Family time, Playtime

West Lodge Farm Park

Today we had a wonderful day at West Lodge farm park, near Desborough Northants. It was breezy and post storm; but that didn’t put us off, in fact it had made some wonderful muddy puddles.

As it’s lambing season the main focus of our visit was to see some new borns and feed the babies with bottles. Dorothea loved this. We didn’t managed to see any lambs actually be born, but we certainly got to view some very fresh ones. They do the bottle feeding of lambs x4 a day during this season, with plenty of opportunity for your little ones to have this wonderful experience.

Although it was pretty cool and blustery Dorothea enjoyed some fresh air playtime; her and her friends loved the abundance of tractors, exploring the castle on the hill, playing on the roundabout and swings and even in the sand pit!!!! (Unsurprisingly hands in cold sand meant they wanted to return inside.)

Each and every day there’s plenty of activities for the kids; these obviously change with the season. Today’s were:

  • Lambing talks
  • Bottle feeding the lambs
  • Small animal petting
  • Piglet racing
  • Pony grooming
  • Pony rides
  • Barrel rides
  • Den building

Most of my photos of Dorothea are blurry or of her laughing! This says a lot about the farm park; she really loved it and was absolutely exhausted following 4 hours there!

The old grain adventure barn is pretty epic, with a multitude of slides, (for difference levels of thrill seeker), plenty of climbing opportunities and many places to hide and jump out at your friends! There’s a separate play area for the little ones; which Dorothea loved; with a smaller ‘hen house’, slide, toadstool seating and a mesmerising sensory ‘fish pond’.

And the best thing of all??? At the side of this play area there’s a cafe with does great coffee and cakes.
There’s also a more formal ‘Rickyard restaurant’ and ‘the udder place’ ice cream/snack/hot drink bar. On a nice sunny day there’s plenty of spots and benches for a family picnic.

There’s a lovely little shop at West lodge with some great quality toys and great wellies. Our favourites were the Lanka Kade farm animals/ characters and the hobby horses (now in Dorotheas possession).

Costs:

Varies per season but around £7-9 per person.

Under twos are free

They also have a reduced price late entrance fee (ideal for post school energy burn off)

Annual membership is also available from £42 per person (family of 4 £150)

Parking is free and plentiful

There’s plenty more of the farm to explore than we did in a few hours; and we can’t wait to go again. What we didn’t know until recently is that they allow dogs
So we can’t wait to go back with Woody and explore their many nature trails and walks. The only places you can’t take dogs are the indoor place area and the fenced off outside play park.

We did go in half term, on our arrival at 9.30 the park was quiet but by the time we left at 13.00 it was packed, and the indoor play barn had no tables left- so I certainly can’t wait to go back in term time.

West Lodge website

West lodge Instagram

Life of a Mum

Windmill farm park- Kibworth, Leicestershire.

Well the new farm park in our village has now been open 4 days and we’ve decided to give it a go. It’s still school holidays, and we got here at 11.30; so was expectedly packed.

Entrance is currently £5 each (with no time limit) and under 2s are free. This is an introductory offer; and I really hope it doesn’t rise dramatically. I’m guessing they’ll be an option of a yearly pass too; which with living only 5 minutes away, and it having both indoor and outdoor play options would be fantastic for us.

Top tip: remember your socks for the indoor play; we didn’t, but luckily they keep a stock at £1.50 a pair.

Dorothea headed straight for the indoor play area, themed; wait for it…… on a farm with a windmill; it’s really rather stunning. With a large softer play area for the under twos (but Dorothea loved it), with a slide, climbing areas and lovely houses for hiding in; all carpeted in squashy faux grass and foam mats. There’s also a larger play area for the bigger kids- with lots of climbing and hiding options. Seems lots of the parents were loving it too. The main attraction in here is the beautiful big windmill which the kids can turn a wheel to get moving. The walls are painted with stunning farm murals; so you really don’t feel like you’re sitting in a barn!

The indoor play area has seating and a small cafe surrounding the faux grass area. There’s more seating upstairs overlooking the play area.

The cafe seemed reasonable with cakes at £1.95-2.95 and coffee around £3. There’s kids meal boxes for £5.50 too. You can’t bring your own picnic inside, but there’s a picnic area out in the main farm area (and an ice cream shed too). It’s great to see healthy snack options including dried fruit and popcorn, and very little plastic too. Lucy told me the cakes are sourced from a local baker which is a nice touch too.

Behind the main play barn with animals to see and feed. At certain times during the day there’s staffed sessions to pet the animals; we got to hold a baby chick which Dorothea loves. Next time we visit I’ll make sure we stroke the rabbits and guinea pigs. Although a very new park- the animals seems very friendly and tame. Dorothea loved feeding ‘my friend Henry’.

Lucy tells me that there’s also some small class rooms that they are hoping to do activities/crafts in.

The outside play area is large and surrounded by animals to see and feed. There’s a large climbing frame/slide- in a sandpit with a cool water feature. Dorothea loved using the water pump to watch the water move down to each movable dam which eventually finishes in a small pool. There’s also a large swing and an enclosed area with small tractors to ride on.

There’s a big picnic area by the ice cream shed which you can bring your own picnics too. Some of the ground is a bit rough and ready with some puddles- so wellies or sturdy shoes are probably best. The outside play area isn’t sheltered or shady, so can get breezy/sunny depending on the day.

What I love is that there’s no shop! Meaning you can really stick to a budget for your day out.

I will certainly be visiting again, with a few friends for company I’m sure we could spend the whole day her. I think this park will evolve and grow with more animals and activities- I certainly think they’ve made a pretty awesome start.

https://windmillfarmpark.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/WindmillFarmPark/