Sunday, April 10, 2016

Fun Times in The Pines - Zipit Dublin

www.fun.ie

It may well be a clich̩ but making the most of the family time we have is a real challenge for parents Рas is getting value for money. Now Рthrow a teenager and his two younger brothers into the mix and you might have a conundrum on your hands when finding somewhere to go on a sunny Sunday.

We’ve known about Zipit Forest Adventures for a long time but hadn’t had time to visit for various reasons. I’d grown up near the
ir Pine Forest base – and spent hours orienteering through the woods of Tibradden as a teenager myself – so it was a sort of trip down memory lane when we drove under the canopy of Pine trees last Sunday. Instantly we were captivated by the buzzing sound of the zip lines, the whoops of kids and adults as they moved through the trees via the various apparatus!


Zipit describe the activity as offering “up to 4 hours of tree-top, fun-filled, adventure challenge in a healthy, outdoor setting for adults and children from age 7.  Climb poles and climbing walls, swing into cargo nets, balance on a rope bridge, hurtle down a zipwire, even ride a BMX across a treetop bridge!”  – show me an adult or child who would not be intrigued to find our more and give it a go.

Let me introduce the kids – Christopher (14), Andrew (10) and Kyle (9). The doors opened and they ran over to the Log Cabin base at the edge of the forest. Up above – people of all ages, were zipping across the treetops at different heights. Others were walking across “tight ropes” encouraged by others either in the trees or from the ground. There were people everywhere at different heights and if you strained your eyes you could just about make them out high up in the trees.
We had booked online so our instructor was waiting for us. After signing the requisite forms we were all fitted with our safety harness.
What I noticed was the team are all very good with the kids, extremely patient. Ours had now gone suddenly quiet – anticipating and probably a little fearful of the next four hours. They needn’t have worried.


The safety briefing and training takes about 20 minutes. Zipit use a special safety system which means that anyone taking part is at all-times secured and can only “disconnect” from the circuit when they are on the ground. It takes a few minutes to get used to but the kids got it first time of course with the adults taking just a bit longer. After a few laps on the test course – we were ready to go.
Happy to start on the green course was me. Father of three, adventurous boys, but such a coward when it comes to heights. Just a couple of metres or so off the ground we took turns on stepping out on the circuit.
The first few activities involve either a sort of tight rope walk or some floating steps and then there is the first of the Zip Lines. Stepping off the platform and putting all your faith in your harness is a great test of mind over matter. Height is relative but once you let go the rush is amazing as you zip feet first towards the next platform.
The next three courses get gradually higher and the “tasks” get more and more extreme. All around you can hear people whooping and screaming as they take on the next obstacle. The buzzing of the ziplines is all around as you look up and see people flying through the air.

The younger two boys decided to stay on Green while myself, Mum and Christopher (14) took on some more challenges on the other, higher and more challenging courses. As you go higher and higher the challenges really do get extreme – culminating in a Skate Board ride through the trees about 15 metres and there’s even an opportunity to cycle a BMX too! The zips get faster and longer – the climbs get higher and higher and the nerves get tested to the extreme. I have to admit to only making it around 3 of the 5 courses – I simply couldn’t force myself anymore! However our teenager would have climbed all day and showed no sign of stopping or tiring.




Having been in the trees for four hours we were all starving but having been warned we came prepared. We took a picnic with us and we sat out under the trees and ate our lunch – laughing and joking about what we had just done - surrounded by the sights and sounds from the tree-tops.

It’s so hard to find activities that suit everyone but Zipit was perfect for us as a family. It allowed us all to have fun together – encouraging each other and laughing heartedly as we pushed ourselves just
a little past our comfort zones.

I can definitely recommend Zipit as a family, group or team building activity. It’s perfect for boosting self-confidence and esteem in children and really gives them a great lift.

There are four circuits to choose from all colour coded and rated by age. The course prices depend on the participant’s age firstly and then their ability.

Prices for the younger ones was €15 rising to €29 for for those 15+. This gives 4 hours of fun for everyone. Booking is highly recommended particularly in busier school holidays.

fun.ie TOP TIP: Bring a Picnic and make the most of the amazing environment

More details on the and lots more activities at www.fun.ie or www.fun.ie/zipit-forest-adventures-dublin

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