We are always on the look-out for new places to take the kids on weekends and in the school holidays, and one place we always enjoy visiting is the farm. We are regular visitors to our local ones, so when the National Forest Adventure Farm in Burton on Trent invited us there for the day, we were really excited!
It was a beautiful sunny day when we went, and when we got there just before ten, the queue to get in was already quite long. It moved really quickly though, which is always a bit of a bonus! The first place we headed to was the 120 seat restaurant and soft play centre. It was HUGE! We grabbed a couple of coffees and a big jug of squash for the kids (a very reasonable £1.85) and let them have a play whilst it was still relatively quiet. I’m not usually a fan of soft play but I was really impressed. In fact, I’d happily take them to the farm just to go to the soft play. Not only was it spotless, but geared up for the grown ups to have fun as well. Dotted around were members of staff to keep an eye on things, but in no way were they intrusive.
There were some massive slides for the kids (and the adults!) including the rather terrifying looking vertical drops. Graham almost wimped out of going down them until he saw kids throw themselves down with no fear whatsoever. There was not a chance in hell you would get me going on it!
Whilst the bigger kids were enjoying the larger play area, Benjamin was off having fun in the smaller area for the under 5’s. He loved climbing up and going down the side by himself, and because it was enclosed I could relax a little bit in the knowledge that he couldn’t escape!
We decided to have an early lunch, knowing that the picnic area would probably get really busy on such a lovely day. There were plenty of benches and places to sit, all undercover. There was also a bouncy castle to keep the kids happy.
Once we had packed up our picnic and headed outside, the first thing that the boys noticed was the mini quad bike circuit. There is an additional cost of £1 per child for this, but the kids loved having a go at ‘driving’. They then spent a happy ten minutes playing in the JCB area. This was extremely busy and there were probably a few too m any ride on tractors to play comfortably, but this didn’t stop the boys having fun!
Our next stop was the animal barn. From smaller animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits, to horses, pigs and alpacas, there were all sorts of animals to see. It was probably a little bit too full at that time – getting a pushchair around was almost impossible! We decided to go back a little later, and after seeing the queue for the tractor ride, decided to go to the outside play area. This was a lovely big area, with giant bouncy pillows, climbing frame and sandpit. There was plenty for the kids to do whilst we had a drink (I did that real mumsy thing of taking a flask, although the prices of the drinks and the food were more than reasonable!).
We then went back to the soft play centre so the kids go to the loo, and of course, this meant another play. It was a lot busier this time but we still managed to find somewhere to sit and have another coffee. Once we had dragged them away again, we went back over to the animal barn which had cleared a little bit, just in time to feed the lambs, which the kids loved.
The queue for the tractor ride had gone down by this point so we jumped on. I was just expecting a bumpy five-minute ride about the fields, so was pleasantly surprised when half way round it stopped at a very pretty wooded area for an animal trail. At various points around the trail were stamps to collect, and if you collected all the stamps you could have a chocolate bar from the Easter Bunny at the end. We also had chance to see a squirrel and the crafty fox!
By the time the tractor got back to the farm, it was getting quite late so we started heading back towards to soft play (again!) for one last play, stopping off at the potting shed where the boys planted a dwarf bean to take home.
We really, really enjoyed our day at the National Forest Adventure Farm, and will definitely be heading back there in the summer. At just £10.95 a person, I think it is brilliant value for money!
*We were invited to visit here free of charge for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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