Nozstock – The Hidden Valley – Festival

nozstock family festival

For the last few years we’ve kicked off the Summer Holidays with a Festival and we love it! We always go with friends and we always look forward to this annual get together, but having been to the same festival the past few years and seeing it change, we decided to try something different.

nozstock the hidden valley

So this year, after doing some research, we decided on Nozstock – The Hidden Valley, which seemed perfect! It’s intentionally not as commercialised as other festivals which was a massive draw for us. The organisers are made up of the Nozworthy family who own the farm and land it takes place on, and along with their friends and employees have grown the festival year on year until the 5000 person capacity it is today! It’s smaller than other festivals, a bit more traditional with a great family provision and just sounded altogether very appealing.

We were offered tickets in exchange for an honest review and looked forward to our weekend getaway for weeks and weeks! We couldn’t wait to get there and experience all that Nozstock had to offer! Situated in rural Herefordshire, it was a good couple of hours drive for us but our usual camp mates…. Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby, Katy from Modern Mummy and Emma from That’s the way the Cookie Crumbles were already there and waiting for us!

kids at nozstock
Yay finally here, very excited and loaded up with stuff! Hugo carrying his pillow… can’t go camping without our pillows!

On arrival, the first thing I noticed was how near the car parks were to the festival! This might sound like a minor thing but if you’re a regular at festivals, especially with kids… this is MAJOR! The amount of luggage you need when you go camping with kids usually means a couple of trips to the car, which is a killer if it’s miles away, so not having too far to go was an absolute game changer as far as I was concerned!

The second thing that blew me away was the HELPFULNESS of the car park staff/volunteers. They were super happy and friendly! This lovely chap offered to pull my trolley all the way to the entrance from my car! What a star!

nozstock festival
What a nice young man!

We opted for Pre-Pitched camping this year. This was provided by a company called Camplight who rescue tents from festivals, clean them up and re-use them! This fits in perfectly with Nozstock’s ‘green ambition’ ethos of keeping things as sustainable as possible…. helping to fight the disposable culture which is damaging our planet. Nozstock provided many activities and fun workshops to promote this- it was a big feature. They were encouraging people to re-use their cups to cut down on plastics as well as hosting competitions to incentivise campers to keep the festival tidy!

We were in the Family Camping area which was a lovely space, separate to the other camping fields. Definitely the nicest one we’ve stayed in so far. It just felt cosy, for want of a better word. There was a little playground area for kids.. mostly made from wood and sustainable materials of course, the portaloos were clean at all times and there were also some eco-friendly tiny toilets for young children with little toilet seats that looked like potties! There was even a baby changing facilities gazebo stocked up with free nappies, wipes, lotions and suncreams for anyone to use! I thought this was a lovely touch.

zoo bells bell tents
My lovely Zoo Bells tent

The weather, unfortunately hadn’t been kind the first day of the festival which meant the tents took a bit of a battering and one or two became waterlogged! Because the others arrived before me they all swapped around to get the driest ones. The organisers were super helpful anyway offering to take down and bring new ones if need be. Luckily for me though, the nearby glamping field was full of gorgeous tents provided by Zoo Bells and one of their generous employees on site happened to walk by and offered one of their spare ones to me! I mean…. whoop whoop yes please! My Bell tent was fabulous, we haven’t stayed in one before but would definitely consider one next time for sure!

Once settled we headed into the festival and straight into the Little Wonderland kids area which is a dedicated zone for families and children to enjoy age related fun activities all day long. There’s a sand pit, circus skills, workshops in break dancing, graffiti, beat boxing, felt-making, crazy cartoons, up-cycling clothes and lots more. Our’s decided on some sculpting with clay!

little wonderland nozstock
nozstock little wonderland
Fabulous creation!
It was great to get all the kids together again!

The childrens area is a wonderful space that incorporates shows and music too, with so much more to get involved with… it’s really worth checking the timetable so you don’t miss anything you’d like to catch. The family aspect of the festival is something one of the creators, Ella Nozworthy is passionate about, especially now that she has children of her own. Speaking of the new elements for this year she said .. “after listening to feedback and realising there are some simple things we can do to enhance the experience for families – that’s what this is all about.”

