Sunday, 4 May 2014

Holiday time .... part 4.... Essex .... Easton Farm Park

The boys love going to farms/ zoos  but living in a city we don't have that many (well not that we haven't been to loads of times).    I remember fondly going to a farm when I was little, but when I looked into it for taking the boys they have really sold out know turning themselves into more of a theme park and charging extortionate prices.  Then we discovered Easton Farm Park.  The lovely place is just an hours drive from my mums (where we were staying) and costs a reasonable £30 for a Noah's Ark ticket (2 adults, 2 children).  Once in every activity is inclusive in the price (with a charge only for the tractor rides over the Summer)

Subject to change

We packed a picnic and set off.....the weather was typically British and couldn't work out if it wanted to rain or stay dry as we made our way, considering whether to carry on or try and find something indoors to do.   But we carried on as we had packed coats..... and were so glad we did.

We arrived at 12 o'clock and were given a map and a schedule.

The lady told us to dash over to the pen next to her as "meet the babies" was about to begin.  As we arrived they were bottle feeding baby lambs and the man handed the bottle straight to Ben so he could have a turn.

Just as the feeding finished the rain started, so while we went to wash our hands at one of the many stations situated around the farm Grandma dashed back to the car to fetch the coats and picnic which we enjoyed in the "picnic barn".
This barn is great, it had a sandpit (that we had to keep the boys out of until AFTER lunch) and loads of adult and child sized seating and also lets you take any food purchased from the 'Barmy Barn' outside to eat should you wish.

Just as the picnic finished so did the rain, fantastic timing and we headed over the animals.  The boys spotted a train and went to look.  Just as the lady came over for the train rides (the schedule was slightly different to the one above).... so we hopped on board for a trip around the farm.

Off the train and we headed down to The Green Trail while is was dry.  This is a really lovely walk through   the water meadows along the river Deben. You can see some of our rarer breeds of Easton Farms cattle and sheep.  We smelt the wild garlic and checked out the blossom that had fallen off the trees before veering off the track and into the woods.

On the way back up we went into the Victorian parlour to show the boys the old equipment, and tell the story or how Victorians used to be used to make butter.  They loved the hands on experiences.

As we headed back up into the farm it was time for the pony rides so we joined the very short queue for the boys first ever rides, which they really enjoyed.

We really DID set off to look around the farm after that ....... getting as far as Molly the gorgeous horse who wanted nothing more than attention and lots of it.....

........ before spotting the Bug Barrel train in operation so the boys hopped on board for a couple of trips around the farm.

NOW we'll go and see the animals :)  With a quick stop at the shop to get them some food.

The baby goats (kids) were soo cute and loved to nibble your fingers as we retold the Billy Goats Gruff story watching them play on the bridge.

No sooner had we set foot from the goats when we were called to go and help hunt for eggs..... so we did.
 By this point the farm was really quiet with just the boys and 2 other children there to help which meant that had plenty of chances to find and feel the warm eggs.

It did take Noah a while to realise the chickens didn't lay Chocolate Eggs!!!!

We were then taken over to see what happens when you don't eat the eggs, but hatch them instead.

Next stop was the milking parlour where the boys tried their hand at milking a cow and checked out the old farming equipment

We found some houses .......

.... Saw some piglets.....

..... and some beautiful soft fluffy bunnies and guinea pigs......

There is plenty more to do at the farm with indoor soft play areas and outdoor play areas, we just ran out of time..... the boys did however LOVE the tractors.
The tractors are situated at the entrance with 2 sizes and can be taken around the farm for the kids to ride on.

Easton Farm Park,
IP13 0EQ

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