I had heard about the Forgotten Island here and there. I had looked at the website. I wasn’t sure. Would it be worthwhile going? The cost put me off for two full weeks, the pictures I saw didn’t convince me. A quick call around on Twitter finally gave me a push – and on Saturday we packed our lunch and were headed for the Forgotten Island.
Built on what must have been waste land, at the shore of the Clyde, a stone throw away from the flashy new Riverside Museum, The Forgotten Island is a space to explore the outdoors through crafts, arts and playful interaction. It is small yet full of possibilities and activities, providing more than a full day of fun activities outdoors.
What can I say? I loved it, and so did the kids. They most definitely did not want to leave at 5pm. I for one couldn’t imagine a better combination of outdoor fun and arts and crafts. There is a guerilla gardening spot, where old and young can grab a used bottle, cut it into a plant pot, decorate it and plant something in it, to add to an ever growing garden. There is a huge sandpit, er, beach, with ropes and boats, fenced in with living willow for the discerning pirate. There is the Museum of Curiosities where you can create your own curiosity from plasticine and stick it onto a tree or display it in the museum. There is a camera obscura. There is a rainbow maker and a bicycle sound maker, a beehive, a labyrinth running track, a ship wreck, and, on our pirate themed day, opportunities to make an eye patch, a pirate hat and paint a massive sail.
The space is full of constant transformation, because, as children and adults create together, the creations add to the Forgotten Island and make it a constant flux of growing, change, development and colour.
And you can also just relax and take in the sunshine on your picnic rug, let your baby play with a parasol and the grass.
The entry fee may seem steep, but it gives you lots to explore, and we certainly didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities offered in one visit, as well as plenty of facilitated activities; enough to fill a whole day. There is snack food available (even healthy choices!) but bring your own picnic to keep costs in check. The Forgotten Island is quite inspirational – giving you lots of ideas for outdoor play and activities, or you may even end up with a bee hive in your garden…
Cost: £4.50 for children and adults; £3.50 concession, £15 admits 4 explorers (family ticket); children under 3 go free. Subsequent visits are cheaper.
Access: by foot from Riverside Museum (not an obvious path as there is still some wasteland between the Museum and the Forgotten Island)
The Forgotten Island is a temporary installation and will disappear 18th September 2011 (a shame really – why? Could it not stay?)