Lots of fun little toys and bits and bobs to make or dress up in!
nozstock festival
I couldn’t resist!

The music lineup at Nozstock this year was brilliant, although I think when you go as a family, depending on ages of children, you might not get to see the headliner DJ’s and bands that play into the early hours but there’s definitely something for every taste with ten stages to choose from! My twenty year old son who didn’t come with us was absolutely gutted when he saw the lineup… the Hospitality takeover on Friday night was a massive coup for the younger festival goers! Then there’s so many different, more chilled artists playing all kinds of music during the day before kicking off again later on!

nozstock

The theme of this years Nozstock was the Wizard of Noz which was evident throughout the festival. Some of the stages were designed on the theme!

This stage was supposed to be Dorothy’s wrecked house from the hurricane and even included the witched legs and feet if you look to the top left!
elephants graveyard nozstock
There was a raggae stage that was found via a pathway which led to this bizarre open space called The Elephants Graveyeard! It was rather groovy!

We loved watching Elvana (an Elvis fronted Nirvana tribute act) on Saturday afternoon on the main Orchard Stage! This was completely nuts but very entertaining!

elvana nozstock

My favourite stage was The Coppice. I could’ve stayed in here for hours listening to the dreamy trance music and getting lost in all the decorations set up in the trees. This was run by Tribe of Frogs, a psychedelic DJ dance event organiser who are amazing! My kids loved all the lights, special effects and the way everything glowed!

tribe of frog nozstock
tribe of frog nozstock the coppice

There were hidden stages too, like The Cabinet of Lost Secrets which you found through a secret doorway… as modelled here by my friend Emma!

We had a great time at this stage dancing the night away… even my 9 year old twin boys had a dance! That’s the first time in all their festival going years that they’ve actually danced! There’ll be no stopping them now! We boogied on down to fab swing band Year of the Dog and funk quintet The Happy Daggers!

year of the dog nozstock
nozstock family festival

The headliners on Saturday night were DJ superstars Rudimental. As their 10pm start time approached, you could feel all the different areas emptying out a little as everyone seemed to be making their way to the main stage! I was praying that my children stayed awake at least for a little while so we could catch some of the set! And I got lucky!

Katy and Ruth headed back to the tents but myself and Emma stayed out to partayy! And boy did it kick off big time when Rudimental came on! They were amazing! We hovered around the back of the crowd at first as the bass line was too much for the kids, although, incidentally, you can go and grab ear plugs for free if you need them from a little on site kiosk which offers all kind of helpful stuff! I grabbed some for mine earlier in the day!

Back to Rudimental. Emma was not satisfied with standing at the back so she instructed her husband, Andy, to watch all of our kids for a second and grabbed my hand to storm down to the front. Barging through the crowd like a mad woman on a mission, probably ruffling some feathers in the process but we didn’t care! It was funny and worth it because from there we got to experience the music and atmosphere so much more, right in the thick of it!

rudimental nozstock
rudimental nozstock
Grainy photo but this was an action shot of us ‘having it’!

One of the reasons we love a festival is that we get to don the glitter! Oh how we love the glitter! The family camp site at Nozstock was so chilled and relaxed, we enjoyed just hanging around there in the mornings, leisurely getting ready, chatting and eating breakfast that was made by Rocknrollerbaby for all of us! Feeling the fresh morning air while the kids played – even with other children that were camping nearby! In a world where kids are often indoors on some kind of screen, camping brings such a welcome change.

nozstock festival glitter
My hair and makeup being done by Poppie and Florence!
nozstock family camping
festival hair and makeup
nozstock bell tents
festival hair
My daughter does everyone’s hair!
rosies tea rooms nozstock
We loved this little cafe, Rosie’s Tea Rooms, at the entrance to family camping where they sold teas, coffees and delicious crepes! It was so nice, cosy and friendly!

Around Nozstock there’s loads of weird and wonderful acts everywhere you look, a real feast for the eyes. As well as music there’s comedy, acting, dance and film too!

