National Forest Adventure Farm

Seems like ages ago now, but around the Easter holidays we’d been quite busy meeting up with various online mum & baby friends.  The last occasion was a trip to The Forest Adventure Park at Tatenhill, nr Burton.  A friend goes regularly, and it did live up to expectations even though the day was a bit grey, cold and wet.

It was free for the toddlers, and around £8 for the adults, so not bad for a day out, although once you factor in lunch and cakes it can get a bit pricy.  They do have outdoor eating areas, and it would be perfect in the summer with a picnic, but being cold and wet meant it was packed indoors in the restaurant and therefore we had to eat café food.

The menus were quite good – pick and mix sandwich meal for children or normal hot meal options (N had a burger, peas and mash which he did pretty well at demolishing, showing off his cutlery skills at the same time), while there were lots of adult options (generally traditional English fare).  One downside was that as it was busy, by mid afternoon when we were ready for cakes there was hardly any choice left.  More cakes available needed on a wet day!

The softplay area was large with lots of bench seating around the toddler area and set areas for parties.  There was giant lego blocks for building in one area, bumpy slides and drop slide for the older kids as well as the normal softplay frames and ball pits etc.  The toddler area was ok – climbing and slide, then a ball pit with the ‘blowy air ball’ machine things which N wasn’t keen on (think it was the noise it made).

Outside they have paddocks you can see the animals in as well as a barn with petting type animals which included new chicks, guinea pigs, dexter cattle, donkeys, lambs, rabbits and others.  It’s great for the children to be able to get so close to the animals, and N loved them – it was really cute to see which ones he recognised as having already seen on our farm.

Bizarrely, we also came across a pig race in one paddock where the pigs did 2 laps of the pen area with ‘jockey’ teddies tied round their middles.  Very strange, but quite amusing although think the toddlers were a little too young to be interested in it.  N was more interested in seeing the duck pond and former battery chickens.

The weather wasn’t great the day we were there, but there’s also outdoor play areas including electric quad kart track, bouncing pillow, volley ball court and other activities.  Plus while you wait for the tractor & trailer rides, there’s a John Deere sit on toy area which of course N and his friends loved.

We had a lovely day there, and even though it was packed indoors as the weather wasn’t great, it wasn’t too busy to enjoy it.  Just wish that N had been a bit cheerier on the day as he was being a bit sensitive to any of the others getting too close.

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