Monday was Poppet’s first birthday. We knew the days before would be busy with her party being on Sunday so we planned to have a quieter day (just the 3 of us) on her birthday. My husband booked the day off work and we decided to head to the Cheshire farm, the ice cream, if the weather was OK. We had a back up plan for if rained but thankfully when the day arrived we couldn’t have asked for better weather.
Since having Poppet I often think about all the fantastic places we visited when I was growing up and I want Poppet to experience them but I grew up in Yorkshire and we now live in Cheshire (about 90 minutes away). Obviously the places I have fond memories of aren’t the most convenient for us now. So I’m always on the look out for recommendations of places to take Poppet. I found the Cheshire farm online & it sounded like a nice place to visit. Even though it is an hours drive from us we chose it, because there are farm animals and soft play, 2 of poppet’s favorite things at present. Admission is free but there are a few activities that you have to pay for, however they all seemed reasonably priced. These include crazy golf (£1 per person) and quads (£1 for 2 laps). I can honestly say we weren’t disappointed with our choice and I would recommend it as a great family day out here in Cheshire.
There are lots of outdoor and indoor activities for children of all ages. We loved the adventure playgrounds. There are two for older children (1 is more of an agility trail with zip wires and climbing frames and the other is almost like a fort with a great spiral slide) and a lovely little one for under 3s. Poppet loved this little playground especially the slide. The circular climbing frame is also a round about which she quiet enjoyed. There is also a sand pit under the fence (not shown) which has buckets and spades left in it. We gave the sand pit a miss this time but I thought it was a lovely idea for toddlers.
As we expected Poppet was fascinated by the animals in the fields. There were a couple of miniature ponies, donkeys, pigs, goats, alpacas and peacocks. There were also a few hutches with rabbits and guinea pigs in them. You can also watch the cows being milk if you happen to be there at the right time in their viewing gallery.
There is also a fantastic soft play barn, ice cream themed of course. The toddler area is for those up to 90cm and is free. The main area for older children is charged at £3 week days and £3.50 weekends and bank holidays (you get a wrist band so you can go in and out through out the day). The toddler area was fantastic and better than some toddler areas that I have been to that charge. This was by far Poppet’s favorite part and I think we must have spent over 90 minutes in there (split over two visits). She is very active and never still so it is her idea of heaven to be able to crawl round, at speed, without us constantly pulling her away from areas that are not suitable for her. There is slide in there which came up to my waist. She loves to climb stairs so she quickly climbed to the top and before we got chance to stop her, she rolled down the slide head first! absolutely no fear or sence of danger, I need eye’s in the back of my head! Thankfully she loved it but we made sure to stay extra close any time she went near the slide.
Of course we couldn’t visit an ice cream farm without sampling the ice creams. At Cheshire farm they make award winning ice cream in over 40 flavours. I tried their butterscotch and also the white chocolate, raspberry and oreos. Both were delicious. Poppet tried a bit of our ice creams too and seemed to like them. She seems to have more self control than either of her parents though and quickly decided to seal her lips and refuse anymore!
We all had a fantastic day and I have no doubt we will be back many times over the coming years. I’d love to hear any suggestions you might have of great places to take children (particularly toddlers) in Cheshire, the Peak district or the Manchester area (both indoor and outdoors). I’m sure I’ll get to take Poppet to some of the museums, parks and farms I remember from my childhood when we visit her grandparents but we will have to start finding new places to create family memories a bit closer to home too.
NOTE – The Chisehire ice cream farm has undergone a major renovation since this post was written and is now even better.