Yesterday we went to Woodhorn Museum, near Ashington in Northumberland, to see their new Frost of Forgetfulness Winter Quest.
Woodhorn Museum is on the site of the old colliery, which closed in the early 1980s. The museum tells the story of the miners. Paintings, an old pit village reconstruction, and the old buildings themselves, all tell the tales of 800 years of history in Woodhorn.
The Frost of Forgetfulness Winter Quest at Woodhorn Museum is really special. It’s a magical time for families, and it’s not too Christmassy, so suitable for people of all faiths.
The idea is that the Frost of Forgetfulness is creeping across the museum, muddling memories and baffling boffins. Before the memories are lost forever, you need to follow the trail and complete the mysteries. At the end there’s a special, magical surprise.
Staff and the buildings are covered in mesh fabric, which James (4) instantly recognised as the frost. We started in the stables, where we made a pit canary and a cage to carry it in, before heading out on our quest. Staff were super helpful, giving James age-appropriate instruction to build the cage while I helped Noah with making a canary.
We were handed a little booklet and pencil when we finished making the bird and cage. The booklet has a map showing the mission locations and spaces to draw or write the answers. When you’re in the right place, you’ll know because you’ll see a yellow feather next to the mission on a sign.
I really liked the mix of indoor and outdoor mystery locations, and the variety of puzzles is really good for families of different ages. James’ favourite quest was on the outdoor playground, however he liked all of it and found that hard to choose as the best bit. Some of the tasks ask you to use your imagination, and others need you to seek out the answers by counting, or finding letters.
Frost of Forgetfulness is a free activity and no advance booking is required. We spent a bit more than 3 hours at Woodhorn, but we also detoured for a visit to Santa (£8.50 per child), and made the free craft activity.
We loved that the the Frost of Forgetfulness is an event for the whole family and there are activities within it that are accessible to a range of ages. Noah (2) was really happy to run alongside us, looking for things like animals at a particular point.
At the end, when you’ve completed as many activities as you’d like to, you return to the stables building for a very special surprise. The staff play a very fine part, and add to the magic and sense of an event.
All in all, if you are near Woodhorn Museum while the Frost of Forgetfulness event is on, you must visit! If you are looking for a family friendly activity this week while the children need a run around before Christmas, this is perfect.
You can make a day of it by riding the Woodhorn Railway to the pub nearby for a spot of lunch and a tumble in the soft play, before using your return ticket back to the museum (£2 per adult return or £1 concession). Woodhorn Museum also has a cafe and shop. You could also go for a walk or cycle around the lake, if you fancy a wander, or zoom around on the ice skating rink at Woodhorn.
The Frost of Forgetfulness runs from Saturday 17th to Friday 23rd December 2016. Please check their Facebook page or Twitter for updates as to changes in the programme or facilities available before you set out. The Frosty Trail is free, but parking is £3.50 per car for the whole day.