We loved the human jukebox…
nozstock
..and this unbelievable fire maze!
nozstock wedding
There was even and wedding taking place at Nozstock!

My favourite thing about our Nozstock weekend was simply just wandering around, discovering new areas and enjoying the whole place. The site isn’t huge so nowhere feels too far to get to, yet there’s always something new to see or do. It was compact yet felt incredibly spacious where the children could run freely and enjoy the different zones!

nozstock
nozstock festival family
nozstock
nozstock
henna tattoo nozstock
nozstock
Nozstock ambassadors festival

Even though it wasn’t just a festival for families, there were children playing everywhere and everyone just mingled seamlessly together. At no time did I feel worried about the children, or thought I shouldn’t have them in a particular area, which I know is a concern for a lot of parents. Safety was paramount for the kids….. they are given wristbands on arrival with a space to write your telephone number on, so you can be reached should you get separated. There’s also a dedicated lost child tent that they can find easily should they need help.

Nozstock gives you that special kind of fuzzy, warm feeling and has an atmosphere that has been missing at other festivals. It’s fun and immersive, you really feel like you’re taking part in a wonderful imaginary story! Yet it manages to stay intimate and considerate. There isn’t anything I would change, we had the best time in the best place with the best people!

I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Super early bird tickets are now on sale for 2020 Nozstock – The Hidden Valley which takes place Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th July 2020

https://nozstock.com/tickets/buy-tickets-online/
www.nozstock.com @nozstock

A Parents Getaway Guide to London

Parents have a lifetime commitment of raising the children they bring into the world. It isn’t an easy job, but with time, most parents find a way to adapt. One of the ways to make parenting less of a stressful job is to make quality time for yourself a priority. It’s easy to feel guilt-ridden when you take a break, but this shouldn’t be the case as self-care is an essential aspect of parenting too. For some, all they need during their personal time is to let their hair down and do something fun. With that in mind, below is a handy parent’s getaway guide to London for the parent in need of a well-deserved break.

West End Musical

Whether you happen to be into the arts or not, going to watch a musical can be a great escape. It’s a chance for you to be entertained instead of entertaining for once. When it comes to theatre, there are so many genres you can choose from that should cater to your interests. Some of the best plays out there at the moment are Chicago if you’d prefer a musical, or The Tell-Tale Heart if you want something with suspense.

Boat Cruise

Have you ever been on a boat cruise before? If not, this is the perfect getaway for you as a parent! The good thing about such outings is that there’s no room for you to stress or do chores, so you’re forced to live in the moment. An idea for a boat cruise is the London Showboat Dinner Cruise as it’s a great way to experience London at night.

The South Bank

The South Bank is another great place to go as a parent looking for a getaway. This particular spot is activity galore, so you’d have to choose one based on your interest. You could watch a blockbuster at the BFI Imax if you can stay awake long enough or try the Coca-Cola London Eye if you want to view the city from high up. To get into tourist mode, the London Dungeon will give you a recap of London’s past which could be insightful and amusing as well.

Piccadilly Circus

Central London is one of the most vibrant parts of London, so this makes an excellent place to go to if you want to get lost in the magic of the city. You could check into a nice hotel and take a day or two out to rest if you can find a babysitter. This is your chance to be catered to and have room service bring your meals. During the evening, you could go for a stroll and see what the area has to offer. Some trending hotels near Piccadilly Circus are Assembly Hotel London, the Cavendish London, and Arlington House.

Visit the Royal Opera House

If you enjoy opera music, an activity you can do in London is taking a trip down to the Royal Opera House down at Covent Garden. If you check at the right time, you may even be able to find relatively cheap tickets. Opera music could help you feel relaxed which is what every parent needs.

Parenting is a difficult job, but it should also consist of fun and adventure too. Make it your mission to have the time of your life as both a parent and yourself.

