Just before Christmas 2019 an exciting and fun looking attraction Agility parks opened in York, North Yorkshire. I shared a post about it on my Facebook and it went viral. These are the kind of places that people are looking to visit, somewhere a bit different! I was eager to visit so as soon as Christmas was over. I booked my son in on a 10 am session on their 5 to 11-year-old Ninja Warrior course.
I was anxious about him going around by himself but there’s plenty of staff on hand to help them and you can follow them from the outside of the play area for most of the course. There is also an ‘older’ more grown-up course for 12 years plus. This is very challenging but even the younger course has its challenges. If you have really little ones with you they can play on the Agility mini-course for babies to 4 years old. (I couldn’t get a photo of this as it was always busy). They also have toddler sessions on the 5-11-year-old course which you can part help them on. (mid-week during term time)
I will talk more about the course and our visit below. To show just what this place is like I have put together a short video. Please do watch.
If you’ve ever watched the ITV Show Ninja Warrior you will get a fair idea of the kind of course this is. There is no water but a lot of it is very true to the show, there’s even a wall to run up at the end. Our son loves the show and he was so excited about giving it a go himself. He didn’t care that I wasn’t going to join him. I was surprised by how well he did. He was slower than the bigger kids but he loved it and he was chuffed to bits that he ‘conquered the wall’. They need some sort of button for the kids to press at the end that plays a noise!
Agility Parks York Review
Agility is located in what looks to be a relatively small building on a business park on the north west outskirts of York. There is a car park and you have to make sure you enter your car registration on their tablet when you arrive. One thing everyone must wear on the courses is grip socks. You won’t be allowed on without them. We bought a pair there for just under £2.
Everything was of course very new. There is a small cafe area where you can buy food and drinks. The babies to 4-year-old mini-course is located next to the cafe. We were told where to meet just before 10 am but we had a wander around the outside of both courses first just to have a nose. You are free to walk around but you aren’t allowed on either course if you’re not booked on a session.
At 10 am one of the team leaders lined all the kids up and gave them all a safety briefing, I think most of them were listening. They then all walked over to the 5-11-year-old course. The staff then ran through a warm-up routine with the kids which involved running about and doing exercises. After this, they split into two groups and half were shown one half of the course while the others were shown the rest of the course.
My only criticism of this is that this all took almost 15 minutes so really their session was only 45 minutes which I thought was a shame. There was also 35 children in the group and I felt that it was about 5-8 children too many. My son had to spend a lot of his time waiting to go on things with some older kids not waiting their turn and pushing past him. Again this could be improved with maybe 2 more staff members on the course. There was a lot less on the 9 am session and it looked a lot more ‘chilled out’.
There is one way around the course and kids are supposed to wait in turn and not overcrowd each section. My son loved the challenges he faced with a lot of the course. A couple of obstacles are quite high and they have to run up them and grab onto the top to get over. This was very challenging and I was amazed when our son managed it first time, although he did tire later.
Other highlights for him was the large section in the middle. They had to climb up a tall steep (soft) wall with a rope. Then rope swing across a ‘volcano’ and then they could slide down the other side. Great fun! If they want to they can have a go on the steep slide that they have there.
My son went on this once and wouldn’t go on it again as it was too fast for him. I saw lots of kids going on it a few times afterwards. This slide is separate to the course and they have to walk up steps to get to it. This is also where the upstairs gallery is. This has lots more tables and parents etc. can stand and watch their kids from up there.
I lost count of how many times my son went round in 45 minutes. I think it was about 5 or 6. I thought he’d overheat but it was quite cool inside. He also seemed to not overtire but then he wasn’t zooming around as fast as the older kids. It was two thumbs up from him though and he was soon asking when can he return.
Well done Agility Parks, a great addition to York.
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