We paid a visit to Park Hall Countryside Experience in Oswestry, Shropshire. The website says it is “one of the region’s most exciting all weather family visitor attractions”. Well, I don’t know what the other attractions are, but we found this to be a very exciting place! We spent the whole day here, and there was certainly something for us all to enjoy; I can recommend Park Hall farm for a day out with a toddler.
The entrance price is the same for adults and children (over the age of two), and I think £8.40 each for a full day of activities is reasonable.
There are a number of historical exhibits, such as the Victorian Schoolroom, and World War II, but due to the number of mannequins I avoided taking James in these! He didn’t respond very well to the mannequins in Sunderland Air Museum!
We went straight to the soft play barn. There are two bouncy castles, a death slide, and lots of other things to play or climb on in here. James enjoyed the wooden tractor. Noah was able to have a little play, too, as there’s a baby sensory area.
Next door was the small animals handling room, where, at specific times during the day, you can touch and stroke rabbits and guinea pigs.
I had forgotten just how lovely it feels to touch a rabbit. They are SO SOFT! It made me want to cuddle up in a ball of rabbity softness, but of course rabbits aren’t very cuddley, are they?!
Nearby there is a huge sand pit with so many construction vehicles and the usual sand paraphernalia that you’d like to think toddlers wouldn’t need to ‘share’. Haha, of course, it always the case when toddlers get together that they want what the other child has. The grass is always greener!
At Park Hall Countryside Experience there are a lot of scheduled activities to watch or take part in, but also a great load of things to do at any time. The climbing frames, soft play areas, and the playgrounds are all really well equipped!
James loved these Space Hoppers. It was so fun to see a field of children (and adults) all bouncing on different sized hoppers! Very colourful.
The baby lambs had already been fed when we got there, so the slightly bigger lambs came along for some milk when we sat down. My camera wasn’t on the proper setting so the photos of James’ expression after he had held the lamb’s bottle haven’t come out well, but let me tell you – he was so proud to have helped the lamb have their snack!
It’s so important to wash your hands thoroughly after touching animals, and after cleaning up we played for a while in this car. It’s a Fiat Personal in brown, I think, though I’m open to correction! Inside was a cassette player and an ashtray – both now pretty much confined to history, I think, though I’m sure this car wasn’t that old!
After driving a very long way, we went outside to watch the pig racing; a very exciting time!
Here they come!
The blue pig was the winner.
We stopped for lunch – there is a cafe and picnic tables if you are organised and take a packed lunch. Prices are average, the food is basic but tasty enough – I overheard someone say, “Well, it wasn’t the best baked potato I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t bad” – and you can get a meal deal box for kids.
There is a large indoor area with loads of ride on tractors. James rode around on about five different makes and models. Again, my camera wasn’t playing, so I have lots of blurry photos of an estatic James!
And then on to James’ favourite thing of all in this fabulous farm – a tractor ride!
I stayed behind with Noah while my dad rode in the trailer with James. As the tractor drove away from me I could hear James laughing with excitement! For the rest of the time at the farm and all evening, James repeated, “I enjoyed the tractor, it went pop, pop, pop!”
When the boys came back we got a coffee while James disappeared into the play barn’s soft play. He spent a good while in there and then we went to see the big work horses.
We met Charm on the yard, and she did a big poop on the ground. “We don’t do poops on the floor, Charm!” James shouted, before adding, “And we don’t do poops in our pants!” Quite.
A full day at the Countryside experience was absolutely exhausting, and James fell asleep in the car on the way back to my parents’ house. I think if I lived near here I would get the annual pass – by the time you’ve been four times it starts to pay for itself, and there is such a huge variety of activities to do that I think no two visits would be the same. There were so many things, like the driving experience and the miniature village, that we just didn’t even get to see. We occasionally hurried James to the next thing, so if you had an annual pass you could let the children play until they naturally moved along. A brilliant day out at Park Hall Countryside Experience – a big thumbs up from us!