Just outside north London in the Hertfordshire countryside lies a wonderful family farm which not only has animals, fairground rides, trampolines, sand and water play and climbing frames but it is also home to the world’s only Peter Rabbit playground. We were invited, along with some other bloggers, to celebrate the first birthday of the play area at Willows Activity Farm. Situated just off the M25 at junction near St Albans, it was an easy drive from SW London and we were soon in the countryside with sunny Spring weather to boot. My eldest daughter, Mrs T, was very excited at the prospect of seeing Peter Rabbit and exploring the playground.
After fuelling up on coffee and juice in the Peter Rabbit Burrow cafe, we headed to the Peter Rabbit theatre. Shows are held there daily and feature Peter Rabbit and his friends Lily and Benjamin. There was plenty of singing and dancing. Taking part was fully encouraged and most of the children in the audience (including Mrs T) took to the floor to do a bit of organised dancing.
We were then treated to an exclusive meet and greet with the characters. Mrs T and Cheeky gave them hi-fives and Mrs T got a hug from Benjamin before posing for pictures. They do daily meet and greet appearances at selected times.
Of course, no birthday is complete without party food…and cake!! We enjoyed some delicious bites complete with carrot biscuits.
Not forgetting the cake!
Cheeky had a great time too and I enjoyed catching up with some fellow bloggers.
It was then time to head to the playground. To get there, we followed the Peter Rabbit signs which led us to the space. When we arrived, Mrs T made a beeline for the musical instruments in Jeremy Fisher’s Music Pond which they can play. Step on the lily pads and they will hear musical sounds and can guess the instruments.
The interactive playground is modelled on the CBeebies series and there is plenty to explore with Peter Rabbit’s Secret Treehouse, Mr McGreggor’s garden and Benjamin Button’s Treehouse which Mrs T got a bit lost in but soon emerged at the bottom of one of the slides.
She also enjoyed playing in the house of her namesake, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
The farm’s General Manager, the lovely Antonia, told me how they were approached by the Finish company, Lappset, to bring the first-ever Peter Rabbit playground to Willows Farm. She also revealed that in summer, Mr McGregor’s garden is bursting with strawberries in the plant beds which the children are welcome to pick. It’s ok, you won’t get chased away by Mr McGregor! Scattered around the playground are large talking statues of the characters.
But the Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground is just a small part of what Willows Farm has to offer! Mrs T had THE best time. Our next stop was the petting farm, an indoor area where we dared to let the goats and horses nibble animal feed off our hands.
Mrs T particularly liked the piglets.
And she even stroked the guinea pigs which you are allowed to hold. After washing our hands VERY thoroughly we were off to explore further. In Mrs T’s sights was the inflatable slide but before we got there, she dashed off to a large climbing frame.
Then she was off driving a digger.
The inflatable slide was a hit.
So was the trampoline.
And the fun fair rides.
There is just SO much to do at Willows Farm. We certainly didn’t explore everything it had to offer. The Peter Rabbit playground is an added bonus in a farm which has been adapted with families in mind. The large toilets with changing facilities were very welcome with two children in tow and with the obligatory exit through the gift shop, plenty of opportunity to bring home a souvenir.
Willows Farm also has additional seasonal events, its Easter Eggstravaganza from April 1st – April 17th promises to be much fun with egg hunts and pig racing!
Buy your tickets online beforehand to save money.
Until 31st March
Weekdays: Adult £8.50 (£11.50) Child £10.50 (£13.50)
Weekends: Adult £9 (£12) Child £11 (£14)
Egg Eggstravaganza – 1st April – 17th April
Adult – £14 (on the door £19)
Child £15 (on the door £20)
Disclaimer: We were invited by Willows Farm to celebrate the first birthday of the Peter Rabbit playground and given free entry into the farm. All opinions are my own.
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