Spending Christmas Away With The Children Without Hassle

Christmas is just around the corner, and whether we like it or not it’s time to begin thinking about plans for Christmas. We’re sure that you’re already aware that going anywhere with children is no simple task, so if you’re invited to spend Christmas at a family member or friends home, it’s likely that you’re dreading how you’re going to pull this off without any drama. Luckily, I’ve compiled a little guide on how you can spend Christmas away with the children, without any hassle and still enjoy yourself! 

christmas reading child

Pack the car to the brim

When you’re staying away overnight in a strange place, you can never predict how your children are going to react to their surroundings. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re armed with everything they could ever need to help keep them calm and happy. Packing the car with their favourite teddies, comfort blankets, snacks, drinks, clothes, and anything else that you think could help your children settle easier will make your Christmas run much smoother. You don’t necessarily have to bring everything into your accommodation with you, but knowing that it’s there if you need it will certainly help you rest with ease.

Make nap time easier

If you’ve got young children, the thought of putting them down for naps might be playing on your mind. Perhaps your friends and family don’t have anywhere that you’d like to safely leave your child to have a nap, or maybe you’re worried your child won’t nap with ease? You can buy kids travel systems that can help make sure your baby gets the nap they need without any worry on your behalf! Again, making sure they’ve got their favourite teddy or blanket will make the world of difference!

Keep them busy

There’s nothing worse than bored children, and as you’re probably already aware, when children are bored, the adults will suffer too. Before you even think about travelling, prearrange activities for your children to keep them busy and entertained. Perhaps you could get them a portable DVD player or some board games to keep them occupied? Alternatively, check to see if there are going to be any other children there for them to play with!

Baby proof everything!

Finally, children can get into pretty much anything if they put their mind to it, and when you’re in a strange environment you never know where dangers might be lurking! Ask your family members and friends to baby/child proof their homes so that not only will your children be able to safely roam around, but you will have one less worry on your hands!

Travelling away with children doesn’t have to be as stressful as you may think, so follow these tips and have a wonderful Christmas!

Afternoon Tea Week 2018

This week.. 13th to 19th August 2018 is Afternoon Tea Week!

afternoon tea week 2018

Celebrating the great British tradition of Afternoon Tea week 2018 is set to be the biggest celebration of British style and elegant eccentricity ever. The tradition dating back to Victorian times was started by the seventh Duchess of Bedford. It’s claimed she created high tea while visiting the fifth Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle. Could she ever have imagined that her solution to afternoon hunger would not only turn into a British custom, but a week-long celebration?

Hotels, tea rooms and restaurants will be running one-off events and offering exclusive discounts, up and down the country.

Online experience gift retailer, Buyagift are offering 20% off their Afternoon Tea gifts with their special discount code to use on their website! And to make it more fun, they’ve come up with their very own hashtag #AfternoonteawithyourBFF to encourage you to enjoy one of their wonderful gifts with that special friend. Buyagift offer some of the best Afternoon Tea days around… from 5 star, posh hotels to fun themed affairs.. there’s something for everyone!

So if you’re looking for something lovely to do this week or this weekend…. be sure to grab the discount while it’s still on and join in with this wonderful national event!

 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Live

Last weekend we made a little trip to London to see We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Live at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.

We're going on a bear hunt live theatre london

Considering we are big theatre fans, we haven’t been for a while and I was missing it, so this was a welcome break in the theatre drought!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a childrens’ story book by Michael Rosen and is favourite of ours. Actually it’s probably in most young childrens’ bookcases all over the Country as it’s become a bit of a classic now!

I first came across it when a friend bought it for my first son when he was little. He’s now nineteen! It was also bought for my daughter in a different cardboard book format, with a little teddy bear included! In fact, we have a few copies in our collection now!

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read this story to my children. My eight year old twins still like to listen to it at bedtime occasionally so I’m still going strong with it! It’s one they will pick up and read themselves too.

We read it time and time again and it never tires… it’s one of those books that really captures the imagination.

The text has an almost lyrical feel as the Dad in the story and his young children go off on a little, fun adventure across the countryside, through all kinds of weather and terrains, looking for a bear! So children like to join in with the story as the words are repetitive, shouting out their favourite parts with you as you read along!

When I asked my children if I should get tickets for We’re Going on Bear Hunt they literally bit my head off! “Yes” they said without any hesitation at all… even my daughter who has just turned 13! Such is the special relationship with this story.

