Animals are a big draw for two-year-old Tilly at the moment and a day out with friends at the Willows Activity Farm near St Albans in Hertfordshire was the huge hit we’d hoped for. From feeding animals to exploring the playgrounds and rides on the fun fair, we didn’t even get around to exploring the extensive indoor soft play area.
A visit to the farm isn’t cheap, with weekend visits costing £14.50 per adult and £15.50 for children over two, however the sheer range of activities is amongst the best we’ve so far encountered. It’s also all-inclusive, so once you’re in there are no extra charges for rides, a welcome feature.
Tilly loved feeding the animals and this was thoughtfully laid out with a handy trough in the indoor barn allowing small children to feed the animals without getting too close, while outside sliding feed down a pipe to animals was great fun.
However when there’s such a range of activities on offer, even the attraction of the animals can come second. All the children in our group spent an age in the sandpit area, even though the sand wasn’t damp enough to make castles with. The fun fair featured several sizes of bouncy castle and Tilly loved the one for children under 90cm tall, which was free of bigger, more boisterous children. Being neither busy nor time limited we wondered whether she’d ever come off. The fairground rides are more sedate than at fun fairs but this does make them suitable for a wide age range.
The farm also boasts the most extensive selection of adventure playgrounds we’d encountered, ranging from the small to the full-scale assault course. It was a great site to roam, and on our trip we only touched on part of it. We’d certainly consider making a future visit a full day trip, taking in the indoor soft play, the events that are held throughout the day and a walk by the lake, none of which we had the opportunity to try on this visit. The cost is prohibitive but I can quite imagine some families paying £8 a month and coming here every weekend.