The phone went this morning. It was Grandson wanting to know if I’d like to go the the farm with him today and go for a tractor ride. How could I refuse?
Hall Farm Park is on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, near Market Rasen and is a popular day out for families. As we parked the tractor and trailer arrived, “I told you there would be tractor rides” said grandson.
We checked up on time of the rides and other activities and then headed to the animal barn to admire the animals while we waited for the tractor ride. There are pens containing pigs, ponies, donkeys, llamas, goats, ducks and rabbits. On the pens were labels with pictures and names of the animals. Bags of food can be bought from the shop for 50p.
There are more cages outside with ducks, hens, llamas, goats and a wallaby.
There was a long queue for the tractor ride so it was as well it is a big trailer. The ride takes you down a track past fields with horses and sheep to the barns by the farmhouse. In February the cows were still inside and all waiting with their heads through the pens for us to arrive. The farmer had a big bucket full of potatoes for us to throw into the feeding troughs for the cows. They were hungry and the potatoes soon disappeared. Apparently they can get through half a ton of potatoes a day. In the summer months when the cows are in the fields, the sides of the trailer are lifted and you throw the potatoes out for the cows.
We then headed for the the indoor play barn with its giant sandpit, bouncy castle, toy tractors and giant ‘snow slide’ with inflatable rings to slide down. This is popular with the kids and parents can also have a go. I declined…
Then it was outside for the under 5s play area with tractor and trailer for the children to play on (hours of fun play acting the trip earlier), play houses, trampolines, swings and more toy tractors to ride.
We decided against a second tractor ride but instead opted to take a goat for a walk. Double leads are attached to the goat’s collar and children should be accompanied by an adult as the goats can have a mind of their own. Ours, called Tinkerbell, certainly did. We thought we’d never get her out of the barn as she hoovered round the floor in search of dropped food. She wasn’t much better once outside, stopping to eat grass. We were overtaken by all the other goats and in the end had to give her a strong tug to get her back to the shed.
Hygiene is taken very seriously. There are signs reminding you to wash your hands after touching animals and hot and cold water and soap are provided in the animal bar. Hand wipes were also given out after feeding the potatoes to the cows.
For the older children there are go-carts and an adventure playground with an assault course. There is also a nature walk through the field to woodland. We’ve not done this yet as we haven’t managed to drag the boys away from the play areas. There are information boards and a quiz sheet to do. We haven’t done the heritage area with its old farming equipment either.
There are picnic tables around the grounds as well as the play barn as well as a cafe serving a range of cheap light meals and cakes. Before leaving we had a (much needed) cup of tea and very nice homemade cake in the cafe. This again is child friendly with a kids menu, toys and books.
The shop sells a range of small toys for the kids as well as chutneys and preserves.
All in all this was an enjoyable day out. Under foot conditions weren’t too bad considering all the rain this winter, although if doing the nature walk, wellies may be an idea. Take plenty of warm clothes as the farm is exposed and there can be a very cold wind.
At £5.50 for adults and over twos (£4.70 for senior citizens) we felt this was good value as we spent several hours at the farm. A lot of thought has gone into the facilities and making them pushchair and disability friendly. There is plenty to keep the youngsters occupied. It was busy in the morning but there were fewer people around in the afternoon.