We were all very excited arriving at the theatre and couldn’t wait for the show to start!

We're going on a bear hunt live theatre

I had a feeling that it would be adults playing the parts of the children, as we’ve seen numerous books brought to life this way and it honestly works really well.

There were only four actors in the production… the Dad, played by Thos Wainwright, his two children played by Joey Hickman and Rebecca Newman, a puppet baby and the family dog, played by Benjamin Hills!

we're going on a bear hunt live theatre

Straight from the off, we were drawn in by the characters we love and know so well. The lights in the auditorium were still on as the show began…. which took us by surprise. We hadn’t realised it had started for a couple of seconds! I thought this was very clever as the audience is made up of some very young children and this gentle introduction without the need for everyone to be quiet first was genius!

The actors came to the stage through the audience too which immediately connected us to them. The ‘Dog’ was  comical.. he was interacting with some of the kids, playing up to his doggy character! He also doubles up as a musician for the show!

The story was brought to life with fun songs and music.. really capturing those repetitive rhythms of the text in the book so perfectly. The places the family walk through in the story were each given their own special song and production!

There was the swishy swashy grass which was accompanied by the Lazy Nice Day song… loved this! The children in the audience were invited to make butterflies with their hands.

We're going on a bear hunt live

The splish splashing through the river came next… a groovy sounding song brought that to life… as did buckets of real water which the actors splashed in! This scene also saw them pulling out huge water pistols! I’ll let you imagine what happens there……

To create the mud scene they had paper and easels on the stage with paint used for the mud! This was very funny as they all got super messy… my children laughed their heads off at this part!

We're going on a bear hunt live

The forest scene was very funny too according to my children…. because this contained the word Poo! My twin boys’ favourite word! Some one stood in it and Dog rolled in it!

The snowstorm was quite mesmerising with the lights down and the simple but effective stage props. There was even some fake snow that fell into the audience from up high which was quite magical.

We're going on a bear hunt live

Anticipation and excitement rose as the journey took the family to the ‘dark, gloomy cave’! We wondered what the bear would look like once he came out! This was the only part where I wondered if children might be a little scared, but it was done perfectly. The bear, I’m happy to report, was more cute than scary!

we're going on a gear hunt live

The last part of the show whipped us up into a frenzy as the bear chases them back through all the scenes and heads back to their house! The main song ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ was sung and we, the audience were encouraged to join in and singalong!

We can absolutely, without hesitation, say we loved this show! My children didn’t want it to be over. For very young children it was the perfect length in terms of running time and left everyone wanting more!

Like the much loved Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenburys picture book, the show managed to capture the imagination and propel audiences into the world of this fun-filled adventure, making it the ideal theatrical experience for first time theatregoers.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is showing now at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue until the beginning of September, you can book online with tickets starting at £15.00.

Ferdinand at The Shard

This Easter holidays there’s a great event happening at The Shard in London.

Ferdinand, the kids movie, is due to be released on Blu-ray and DVD on 16th April and to celebrate, Twentieth Century Fox have teamed up with The Shard to bring some fun for families these holidays!

We were invited to breakfast at The View from The Shard to have a look at what the event is offering! We were very excited indeed!

It was an early start…. we needed to be in London for 9am… but the kids didn’t mind! We braved the rush hour London tubes to arrive on time and as soon as we entered, evidence of Ferdinand was all around!

Ferdinand The shard

We’ve been lucky enough to visit The Shard before, a few years ago, so of course we know how un-bullieveable the panoramic views across London are, but sometimes kids need a bit more to keep them interested! This Ferdinand special event has created a fun activity sheet where one of the games is a treasure hunt to look for Ferdinand’s favourite flowers and to spot some of London’s most iconic landmarks!

the shard

the shard

the shard

the shard flower hunt

the shard the tower of london

There’s a ‘fiesta’ up on the open air top level of The Shard called The Sky Desk, where children can join in with dancing if they so wish… prizes can be won, as well as being entered into the main prize draw of winning a trip to the fiesta capital itself, Barcelona! There’s also fabulous face painting on hand too!

