This is partnership post with Dreamworks Animation
Last year you might remember that I shared details about an amazing Spirit Riding Free Stables Sleepover. Encouraging you all to head over and enter the competition to win a place on the sleepover – all whilst feeling somewhat jealous that I wasn’t able to enter and possibly attend. It sounded like an amazing memory-making opportunity for both the children and the parents who would attend alongside them.
With this in mind, you can imagine my delight and surprise when the Spirit Riding Free team contacted me this year to talk about the Spirit Riding Free Adventure that would be taking place at the end of July. Not only would they like me to share the competition details with you all via social media, but this year, we would be coming along to experience the adventure too.
Spirit Riding Free Adventure at Yurtcamp Devon
At the end of July, Roo, Tigger and I made our way from Norfolk to Devon, which was quite a drive – especially in the torrential rain. However, as we arrived at Yurtcamp Devon for our two days of Spirit Riding Free Adventure we were excited to see what life would be like glamping, as well as all the activities that the Spirit Riding Free team had organised for us.
Attending the adventure was a mixture of bloggers/influencers and competition winners. With each of the four groups comprising of a blogger family and a competition-winning family, Which I thought was a lovely idea, so lovely to see the amazement and magic through my children’s eye. But moreso through the children who had won the chance to be part of the adventure.
Our Spirit Riding Free Adventure – Day One
After settling into our Yurts and enjoying a scrummy BBQ lunch we were invited into the main Tipi to find out about the adventures that lay ahead for us across the next two days. With the children tasked with cracking a code in order to unlock their very own Spirit Riding Free treasure sack full of goodies!
If you are going on an adventure to crack a code then you are going to need a treasure map. The first activity was set, but where would the treasure maps be hidden? As it turned out they were right under our noses within our own Yurts! How we didn’t spot them whilst we explored them on arrival I’ll never know.
Eager to start cracking the code we headed off in search of horseshoes. Separated into four groups we were each given a colour. Tasked with exploring the Yurtcamp Devon site to find the hidden horseshoes in our colourway. A fun activity which had the children running around having fun exploring the area.
Our first code number found and added to the treasure maps!
Riddle me this
Given that we had just searched Yurtcamp for horseshoes you’d have thought that we would have noticed hidden signs with riddles written on them… Apparently not. As soon as we were told about this activity, we all stood baffled as to how we missed seeing any signs around the woodland. Luckily the children were on the ball and managed to find the sign without too much difficulty.
Reading the riddle aloud the children needed to guess what the answer was. After some discussion, they figured out that it was a steam train.
After solving the riddle to discover the words steam train, this gave us the destination for our next activity. Heading over to the South Devon Railway for an extra special afternoon tea. Think Polar Express meets the Hogwarts Express, it was beyond amazing. The conductor Andy was the best host we could have ever asked for. He welcomed us aboard his train with open arms, interacting with the children and making the most magical journey.
The afternoon tea was out of this world, with tasty sandwiches, fresh scones and an array of sweet treats. With lashings of fresh tea available as well as soft drinks for those, like me, who don’t drink tea (or coffee). Alongside the afternoon tea, we were each given a special train ticket with our names on – a true keepsake from the afternoon, alongside many beautiful memories.
Honestly, it was so wonderful that I would write an entire post just about the afternoon tea experience.
Plus our second code number received and added to the treasure maps,
Spirit riding free viewing party
Given that we had just enjoyed the most amazing afternoon tea, it was hard to face more food at our evening meal – even though it looked delicious. Thankfully a cosy evening had been laid on for us in the tipi with bean bags and blankets. Ready to watch a couple of episodes of Spirit Riding Free, before we headed off to our Yurts to settle in for the evening.
Our Spirit Riding Free adventure – Day Two
After a night snuggled in our Yurt we woke to find that the rain from yesterday had gone (well at least for now – but more on that later). Time to freshen up, enjoy breakfast and find out what activities lay ahead of us for our second day.
The groups from yesterday were changed slightly as we moved from four groups down to three. With each of the groups completing the same three activities on a rotational basis across the morning and into the afternoon. Our group, however, remained unchanged and would be last to complete the main event of the day – horse riding!
It was a creative start to the day for us with some beautiful personalised dreamcatcher kits from Cotton Twist for the children to make. Beautiful wooden dreamcatchers that were able to be painted using the different colours included within the kit. Alongside twine and coloured wooden beads and feathers to create an extra special dreamcatcher. Roo especially got into this activity, with her carefully selecting which colours to use and even creating ombre effects on the wooden feathers.
Spirit craft wall
Keeping with the creative theme, we moved over to a Spirit craft wall. Which featured Spirit (Lucky’s horse in the show) in a paint by numbers type craft activity. However, instead of painting the children were encouraged to utilise the different fabrics and materials available and glue them on to the wall. Giving Spirit somewhat of a makeover as they went along.
Helping to create this masterpiece also give the children their third code to be added to the treasure map.
Crack the code
After a picnic lunch, it was to time to see if our brains were working and if we were able to interpret the secret language to discover what the final activity of the afternoon would be. With a range of symbols representing letters of the alphabet, the children needing to write down the deciphered code. With the children realising that they were about to go horse riding.
After all the amazing activities across the two days, we were able to finish with horse riding for the children at Shilstone Rocks Riding Centre. We were the last group to complete the horse riding with the two previous groups making the most of the break in the weather. However, we weren’t quite so lucky.
Arriving at the stables the children were given boots and a helmet as well as being assigned to a horse. Neither Roo or Tigger had been horse riding before, so they were a mixture of excited and nervous for how they find it. I have to confess that I was more concerned about Tigger as he is more cautious than Roo when it comes to trying new things. However, both he and Roo took it all in their stride. Climbing up onto their horses and learning how to hold the reins correctly.
After a quick practice around the courtyard, it was time to head out into the Dartmoor hills. With the steep hills that we had just come down in the minibus providing us with a good dose of cardio as we walked up with the horses. As we approached the top, the views were stunning with just a few spots of raining starting to fall. Hoping that it was just a shower we continued along. It was not a shower, but a downpour – we were so wet (literally everything was wet!). With passing cars having a giggle at us parents walking along sodden wet with the children on their horses.
Whilst we might have been soaked through to the skin, the children had the best time. Declaring how much they would love to do it again. There was just time for a Spirit Riding Free Rosette to be given and the final code before heading back on the minibus to Yurtcamp.
Unlocking the treasure
This moment should have been a little more magical for the children. However, they were still very wet from getting back from the horse riding. Although they were still very excited to be able to crack the codes on their treasure sacks to reveal a whole host of Spirit Riding Free toys (available from Smyths Toys)
Adventure conquered, memories made
One of the things that I have tried to instil into my children is that life is about making memories, not about ‘stuff’. The two days attending the Spirit Riding Free adventure have given Roo and Tigger so many wonderful memories. From getting to go glamping for the first time, making new friends and completing some outstanding activities. With the afternoon tea on a steam train, horse riding and reminiscing about how wet we got are things that they have shared with family and friends across the summer.
I can see why the lead character in Spirit Riding Free is called Lucky – as that is what we were to attend such an adventure. We can’t wait for the new series of Spirit Riding Free to be on POP this winter!