Xplorer challenge free events for kids during the summer holidays

Houghton Hall Park in Houghton Regis will be one of the locations where Central Bedfordshire Council is to organise some free family fun events with a difference during the coming summer school holidays.

From the start of the school holidays in July through to the end of August, families are invited to tackle the Xplorer challenge across six parks in the area.

The Xplorer challenge is the perfect way for all ages to have fun in a safe environment: Using a simple map, participants have to find a number of markers that are hidden around the park. At each marker, children need to identify what is pictured and can enjoy learning a fun fact to tell their friends. No prior experience of map reading is needed.

Younger children will enjoy the excitement of successfully finding the hidden markers, whilst older children can compete against their friends and family to see who can complete the challenge quickest.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “There’s nothing like getting outside and being physically active in the fresh air. These twelve Xplorer challenge events are a great opportunity to do that. They involve a healthy mix of physical activity and learning about decision making which the whole family can enjoy together. We understand that money can be tight for parents, which is why the council is delighted to be able to offer these free fun events during the school holidays.”

Xplorer challenges are being run at:

  • Bellcote Meadow play area in Shefford on Tuesday 23 July, from 12pm – 2pm, and Monday 12 August from 12.30pm –2.30pm.
  • Rushmere Country Park in Leighton Buzzard on Thursday 25 July from 11am – 1.30pm (last entry 12.45pm), and Thursday 22 August from 11am – 1.30pm.
  • Chambers Way Park play area in Biggleswade on Monday 29 July from 10am – 12pm, and Wednesday 14 August from 1 – 3pm.
  • Ampthill Great Park play area on Wednesday 31 July from 11am - 1pm, and Thursday 29 August from 10am – 12pm.
  • Pendleton Sports Centre Car Park at Etonbury Woods in Arlesey on Thursday 1 August from 11am – 1pm, and Wednesday 21August from 11am – 1pm.

  • Houghton Hall Park visitor centre in Houghton Regis on Friday 2 August from 11am-1pm, and Tuesday 27 August from 1- 3pm (last entry 2.30pm).

Xplorer is a national scheme created by British Orienteering and is run during school holidays. The events offer a family fun navigation challenge that combines physical activity with educational challenges, to give children a sense of adventure as they explore parks to find markers. At each marker, children need to identify what is pictured and enjoy learning a fun fact to tell their friends.

Rushmere Country Park charges a £3 car parking fee. Houghton Hall Park has free parking within a 3-hour time limit.

For details of the Xplorer events in Central Bedfordshire, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/xplorer

For more general information on the Xplorer challenge, go to: www.Xplorer.org.uk

Report by DM, Central Bedfordshire Council