If you want to get out into nature on the weekend, Molenheide play forest with kids is a fun option. This play forest in Mierlo actually consists of two parts. So you have a fun scavenger hunt trail in the shape of the cotton trail. Here, kids can use an app to find different pictures along the route. And you have the play forest, which is a few hundred meters away. As far as we are concerned, Molenheide play forest is therefore high on our list of the ten best play forests of Brabant with kids. In this blog, we give you all the information you need to visit Molenheide play forest with kids. We took lots of pictures on the cotton trail and the play forest, so you can get a good idea of what to expect in this play forest in Mierlo.
Table of contents
Molenheide play forest with kids: the Cotton Trail
It was not entirely clear to us beforehand what is now the address of the parking lot of the play forest. We couldn’t find a good address online and we look up via maps that we must be somewhere around Boslaan in Mierlo. A good landmark is that the play forest is near Mierlo’s television tower and you can see it rising above the trees in many places. Finally, there are several parking lots around the play forest and we park the car on Forest Avenue near the Cotton Trail.
We think the Municipality of Mierlo has really made this Cotton Trail fun and the fact that they have developed an app for this trail is totally awesome. It’s an additional activity you can do in addition to visiting Molenheide Play Forest with kids. We download the free app from the app store in advance. Our daughter already finds cell phones completely infuriating, so the fact that she now gets to walk through the woods with our cell phone is something she absolutely loves.
When you arrive at the Cotton Trail, the app will show you the route you can walk. This is a very short route, so in that respect this is also very good to walk with young kids. There are also some playground equipment along the way, so we stop frequently, as there is climbing to do. In addition, we also have to look for pictures. From three different figurines you have to find five images. Thus, a total of 15 pictures are hidden on the trail route. Each picture you can scan with your phone.
Along the way, the app also provides some videos. We had read online that the app sometimes falters, and it did that to us once. Anyway, it’s a free app, so of course we’re not going to whine about that. We generally did not find the videos themselves about the trail very interesting, and our daughter does not have the patience for that either.
And then suddenly we are already at the end of the Cotton Trail and have found only 7 of the 15 pictures. So we missed a lot of them. Did we search that badly? Of course, we go back to look for the rest of the pictures and now we search fanatically as well. We find that we have indeed overlooked some pictures and some pictures are also quite awkwardly hidden. In the end, we don’t find one and have a score of 14 out of 15 pictures. If you want to know even more about the background of the Cotton Trail, check out the trail’s website.
Molenheide play forest with kids: the play forest
To get to the play forest from the Cotton Trail, we and one other family really had to look for a while. It’s not super well marked exactly where the play forest is from the Cotton Trail. Actually, it’s a matter of seeing where the TV tower is, since the playground is next to it. From the Cotton Trail, it is about a five- to 10-minute walk to the play forest. The play forest has several pieces of playground equipment, including swings, a cable car, a slide and, for that matter, a lot of loose branches for building huts. Kids can also play with water in the summer at this play forest.
Parents can sit at the playground on the platform near the swings or on some benches located near the playground. You can also walk a trail through the forest with your kids around this play forest. Actually, it is intended for adults who are playing sports in the woods, but especially kids use the obstacles for climbing and scrambling. I think we spent about an hour or two in the play forest. So in total we spent 3-4 hours in the woods in Mierlo.
Molenheide play forest with kids: dierenrijk mierlo
If you want to make a day of it with the family, this play forest can be combined with Dierenrijk Mierlo. This zoo is a ten-minute drive from the play forest and you have many large animals to admire here such as the elephant, rhino and polar bear. This zoo also has as many as 6 different playgrounds located throughout the zoo, giving your kids a whole day of outdoor fun.
Of course, the zoo also offers lunch, so you can visit Molenheide Play Forest with kids in the morning, for example, and then drive to the zoo by lunchtime.
Molenheide play forest with kids: food and drinks
At the play forest, there are no options for food and drink. Of course, you can bring your own food and drink and eat it at the playground of the play forest. If you do want a more elaborate lunch with the family, you can go to restaurant Wolfshoeve, which is a few minutes’ drive from the play forest (depending on where you parked your car, because from Geldropseweg you can also walk to this restaurant). This restaurant is located at the Roompotpark Bospark ‘t Wolfsven.
You can sit on the terrace here and overlook the lake, where you can also rent pedal boats. There is also a beach at the lake. In the summer, non-guests of the park pay a few euros entrance fee for this little beach. So on a hot day, you can also combine the play forest and this natural pool with beach.