If that’s not enough, you can take a ride on the brand new virtual reality slide that goes 100mph down the outside of The Shard! Yikes! I have to mention I wasn’t brave enough to do this and the recommended age is 12+ but I saw lots of younger kids than that having a go!

the shard virtual reality slide

The Ferdinand flower display was a favourite of mine, it’s gorgeous… great for a photo opportunity! My children noticed that the model of Ferdinand was actually made out of feathers which fascinated them!

the shard flowers ferdinand

For the adults, there’s the champagne bar for you to enjoy in Western Europe’s highest building, plus there’s plenty of snacks on offer for everyone.

Your family experience ticket, to be purchased between 30th March and 15th April and costs only £64.95 if you book in advance or £79.95 on the day, allows you to stay as long as you like and includes all the fun activities I’ve mentioned!

There’s also a free goody bag for the kids to take home filled with ador-a-bull treats!

We had a wonderful morning… it really is such a spectacular attraction for everyone.

the shard

 

Mr Todd’s Lair at Willows Farm

willows farm rocknrollerbaby mummy endeavours

I’ve written about Willows Activity Farm loads of times here on my blog as it’s somewhere we absolutely LOVE to go and luckily for us, it’s local too!

Situated just off the M25 at St Albans, it’s easily accessible from London and for everyone else to visit as well, no matter which direction you’re coming from!

And I know that visitors do come from far afield because my very good friend Ruth who writes the blog Rocknrollerbaby drives from Norwich to enjoy the delights of Willows Farm! In fact we meet there regularly and already plan more visits this year!

We were there together on this day and it’s like our very own special place to meet! Neither of us likes to be there without the other now and our children, all pictured above, adore each other and always, ALWAYS have the best time at Willows!

This time we were there for a very special event… the grand opening of brand new play area for 2018…Mr. Todd’s Lair. The large, amazing, Peter Rabbit playground has been a favourite at Willows for a few years now and it truly is a brilliant feature, so they wanted to add to it!

It was an early start for the launch, and very cold, but with a lovely breakfast laid on for the press, bloggers and a few celebs it was worth it!

After breakfast there was a meet and greet with the main Fox himself…. Mr Todd! The kids loved seeing him, he was very happy to pose for photo’s and looked very dapper indeed!

willows farm mr todd peter rabbit

Peter Rabbit was in attendance too of course, who was in a particularly mischievous mood… covering my twins’ faces when I was trying to take a photo! Very funny…. NOT… naughty Peter Rabbit!

willows farm peter rabbit

That’s better!

willows farm peter rabbit

Then it was time to be taken to Mr. Todd’s lair and the kids couldn’t wait! There were two entrances…. either going down the slide at the top here, or wandering down the hill to the bottom where you can enter via the doorway!

willows farm mr todds lair peter rabbit

willows farm mr todds lair peter rabbit

willows farm mr todds lair

It looked amazing! As with every other feature at Willows, the attention to detail is second to none. All the kids were completely in a frenzy as they raced to explore all around and inside this new play area! There’s a glimpse into how Mr. Todd lives with a full size dining table and chairs in the kitchen that kids can sit at, a cooking pot that they can look inside or even climb into if they so wish and lots of little drawers and fiddly bits to faff around with! There’s also the slides and hidden entrances.

willows farm mr todds lair rocknrollerbabyRuth and I with the stars of the show Peter Rabbit and Mr. Todd!

willows farm hertfordshire peter rabbit mr todd todds lairMine and Ruth’s gorgeous girls!

Outside the old tree house has been included in the new Mr. Todds area and it’s been given a spruce up, as has the zip wire! There’s also a little Squirrel Nutkin agility course and a fab new kiosk selling hot doughnuts…. we definitely made the most of this, they were super delicious!

willows farm mr todds lair peter rabbit

willows farm mr todds lair peter rabbit

willows farm mr todds lair peter rabbit

willows farm mr todds lair peter rabbit

willows farm mr todds lair peter rabbit

We can wholeheartedly say that this new addition to Willows was a massive hit and everyone enjoyed it. It fits right in with everything else, like it’s always been there. I can’t believe how Willows manages to add something new and exciting every single year. Changing things up so there’s always fresh excitement every time you visit!

