N’s been a fan of Tractor Ted for a while now, and when I noticed there was a competition over Easter, I was on the website trying to win. We didn’t, but we did get sent some tickets for their Tractor Ted Farm Show at Bowood House as a thanks for entering.
Tractor Ted has its own farm at Bowood House, and throughout the year they have various events. We’ve never been to one as I’ve always thought it was a bit of a trek, but on this occasion decided that we’d go. We’d hoped to meet one of my birth board online friends, but they couldn’t make it in the end. Instead we met up with Mary, Monkey and Mr P from Over40andamumtoone, as well as fleetingly bumping into one of our swimming friends.
The show really was a toddler dream. Especially one who’s got farming in his blood.
The great thing about Tractor Ted is that the dvds aren’t cartoony (well, apart from the occasional pop up Tractor Ted); they’re actually Early Years learning documentaries. And that obviously means a farm show, is like a proper agricultural show, but a mini version…oh and minus lots of animals. It did entail a dog show, and an animal tent, but mostly it was about machinery.
We had a few arguments about wristbands first of all – N really isn’t keen. Somewhere recently he managed to wriggle his hand out, and this time, although I’d stuck it tighter, he managed to rip it off. But once we got in, N was in his element.
First up was the amazing Tractor Ted bouncy slide. The queuing system was a bit of a muddle and kids were just standing waiting to be let on, so N joined the queue. The Tractor Ted team member had stickers, but didn’t seem to be doing much with them, and it seemed to be free as everyone was just heading for it as they walked into the field. N only had the one go as it was just too busy
On the way out to head back home, I noticed a sign at the other side saying £1 for 3 minutes. Oops, turns out we should have paid. Not that anyone was telling the kids or parents that. Maybe they put it up when it was busier later on in the day?!
Everything seemed really well set up and thought out. There was a membership tent, where you could sign up to the Tractorland club, and enter to win a prize. Not to mention play at diggers and scooping balls.
There were catering areas, a fire engine (which N headed straight for from miles away, running away to reach it so he could sit in it – I didn’t even think he was that fussed about emergency vehicles!), and stalls. Something for everyone, even though just chaperoning. This amazing stall had gorgeous baskets and trugs. Just wish I’d already decluttered our house so I could have some of these to
decorate the house use.
We met up with Mary and Monkey early on so we knew where our base would be. They kindly grabbed a straw bale, and we stopped to watch Digger Dave and Digger Tim do their stuff building a tower of logs.
Every half hour there were different shows in the main ring – a main act, followed by a smaller one, so we watched one, then headed off, and back again so we saw lots going on. The first stop for N was the JCB diggers. It was lovely the way he just spotted something he wanted to see and that was it, he was off.
He had to work his way round the 2 diggers and work out which one was going to be free to get in first. Didn’t take long to wait and walk round, and then he was up in it.
Nothing like ‘driving’ a huge vehicle to make his day. After a gaze over at the baler and wrapper, he spotted the vintage tractors. I think these are a bit of a novelty for him, as he doesn’t see many tractors without computers and air conditioning in the cab!
We had a wander round the fairground…N wanted to go on the bungee trampolines, which I told him he could go on once he’d been for a wee. He really dislikes chemical toilets – well, he’ll go in them, sit on the loo, but would not pee. So I was on tenterhooks all day as he didn’t pee from about 8.15 to around 3 when we got home. He fell asleep on the way home so we didn’t even get the chance to stop.
He did go on the ferris wheel and loved that. A boy after my own heart enjoying rides, definitely unlike his father who goes green thinking about them.
Then we spotted the donkey rides. I’d wanted him to go on them when we were at Cleethorpes, but he didn’t want to and was a bit small, but after the zipwire, I knew he’d be fine at holding on tightly. He couldn’t wait to choose his donkey and mount him. They did a couple of laps round their ‘paddock’ area, and he was grinning all the way round.
While we had our picnic, we watched a few other shows. A bit of an odd Spanish stallion show which involved one horse practicing dressage style steps, and another plus a woman wafting her scarf around.
Then it was time for the new Claas mighty mower. Now, we’re used to seeing mowers, but these were 3 times the size. Plus the excitement that the tractor cab itself could lift up and turn round so the back became the front.
The children were then told they could go into the ring. N would usually say no, but I was amazed that this time he wanted to. I lifted him over, checked he was ok that I was staying where I was and off he went. It was really busy with all the children wanting to look at the 3 in 1 giant mower, but N didn’t seem worried. He came running back out, I think to check we were still there. Then ran back to have another look. Finally I saw him running for a detour out to touch the logs that had been left by the diggers. I called him over, so proud he’d done that on his own. Well, astonished really.
We had a lovely day. the weather was beautiful, and because we got there early as it opened, we weren’t parked miles away either. Handily, you don’t have to pay to get into Bowood House to do the events as they’re held further away from the house. But it would be nice if we’re visiting down that way to check out the house and the Tractor Ted farm on a normal day.