When it comes to targeting a new attraction as you set your sights on beating school summer holiday boredom, why not give Nerf Zone Milton Keynes a try?
My family joined forces with sports editor Mike Simmonds’ clan to make up a team of eight sharp-shooters eager to have a blast.
For those not into kids’ toys, the Nerf range is a selection of plastic guns that fire foam bullets at quite a velocity.
They’re a top selling product, so it’s little surprise that Gullivers MK have decided to add a Nerf attraction to their growing empire – which includes the original themepark, Splashzone, and the Dinosaur and Farm Park.
Nerf Zone is situated within the farm park, and upon arrival we were taken off for our one-hour session by our Nerf commander.
Inside the Nerf building we were briefed on what would be happening and then asked to put on our target vest, goggles and then shown how to use the all-important NERF blaster.
First up was the target range when we had to get as many points as possible against our rival team – which consisted of six boys who were aged about six to 12 (hah, cannon fodder... or so I thought!)
The idea was to shoot a dart through one of three various-sized holes, but after two minutes yours truly had half emptied his bucket of darts and scored a whopping big fat ZERO!
Incidentally, playing simultaneously, the jammy eight-year-old “expert” in the rival team had bagged five points by finding one of the smaller holed targets).
After all our team members had had a couple of goes I felt a little better as only about three of the14 participants had achieved any points.
It’s seemed more a case of aiming in the general vicinity and hoping it finds the targets, as foam bullets surely can’t be that precise over a long distance – or that’s my excuse!
After that warm-up exercise it was on to the main arena where the real battle unfolded.
Our teams were each given a base and told we had to keep grabbing handfuls of darts off the floor as we prepared for an onslaught from our young opponents.
3-2-1- GO!... except the enemy had decided to hide en-masse in their base so it was initially a bit of a stalemate.
Eventually though, when we sent my six-year-old son to infiltrate the base and flush them out, they emerged all guns blazing.
After a while of ducking and firing bullets and finding a few well-aimed darts stuck to ours vests, it was ‘time out’ and a count-up of attached darts confirmed we had easily won.
Then it was on to round two – for which two of the adults in our ranks defected to our opponents to even numbers up a bit.
That tipped the balance in their favour, although I’m certain some of the youngsters had knocked off a few darts from their vests by rolling around on the inflatables ahead of the Commander’s count up.
All in all it was great fun, and a great way to let off some energy whatever the weather. Perfect if you want to book it for a group, or a birthday outing.
We’re certainly all fired up to return some time soon.
For more details see https://www.gulliversfun.co.uk/milton-keynes/nerf