If you’re a parent then I’d say it’s quite a safe assumption that you’ve heard of the Julia Donaldson book, The Gruffalo. With its catchy rhymes, colourful characters and good humour it is no wonder that it has captured the hearts and imaginations of children around the world. It was one of the very first books I bought when I knew I was expecting my little boy and we all fell under the story’s spell. The kid loves it when I do the voices of the different animals and although he can’t read yet, I know he appreciates the vivid illustrations from Axel Scheffler.


Now The Gruffalo Experience has arrived in Milton Keynes and when I was asked if our family would like to steal a sneak peek before it opened to the public, we of course, couldn’t say no.


All that I knew prior to arriving was that it is in Middleton Hall in the centre:mk and The Gruffalo Experience promises a walk through and interactive journey into the deep dark wood.



From the outside the space looks like a giant white inflatable bouncy castle but once inside, you get transformed into the pages of the storybook. The way they have used the space and effects used to create the feeling of you being in the story are fab but all totally in keeping with the original book. There’s no interpretations or disappointment, thankfully.

The staff are friendly and energetic as they take on the role as your guide through the wood. I think they engaged really well with children of all ages. I was a little worried that my son was going to be too young to appreciate the experience. At only 20 months he was the youngest there but that didn’t stop him from being captivated by the characters and the storytelling, so even if you’ve got children under the age of three I think this is a lovely thing to experience as a family and you can take a pushchair inside too. For older children there is lots of opportunity for participation and learning what it’s like to be one of the characters from the book.




The Gruffalo Experience is open at the centre:mk from 19 March – 10 April 2016.

This is definitely the must-do event for the Easter 2016 hols. Tickets are £7.95 per attendee (adult or child) and under two’s are free of charge. Check out the centre:mk’s website to find out how to book tickets:


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