Looking for somewhere about a nap away to take Weasel to on the afternoon of her birthday, Husband managed, all on his very own, to find Holmbush Farm World, near Crawley, to visit on a sunny autumn afternoon. Apparently he’s managed to find another place that’s been on the telly (ooo-oooh) as the BBC filmed a kids tv show, Gastronauts, here. I think it may have been short lived, as it took quite a lot of searching to find out what ‘as seen on BBC TV’ was referring to. All irrelevant anyways, as Weasel would only notice it was ‘as seen on TV’ if it were an Octopod or quite possibly full of Sky Donks (a name which makes me snicker for no real reason).
Features include: lots of tractors (stationary, tractor rides (80p) and little push-pedal ones), animals (including a weird goat bridge and animal encounters) and, the best part, the outdoor play area. Now, given the best bit is outdoors, you might want to go on a sunny day as we did. A rainy one would seriously limit the maximum fun to be had here. We went on a reeeaaally quiet day, but there is so much space outside, I can’t imagine there would be an issue when crowded. There’s even a separate jumping pillow for tiny ones, although parents aren’t allowed on it. Given we were practically the only ones there, Weasel could go on the big one anyways with Husband (my heavily pregnant self was not about to be caught dead on that; I’d had enough bouncy ‘fun’ for the day after the tractor ride!). Quite a lot of the play equipment was aimed at older kids, requiring a lot of lifting of Weasel over massive gaps. But there is so much here, that shouldn’t be a problem. The Wild West village was awesome.
Food: Typical English day out food featuring jacket potatoes, sausage rolls, kids’ ‘pick x number of items’ boxes and a disproportionate amount of cake. Weasel had lunch at nursery beforehand (and as a result was wearing a spare change of clothes after an interesting rice pudding incident) so only really had some teddybear crisps that you only seem to see at these sort of places, earning me some disapproving looks of ordering food for us and crisps for her. The huge jacket came heavily loaded and with a nice salad, which was a pleasant surprise. Helpfully for parents wanting to finish their food, the tables surround an under-3’s softplay area (under 5’s allowed outside the caged bit, I think is what I got from the slightly over the top signs) that felt comfortable enough to send Weasel in on her own. There’s also a covered picnic area for byo.
Changing: Unisex, but slightly grubby looking even on a day where the park was practically empty. Could do with some updating, which hopefully they’ll be doing when they close from the 4th of November for the next 3 months.
Verdict: Definitely good for a sunny day running around. And don’t be ridiculous and say your kid is 2 a full 12 hours after they turn 2. Over-proud dad…