The Go Wild Go West blog

Eco-friendly party bags: swap plastic for Adventure!

Environmentally friendly party bags for free

Looking for an eco-friendly party bag? Something good for the environment but not expensive? We wanted to come up with a new party bag idea that swapped cheap toys and sweets with something a little different, and way more fun.

Instead, we decided to hide a secret ‘birthday box’ in our son’s favourite place and challenge his friend’s to find it and leave a message there.

A secret party-bag mission

A few days before his birthday, we wondered up my son’s favourite picnic spot on Cheddar Gorge (nicknamed ‘Max Rock’) and hid a tupperware box up there. In the box we left a note that Max had written. He said that it was his birthday and that he had set a challenge for his friends to find this secret place; but that he was also interested to see who else loved this rock. We left notepads and pens so that people could reply.

The box was hidden in a sheltered but relatively obvious place so that anyone who stopped at the rock would likely see it.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it….

On his birthday Max, had a fire lighting and den-building party in the woods. At the end of the party, we gave out a ‘secret mission’ rather than a party bag. Each of his friends were given a set of instructions, folded in a SECRET envelope. This gave them details on how to find the hidden box and leave a message. The kids were very excited about the mission.

Download the full mission at bottom of page.

Over the coming weeks, parents told me that they had completed the mission with their children and all thoroughly enjoyed it. They also recommended we head back up to take a look in the box because there was quite a surprise waiting for us…..

A party bag with a difference: What we found

When we returned, Max was totally bowled over by the number of responses and birthday wishes he had received both from his friends, and people from all over the world! As well as writing notes, some had been kind enough to leave good luck trinkets from their own cultures, like lavender bundles and coins. It was truly lovely to see messages from friends and strangers alike – all united in visiting that one place.

Below, I’ve attached the instructions to the secret mission. If you fancied doing something similar for your child’s party bag, please do download.

Cheddar Gorge Walk

Cheddar Gorge is well-known around the world, and it’s really beautiful to walk up there. You can avoid the crowds and extortionate car parking fees by starting from Black Rock at the other end of the gorge. From here, climb straight up the rocky path to the top. The view are beautiful and there’s wildlife everywhere! Max rock is one of the first plateaus on your right. Be very careful with children and dogs on top of the cliffs! Roam along the top until you reach Jacob’s Ladder (can you count how many steps there are?) and then descend into Cheddar.

Walks on Cheddar Gorge

This is the perfect time to have an ice cream pit-stop or maybe even a Cheddar cheese sandwich! Now at the half way point, ascend back up the Giant’s pathway as we like to call it – a beautiful wooded path with giant boulders. Look out for the hidden cave on your left. You then walk back along the top and down to the car park. The walk is about 8km in total.

There are instructions for a shorter walk on the National Trust site here.