We are lucky to live in a beautiful area, blessed with natural attractions. When it comes to the kids however, the places with all the action are top of the list and Mead Open Farm has always been a favourite. From live farm animals, including small animals that you can pet to climbing walls, trampolines, play parks and pizza – Mead Open Farm has it all. Whether you want your kids to enjoy the outdoors and reconnect with nature or simply throw off some steam in the soft play barn there is literally something for everyone.
Now it seems that Halloween in this country is becoming more popular every year and apart from the ever popular “trick or treating” there aren’t many places we can go to “do Halloween”. Mead Open Farm has this nailed however with planned activities for both kids and adults of 11 days leading up to Halloween. We had so much fun checking out what they had to offer, on the farm and also all the special events.
Of course first up was a trip to see the animals. My kids never fail to get excited by interacting with our four legged friends. If you haven’t been before they have cows, goats, sheep and pigs all within close walking distance. Now I was told by a friend at work recently who was desperate to get her kids to see animals “oh those play farms don’t have animals anymore”, but that definitely is not the case at Mead. So grab yourself a bag of food on the way in and enjoy the friendly animals to your heart’s content. And I have to say a healthy looking bunch they are too! Now I’m a sucker for the baby goats (kids of course they are called, but doesn’t work quite as well). What makes them so cute? I think it’s because they have such delicate little features and everything’s in miniature. Whatever your favourite, there are plenty to go around and all super friendly and keen for their turn at the feed.
We followed the kids as they lead us through the outdoor play areas of trampolining, rock climbing and then it’s time for lunch – street food in the play barn where they can chose their own packed lunches, whilst we have hot food. It’s a rushed affair for the kids as the backdrop of the enormous soft play centre leaves them restless with their minds on play. We lose a good hour in their non-stop trawl of the brightly coloured slides, climbing equipment and general kiddie heaven, before persuading them to check out the outside again.
Now the main attractions for Halloween are the “Haunts”. These are barns dressed up as guided mazes with all kinds of spooky paraphernalia, to appear like haunted hotels or freaky fairground rides. Being left with the little one…and I must confess being easily freaked out myself, I didn’t actually go in but I’m told they were suitably spooky and enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Now they actually have a double function as if you’re an adult and want to come along to “the Howl” they then become a whole lot spookier indeed… Whichever you do there are a unique experience for sure and the perfect opportunity to get on that spooky vibe.
When the kids were tired from the activities, with a mini pit stop for sweets we headed to pumpkin carving, interspersed with some rabbit petting, as they were out to play in the Farmyard Favourites next door. And finished off with sitting down for a show and were entertained by Penelope Picklepan & Peregrine Potter and their scary tales (which thankfully really were more fun than scary) and we got to enjoy quiet kids and a seat!
We finished off our trip with a visit to the final Haunt before taking the exit via the all-important shop. A full day of fun for the kids, ending in the journey home with the promise of a sleep in the car. Every parent’s dream!
But that wasn’t all for our visits to Mead Open Farm… 4 days later we were back with a visit to the notorious Howl. We couldn’t possibly tell you what we found at the Howl, but if you want to know more check our Facebook page and Instagram feed for the full spooky lowdown and the pics form the night.
Photography by Matthew Bishop Photography