Turning a walk in the park into a fairy tale adventure

Langley Park is one of our favourite outdoor spaces – the Temple Gardens are full of magic and adventure if you only know how to find it. Add two little girls – one dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the other dressed as a pirate – and a walk in the park becomes a fairy tale adventure to find the Big Bad Wolf.

Jessica dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and Sophie dressed as a pirate with the text "Turning a walk in the park into a fairy tale adventure"

As usual, I let the children decide the route through the gardens. I knew where we would be heading though – the big yew that we call the “magic tree.” It certainly lives up to that name. Slides for fairies (and toys!), lovely low branches to climb and a trunk that you can explore the inside of – what more could you want?  Could this be a hiding place for the Big Bad Wolf? No, but it was a good spot to stop and investigate.

Jessica in her Little Red Riding Hood costume in the foreground with Sophie in her pirate costume putting toys down the "slide" in the yew tree in the background

Sophie in her pirate costume watching her dollies going down the "slide" in the yew tree

Jessica in her Red Riding Hood costume standing inside the trunk of the yew tree

Sophie in her pirate costume standing inside the trunk of the yew tree

We took a break from our adventures for a picnic with the cakes we’d baked the previous day. The girls didn’t stop for long though!  They had spotted some piles of cut grass scattered around and set to work.  The “straw” was perfect for making nests and beds for their toys.

Sophie in her pirate outfit looking down at her toy bird who is surrounded by a nest made of dried grass

Our wander through the gardens led us back to the playground for fun on the swings and seesaw.  Jessica then wanted to try and climb the mound over the tunnel, but was struggling until a boy of a similar age gallantly held out his hand to assist her.  Naturally, Sophie then wanted to sit up the top too.  I lifted her up but once settled, she dropped Monkey. The boy who had helped Jessica scrambled back down to retrieve it. That sparked a whole new game with both the girls dropping their toys and giggling while the boy (and his twin brother, who had now joined us) kept retrieving them. They well and truly had those little boys in their power from that point onwards!

Sophie in her pirate outfit swinging on the toddler swing

Jessica and Sophie in their dressing up outfits standing at the top of the mound watching the boys retrieve their toys

The first boy was quite taken with Jessica. Once she came down from the mound, he held her hand, assisting her across the wooden logs and up the steps to the slide, before asking if she would come and say hello to his mum who was watching. Unfortunately for him, Jessica was more interested in going exploring again than meeting her young man’s mother. She did give him a big cuddle though before they parted ways.


Back in the gardens, we discovered lots of hiding places in amongst the trees and bushes, but no Big Bad Wolf (thankfully!)  We had to stop and explore them thoroughly though, just to make sure he wasn’t lurking somewhere out of sight!

Jessica in her Little Red Riding Hood costume standing inside one of the gaps in the bushes looking for the Big Bad Wolf

There was time for one final visit to the playground before heading home. This time Jessica befriended an older girl, who had a little box with grasshoppers and caterpillars in it. She let Jessica and Sophie hold some of the caterpillars. They were both quite fascinated by the tickly sensation of the caterpillar crawling over their hands. We’ve not managed to spot many caterpillars up until now so it was lovely to see the girls getting to see some. They were so gentle with them and spent ages looking at them.

Jessica and Sophie holding a furry caterpillar each

My little pirate and Red Riding Hood were both quite tired by the time we arrived home again! We may not have managed to find the Big Bad Wolf but we certainly had a magical adventure.

Jessica in her Red Riding Hood costume leaning against a tree trunk and looking out over the park

Jessica sitting on a tree trunk in her Red Riding Hood outfit with Sophie in her pirate outfit standing next to her on the ground

Jessica in her Red Riding Hood costume sitting on the "slide" in the yew tree

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall





38 thoughts on “Turning a walk in the park into a fairy tale adventure

  1. Aww this is a really cute idea! I’ve never even thought about doing an adventure like this but I can imagine it would bring lots of magic into an average park expedition:) liking those cute outfits too! #countrykids

    1. Thank you – it certainly helped turn our walk into a little adventure and the girls loved dressing up for it! 🙂

  2. Love the costumes and story telling. N’s never been into dressing up so we don’t have adventures like this. It’s always sweet when they make friends with other children when out and about. #countrykids

    1. I love the way children often just chat to other children when out and about – it is lovely to see them making friends 🙂

  3. what a beautiful park and day out. the magic tree looks fab! I know my boy would love that. and really sweet that they were so gentle with the caterpillars. my son loves little creatures and will often pick things up. its taught me to be less squeamish too #CountryKids

  4. The girls look like they had a marvellous time hunting for the Big Bad Wolf, it’s a shame you never found him though! It’s fab to see their imaginations in full swing as they give their toys a chance to slide down the tree and hunt through bushes for the fairies and the Big Bad Wolf. That playground looks like great fun too, it’s sweet that they made friends with the two boys on the park, it sounds like the boys had fun running around after them!

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    1. Thank you Fiona – it was so lovely to see them really using their imaginations and having so much fun. I am sure the boys had just as much fun running around after Jessica and Sophie as they did making them run around! 🙂

  5. They look so cute in their costumes! Love that you turned the walk into something magical and creative and looks like the girls loved it 🙂 And a walk with cake after sounds bliss to me #countrykids

  6. Looks like a lovely adventure for the girls, I love their costumes and you can tell the had so much fun 🙂 My girls like to take teddies and toys out for walks now too, it is quite sweet to watch include them in their little adventures. Great that they got to see the caterpillars up close too 🙂 #countrykids

  7. This is such a lovely post, the girls are just so cute! I love my girls the ages they are (13 and 10), but sometimes I do miss them being little and having fun in the park. My youngest, particularly, would have adored playing around that fabulous tree. Keep having lots of fun together x

    1. Thank you Lisa – it was lovely seeing them use their imaginations and having so much doing so 🙂

  8. What a lovely day. Filled with imagination, discovery and friendship perfect. I wonder how they would have reacted if they had found the wolf! Your tree reminds me of the Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. I can quite imagine Silky and Moonface sliding down it. #CountryKids

    1. Thank you Cheryl – the tree always makes me think of the magic Faraway Tree too – it was one of my favourite stories when I was a little girl 🙂

    1. Thank you Alana – I did love that there was a little knight in the fairy tale adventure too! 🙂

  9. What a really magical day. I need to let my kids dress up and take them out again before they are too old to want to do it. Love how easily children make new friends. Oh and that tree – my boys would absolutely love it! #countrykids

  10. I love that they’re exploring in their costumes, funny how some dressing up can transport them to a different place/person, and with an adventure thrown in, then wow!
    Love this idea and I think I’ll be “borrowing” this idea as I know my 8 year old will love this too!

  11. This is so sweet! I wish we dressed up more when we were young.Kids have so much fun pretending to being different characters, I only get to do it at Halloween

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