Mead Open Farm, near Leighton Buzzard and Go Ape, Black Forest
With Summer holiday looming I thought you may be interested in a few days out I discovered for kids recently near St Albans, Herts. These two places are perfect for letting kids burn off a bit of that energy.
Mead Open Farm
On the weekend we went to Mead Open Farm, it’s about 30 miles from St Albans, Herts near Leighton Buzzard. I’d heard good things about their Christmas Grottos in the past but have never made it. It was absolutely perfect for two nearly 7 year old girls.
It’s your typical Farm, but was a great time to visit (early July) as there were loads of new babies. Upon entering the farm you are faced with a wonderfully new adventure playground. Luckily as the weather was nice we managed to avoid the soft play area, it is perfectly adequate but I have an irrational fear of the places.
Even though the car park was fairly busy the site is big enough to swallow people up. There were absolutely no queues and plenty of places to sit and enjoy a coffee whilst the girls played. They absolutely loved the Go-Karts, I have to admit that I imagined they were motorized but was pleased they were not. Once the girls got them going, they zoomed around squealing with laughter.
Within minutes they were rigged up in climbing harnesses and exploring the Sky Train. There was no time limit and they could stay on as long as they liked. At this point, I want to commend the young staff that work there, true professionals, if the children wobbled they joined in and helped them overcome their fear with gentle encouragement.
Similar happened on the climbing wall, my own daughter was struggling, so the attendant put a harness on and climbed alongside her encouraging her. She didn’t manage to make it to the top, but was pleased with her efforts.
There was also mini-golf, which could have used a bit of TLC, but the girls still loved it. Thankfully for us, we managed to avoid the tractor ride. :-)
All in all a really good day out. If you decide to get a yearly membership they will deduct the cost of your day ticket, so it may be something worth looking into.
Black Park, Near Slough – Go Ape
We’ve been to Black Park before and absolutely love it, it’s only about 30 minutes away from St Albans. It’s a beautiful site with a lake you can walk around, a very impressive adventure playground, cafe, open spaces and recently they’ve added Go Ape Tree Top Junior. Kids can climb through the trees and zoom down the Zipwire.
The sessions are one hour long and they can go around as many times as they like. It’s suitable for children 6+ years. What I really like about it is the children are connected to a safety rope the entire time they’re in the trees, so there is no chance of them falling.
I really was tempted to have my daughter’s birthday party there this year, but the only thing that held me back was worrying if some of the younger children bottled it. I may wait till next year when they are a bit older. It’s £17 per child for parties and you can also hire the Forest Shelter and lay on your own picnic. It’s definitely on the list of future birthday venues.
Even if you don’t fancy Go Ape, I would strongly encourage you to visit Black Park, take a picnic and enjoy the facilities. There are also cycle tracks.
We’re off canoeing the week after next and will let you know how we get on.