It’s hard to enjoy a family day out in the cold winter months. I feel like I am forever waiting for the sun to appear just a little bit. However, a trip to the local farm is always a good idea as many of the attractions are under cover and you are wrapped up warm and have wellies on.
We visited our local children’s farm Ash End Children’s Farm in Middleton near Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield last weekend. We have been here many times before and it’s a really good farm to visit for children of all ages.
It costs £7.95 per child and £6.95 per adult to enter the farm. At first I thought this was a bit steep, but after visiting cheaper farms I think this is good value for money for the activities and quality of the farm.
There is plenty of parking and you enter through the gift shop to pay for entry. The children are given a bucket of feed and carrots each which you have to pay a 50p deposit for.
There is a board displaying the times of the activities throughout the day. These include sitting on a pony at half past the hour; march of the ducks; holding chicks and tractor rides.
The first main room is full of guinea pigs, rabbits and goats. One of the goats is called Beyoncé and she gave birth to twins earlier this month and we could hold one!
The kids loved feeding the rabbits and goats and the staff got a mix of rabbits and guinea pigs out to stroke gently.
In the next shed are the sheep and a small bouncy castle for under 6 year olds.
After this it was half past the hour so we headed to the horse stable to sit on a pony each. There are four different horses, suitable for all ages of children. The children are given a brush to comb the horses hair which they loved.
Next, we said hello to the pigs. Ash End Farm have a string of dummies up in this shed. Children are encouraged to give up their dummies and they string them up here. Which is lovely, but some are years old and always make me gag!
We then went to the duck shed at the back of the farm for the march of the ducks. Children were asked to stand around the pen and sing “Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day” and then the staff filled their hands with duck feed. Then the ducks were released and frantically ate from the children’s hands which they loved.
Next on to the Hatchery where the baby chicks were keeping warm. The children sat on hay bales and after singing “Happy Hatchday” to the newest arrival, could stroke tiny chicks in a basket which was passed around.
We then headed to the tractor ride which is a 10-minute ride in a trailer around the grounds. There are scarecrows hidden to spot along the way.
There is also a Birds of Prey area which is home to owls, falcons and eagles, outside playgrounds,
We had spent two hours exploring the farm and it was great there was so much to do. There are lots of sinks to wash your hands after touching the animals, so after cleaning up we headed home.
However, there is a small café on the farm to grab a drink or bite to eat. Also there is a large soft play called the Play Barn which serves food and is great to let the children burn off more energy after the farm. There is an extra cost to go in here of £10.95 for a joint farm and play barn ticket.
We loved our time at the farm and it was a great place to visit whatever the weather. Another great farm to visit is Hatton Country World.