Our kids wanted to go down to the bouncy castles afterwards!

I have to mention that everything, once you’ve paid the entrance fee to get in, is included! That means all the bouncy castles, the fairground rides, the outdoor shows, the seasonal events, the indoor play areas, the animals… EVERYTHING! The only thing you have to pay for is food…. and you don’t even need to pay for that! The food IS great at Willows and very reasonably priced, but you are very welcome to bring a packed lunch and there is even a designated area to eat it, which is covered in Winter to keep the cold out and all open in the Summer to enjoy the weather!

Ruth and I are always at Willows till closing time! They are literally throwing us out we stay so long and this happens every single time! We love it and never want to leave… honestly!

The bouncy castles were soaked. It had been raining early in the morning but do you think this stopped our kids from running straight onto them? Oh no!

willows farm

Wet trousers and socks were the result so after this we headed to the indoor play barn, Woolly Jumpers! Luckily they sell socks for £1 a pair so I bought some for my twins whose own socks were drenched! There’s two indoor play areas… the main one, Woolly Jumpers, is set inside the cafe where we love to hang out especially when it’s cold! There’s a full climbing play frame including slides and our children spend hours in here!

willows farm

willows farm

The other one is Toddler Town which is perfect for younger kids that has all sorts of play houses in, like a kitchen, pet shop, train station, hospital and lots more… it’s role play heaven!

A big event that’s happening at Willows right now is their Easter Eggstravaganza! This is really lovely. There’s a designated, delightfully pretty Easter Egg hunt garden where children can pick a basket and run around hunting for hidden wooden eggs (which are easy to find!) then exchange them for REAL chocolate eggs afterwards! Again, you don’t pay extra for any of this, it’s all included in the entry price! That’s right… yummy chocolate for free!

willows farm easter

willows farm easter

willows farm easter

From here we headed down to Tractor Tristan! We love this… it’s a cute ride on the back of a Tractor which takes you on a little seasonal tour… this time it was through an Easter scene! There’s also a large pond to go through as well as seeing lots of animals! A visit to Willows really isn’t the same without a ride on Tristan!

willows farm

willows farm

After this we headed inside again, into the Farmyard to see some more animals. It’s Spring so lots of babies to see including piglets and adorable chicks! There were also some lambs being hand fed by some of the farmers!

willows farm piglets

willows farm feeding lambs spring 2018

willows farm animals guinea pigs

Petting some of the smaller animals is a highlight for most children! All they need to do is take a seat and one of the helpers will come around and hand them a guinea pig to hold. So cute!

Lastly, we headed round to the Peter Rabbit play area! It cost over £1 million to create and it’s easy to see why… it’s incredible! There’s so much in this one space and all dedicated to the CBeebies version of the much loved character. There’s Mr McGregors garden where you can run around and collect giant vegetables, Jeremy Fisher’s music pond where there all sorts of instruments to make noises, Benjamin Button’s amazing treehouse with adventure play area, Mrs Tiggy Winkles kitchen, Lily Bobtails nature discovery and Peter Rabbit’s secret treehouse and adventure playground!

willows farm peter rabbit

willows farm peter rabbit

It’s easy to understand how we can stay at Willows till closing time isn’t it?

Don’t just take our word for it either… whenever we visit we quite often spy a famous face or two.. oh yes, it’s a favourite haunt for celebrity kiddo’s too! Samantha Faiers is a frequent visitor at the moment with her baby Paul but I quite often spot pop stars, actors, sports stars and tv presenters mingling with the crowds enjoying their day out at Willows with their children!

For the launch of Mr. Todd’s Lair we spotted Alex Jones from The One Show and Michelle Heaton from Liberty X amongst others… including DIY SOS’s Nick Knowles, who very kindly posed for a photo with me… I just wanted to show my other half as he’s a fan! Any excuse!

willows farm nick knowles

Willows Farm Easter Eggstravaganza is on until 15th April.. if you can make it, be sure to pay a visit over the holidays! Otherwise it’s open every single day for you to enjoy. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming events too!

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