Two-year-old Tilly is obsessed with babies of all kinds so the opportunity to visit newborn lambs wasn’t an opportunity we were going to pass up. The Chiltern Open Air Museum is one of our local attractions and it’s something of a favourite. It feels rather understated, nestling in woodland down a rather minor road and with a sizeable site that makes even busy days feel relaxed. The museum is based around a collection of historic buildings that have been relocated to the museum site and offer an authentic insight into life from the past. Whereas last year Tilly’s ability to interact with the museum was limited, this visit revealed she’s of an age to get a huge amount from a visit.
The museum hosts a series of special events throughout the summer season from medieval and Roman reenactment groups to demonstrations of traditional skills. Our visit was focused on the arrival of lambs to the museum. Based in a remarkable wooden pre-industrial era style of lambing sheds, the ewes and lambs were being brought out as we got there, some having only been born the previous night. One of the lambing team brought a lamb on and Tilly loved stroking it.
Stepping back in time
Getting a feel for how people used to live is one of the great strengths of the Chiltern Open Air Museum. There are period toys in a couple of buildings that Tilly could get hands on with. They were so popular that we’re now thinking that we should dispense with all the plastic and go back to traditional wooden toys.
The adventure playground is a relatively new addition to the museum and has a couple of adventure houses with particularly fast slides and a large see-saw in the middle of the site. A great place to pause and let the little ones run about.
There were more animals on site too with cows and chickens in the traditional farm. Although we couldn’t get as close up as we did with the lambs, Tilly had a great time spotting them.
Cafés and shop
The whole of the museum is well laid out with two cafe locations and a shop that was extremely well stocked in children’s play accessories. Tilly emerged with a small wooden sword and a soft lamb toy to mark our visit.
We’ll certainly be paying further visits to the Chiltern Open Air Museum throughout the summer and may well get an annual membership, which pays for itself after just a few visits.