we can't wait to check out!

These are free to enter to find the markers but you can also buy an activity pack for around £4. There is also an app you can download that uses AR generated images to make the characters appear!

Parking is around £5 for 2 hours (Sherwood Pines) which we found is plenty of time to do the trail.

Home of the Gruffalo Discovery Land! This is a brilliant, fairly large part of the zoo area, dedicated to all things Gruffalo!

There is a fantastic interactive walkthrough area with lots of buttons to push and an indoor area where you follow the story and see real animals linked to the story. There is also a butterfly enclosure you can walk through with Axel Scheffler butterfly theming.

Dependant on time of year they also do Gruffalo shows and meet and greets!

Entry to Gruffalo Discovery Land is included in the price of a Twycross Zoo ticket which, when booked online is currently £22.50 for adults, £17.10 for children and under 3s go free. Paid tickets are an annual pass so you get free return visits for a year! Parking is free.

If you are local to the Nottingham/Derby then this is definitely a day out not to miss. As well as beautiful parklands, walks, statues and memorials; the NMA put on lots of events for kids through the holidays as well as the permanent Stick Man trail.

Pick up a free trail sheet from the welcome desk and set off in search of the trail marker boards located through the woodland. It's a little 'off road' and can get quite muddy - they do advise that some pushchairs may struggle in some areas. And watch out for the Stick Man sculpture - he's hard to miss!

Entry is FREE to the National Memorial Arboretum. Parking is £6 per day or £4 when booked in advance online.

This is a little hidden gem that we absolutely loved! At this country park you will find a brilliant Room on the Broom trail complete with interactive elements like brass rubbings and sculptures to find. It's a pretty long walk for little legs but we really enjoyed it and best of all - it's FREE to take part. You can buy a trail pack from the shop but all the markers are available for

anyone to find (we brought our own wand!)

Entry is FREE to Angler's Country Park. Parking charges apply - it was £2 for 4 hours when we visited in 2019.

Home to Zog playland, with brilliant interactive activities plus an amazing Zog themed outdoor play area. Includes sensory and physical play plus they have ensured some activities are accessible too.

There's also opportunities to meet and greet Zog plus we joined in with a knight school activity with 'Sir Gadabout' when we visited. (2022)

At certain times of the year, you can also book a short break which includes Zog story time with Princess Pearl, themed evening entertainment plus a Zog souvenir.

Day tickets to Warwick Castle are available from £22 when booked online and under 3s are free. Parking charges also apply.

The ultimate Gruffalo trip! This new attraction is in Blackpool and looks so fantastic for little Gruffalo lovers. There's the deep, dark wood adventure Play area, Room on the Broom Toddler Area, Gruffalo's Child Sensory Room, Zog's Dragon School and more! We can't wait to try it out for ourselves - the reviews speak for themselves.

Gruffalo's Clubhouse tickets are currently priced from £12 for children and adults from £4.50 when booked online. Under 1s go free. Be aware that sessions are limited to 1.5 hours at peak times.

A great day out for younger children with loads of rides and a zoo! One of the rides here is a dark Gruffalo boat ride. This is for all ages (we were able to take our six week old on it who was actually lulled to sleep by the boat!) but it was a little bit scary for our three year old as it is quite dark and a rather large Gruffalo looms down during the ride - you've been warned!

There is also a Room on the Broom experience here. This isn't a ride but more like an interactive walkthrough. We had great fun with this and it's suitable for all ages. There are also loads of Julia Donaldson story merchandise available in the shops at Chessington.

Chessington tickets are currently priced from £34 when booked online and under 3s are free.

This is a 2km play trail is inspired by the adventures of Stick Man from the popular Julia Donaldson Story.

'The permanent trail consists of a number of climbing frames, slides, swings, Stick Man’s family tree and a giant swan’s nest. The equipment is located near the visitor centre and in locations specifically chosen to maintain the natural beauty and outstanding views within the park. The Stick Man play trail is open to everyone and free to use during park opening hours throughout the year. There is a charge for car parking but costs go back towards maintaining the park and protecting its wildlife'

Several theatre companies have adapted Julia Donaldson's stories for the stage including Tall Stories who are bringing the Gruffalo back to Nottingham later this year!

Currently touring in 2024 is The Gruffalo's Child and The Gruffalo

Showcase Cinemas run toddler cinema regularly where you can sometimes see Magic Light favourites on the big screen. They normally show two of the short films back to back. In January 2024 you can catch a double bill of The Gruffalo's Child and Stick Man.

In the summer, you can sometimes catch a double bill on an outdoor screen too!

That's all for now!

I will try and keep this article up to date but head to where you might find more temporary events involving your favourite characters.

*denotes affiliate links. I will earn a small commission if you buy tickets through this link. This does not affect the price you pay and helps keep Off Out running!

- Isabelle x

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