Five farm parks to visit in Herts

A lamb at Willows Activity Farm

A lamb at Willows Activity Farm - Credit: Willows Activity Farm

Why not head down the farm this half-term, and get up close and personal with some furry friends?

There are plenty of open farm parks just a short drive away, and they all offer something different for visitors.

1. Willows Activity Farm

A much-loved institution just outside of St Albans, near junction 22 of the M25 at London Colney, offering a mix of entertainment and animal action including Peter Rabbit’s Adventure Playground, Mr Todd’s Lair, The Big Dig sand and water play, Squirrel Nutkin’s Treehouse, The Farmyard, JCB Young Driver’s Zone and more.

This half-term there will be a focus on Dino-Ventures, with dinosaurs to meet, fossil finding fun, a Dino Hunt with certificate and Jurassic arts and crafts. Currently all tickets must be booked online and soft play is only open for members, with a set time-slot provided.

2. Woodside Animal Farm

Located just over the border into Bedfordshire near Slip End, this is a budget-friendly attraction offering youngsters the chance to get up close and personal with their mix of farm animals and reptiles, including llamas, pigs, goats and chickens.

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Cuddle Encounter sessions offer the chance to meet everything from cuddly bunnies and cute baby ducklings to giant lizards and corn snakes! Pet, stroke and cuddle them and hear about their diets and habitats  throughout the day.

There are also tractor and trailer rides, animal demonstrations, a mini fun fair, crazy golf and lots of outdoor play fun, plus a heated indoor soft play centre which will hopefully be opening after June 21.

Woodside Farm llamas

Woodside Farm llamas - Credit: Archant

3. Mead Open Farm

Since 1994 Mead has been welcoming visitors for family days out at its site near Leighton Buzzard, offering children the opportunity to see, learn about and interact with farm animals through activities such as hand-feeding sheep and goats, grooming ponies and stroking rabbits.

Other activities include Go-Karts and Crazy Golf, sand play in Digger Village and Shaggy’s Cove, and swings, slides and climbing frames in the huge indoor Shaggy’s PlayWorld and Topsy Turvy Towers outdoor adventure playground.

They are also holding a Dino Week for half-term, including a Caveman Rock Show, Jurassic Tractor Ride and epic dinosaur racing at the new Great Dino Dash.

4. Daisy May's Farm

A working and community farm based in the village of Elsenham, Essex. Run entirely by volunteers it opens its gates each week to visitors. They encourage hands-on time for everybody and provide the following experiences: egg-collecting, feeding and handling farm animals, seasonal lamb bottle-feeding, chicks holding, goat milking and pony rides.

There is also a safe and secure play area with benches, a woodland area for leaf collecting and den building, an adventure playground with swings, sandpits and ball games pitch, and a petting area for encounters with smaller animals: guinea pigs, rabbits, chicks and ducklings!

​5. Standalone Farm

A small working farm set in 125 acres of farmland on the outskirts of Letchworth. Animals include tiny Kune Kune pigs, alpacas, shire horses and Shetland ponies.

Youngsters can enjoy an adventure playground with rope bridges, tunnels and slides, and for older children there is an adventure trail to test their agility. New features for 2021 include an outdoor coffee kiosk, a bigger and better sandpit area and refurbished toilets.

Little farmers can also sit on a life-size tractor for a photo or zoom around the barn and courtyard on the pedal tractors in the indoor play barn.

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