The National Forest Adventure Farm is a brilliant family day out in Staffordshire. We visited yesterday for their Halloween Spook-tacular. At this time of year, it’s always going to be a bit hit and miss with the weather. But they’ve got it covered – with a soft play and café indoors and lots of outdoor seating that is undercover too. Luckily the weather was kind to us and we checked out their activity board before embarking on an entire day of outdoor fun.
The Spooky Shows
Is it just my children who put food above all else? We arrived at the National Forest Adventure Farm just before what I would regard as lunchtime. Aware that there was a picnic in the bag, the girls insisted on eating it before we went anywhere. Fortunately, the spooky shows took place by the picnic benches, so the girls took some Broomstick Training from this gent over lunch.
The pumpkin patch
The highlight of my day was heading over to the pumpkin patch on the tractor. Here, the girls were allowed to choose their own pumpkins to take home. You can carve them there for a £2 charge, which includes a tea light. I preferred to take ours home so I can cook the flesh we scoop out. It’s far too delicious to waste.
Libby saw somebody carrying a big green pumpkin as we were approaching the pumpkin patch. As soon as she saw it, she was determined to find a similar one. As you can see, she was successful in her mission. Lia was a little more reserved, searching high and low for an orange pumpkin that she could carry herself. Mission accomplished.
No farm trip would be complete without seeing some cute animals. At the entrance, you can purchase both chicken food and animal food for £1 per pot. We bought a pot of each and headed off to see the chickens, reindeer, ponies, goats, alpacas, sheep, cows, guinea pigs, pigs – I’m sure there were others too.
Last time we visited, I had a favourite sheep. I’m fairly certain this was the same sheep. He’s looking a little old now and sadly rather lame. But I’m sure you’ll agree that he’s still utterly adorable. He was delighted to finish of our animal food and rewarded us by standing still for ages while we scratched him on the head.
All the animals we fed were incredibly gentle. It’s very clear which animals you can and can’t feed. There are signs around saying that the reindeer and ponies can bite so you shouldn’t feed them. The girls loved feeding the other farm animals and the food was soon gone.
The Mummy Maze hunt
Our next stop was the fabulous maize maze. For Halloween, there are mummies hidden around the maze. Visitors can take a sheet and look for the mummies, writing each of their names down. This was a simple, fun maze that we didn’t get horribly lost in. It was lovely to have a little challenge of finding the mummies as well as just getting in and out.
The only time we spent indoors all day was visiting the small furries and baby animals. There’s an adorable guinea pig village, as well as bunnies, quail, pigs, piglets and calves. At certain times during the day, children can pet the small animals. We didn’t manage to make it to this, but we did go and visit them and the girls were delighted to see the piglets and stroke the soft calf.
There is a vast outdoor play area for children, including sand pits and two enormous bouncing pillows. The girls would have happily spend the whole day playing. Ride-on tractors, slides and crazy golf ensure that children of all ages enjoy the area.
Other spooky fun
The Spooky Hotel is a strange walk-through attraction. Spooks jump out on you as you make your way through the gloomy hotel. I was worried Lia might be a bit too frightened, but she actually enjoyed it. We missed the freakout zone and only caught one of the spooky shows. There really is so much to do, I’d advise setting aside an entire day to make the most of it. And if you’re feeling particularly brave, head to the National Forest Adventure Farm at night for their Scream Fest!