To finish off our Easter school holidays we, that is Mummy, Pie & Pudding, arranged to meet some friends at the National Forest Adventure Farm over near Burton-on-Trent. We drove up from Birmingham and the journey was really easy, straight up the A38 and then follow the signs through a lovely little village called Tatenhill. On arrival there were car parking attendants guiding cars into the large car park, plenty of spaces and the car park is hardstanding so no mud to wade through. Considering it was Easter holidays the farm didn’t look overly busy, it was a bit of miserable, drizzly kind of a day, but we live in Brum that kind of comes as standard. I initially thought that entrance was a bit steep at £10.95 each (if you book online in advance you get 10% off) – but in all honesty once we got inside and saw all the things that were available I realised that this wasn’t actually unreasonable.
Our friends were running a little late so I took Pie into the indoor play area and brought myself a coffee (there is always time for coffee right?) Pudding was her usual interesting self and was asleep! The indoor play area was HUGE, there were some quite scary looking vertical red slides that the bigger children were throwing themselves down, but the rest of the soft play looked great. Pie obviously thought so as he had his shoes off and was disappearing up the steps in less than 30 seconds of us arriving. I sat at the table with Pudding and a large latte (very nice and reasonable too), it took me a long time to spot Pie in the soft play and due to its size I did loose sight of him quite regularly, luckily Pie is food and drink orientated so he returned to the table regularly to steal some of my kitkat.
Once our friends arrived we decided to take the boys on the Easter trail that had been set up in the woods – we weren’t entirely sure what was involved but knew that there was a tractor ride and the promise of chocolate soon had the boys on board. We queued for the tractor for around 10 minutes, thankfully a very sensible person had put the queuing system in a marquee so it wasn’t wet and cold. Once on board the tractor we were taken around the farm and up to a little wooded area, the boys loved the noisy bumpy tractor ride and Pudding slept through it (no change there). Once we got to where the trail was the boys were given a small piece of paper that they had to carry round the trail and stamp with the animal stamps – they had to get 6 stamps to show the Easter Bunny. Thankfully the trail had been covered in bark chippings, so again not too muddy, not pram friendly so I had to carry a sleeping Pud. The boys really enjoyed the trail there were a few characters to meet on the way round as well as collecting the stamps and all the characters were really enthusiastic and friendly. The Easter Bunny was right at the end of the trail – unfortunately the boys were a bit more focused on the chocolate by then! Then it was back on the tractor for a bumpy ride tot he farm, even Pudding woke up for the return journey, she did look less than impressed but their is no accounting for taste.
Everyone was a bit chilly when we got back so we decided to head back to the soft play area for lunch. We ordered kids meals for all of us as at £3.95 they were good value, both the boys were a bit to excited about the soft play and neither ate that well. The food was simple but good, I have to recommend the chicken goujons, they were really tasty!
After lunch we wandered out to find the big animal barn (the boys spotted an amazing JCB bouncy castle too) this was just round the corner from the soft play. Outside was a big sand pit and both boys wanted to spend some time in there digging. It took us a while to drag them into see the animals but it was worth it. When you enter the animal barn there are two low walled areas that have loads of guinea pigs and rabbits in. You aren’t allowed to pick up the small animals but they are great fun to stop and watch for a while. The barn only had a small selection of animals but they were all at close quarters so that the boys could see them (they could have fed them if we had brought a food bucket) they enjoyed stroking the piglets and the goat. We had managed (by total fluke) to arrive in the barn when the lamb feeding was about to start so we grabbed a token and sat down. The lamb feeding was quite organised, the children all got a number and were called up in groups to feed a lamb, the boys really enjoyed this and the staff were brilliant with all the kids. We did talk about going round to see the outside animals but both boys wanted to drive the go karts and it had started to rain!
Unfortunately Pie had a minor disaster at the bouncing pillows (which were great, one specifically designated for under 8s so the smaller kids don’t get ploughed), he had run off in front in his excitement and straight across what can only be described as a quagmire, which had him covered in mud right up to his knees. This signalled a major meltdown and as it was now 3.30, we decided to call it a day.
We didn’t get to do everything available at the Adventure Farm – there were lots of other things available and in the summer there are even more things going on, including the giant Maize Maze (Dinosaur themed this year!). We will definately be back later in the year as we had a great day and I do love dinosaurs….
Want to know more about the National Forest Adventure Farm? Have a look at there website http://www.adventurefarm.co.uk/