Old Macdonalds Farm

With a free Sunday last weekend, we decided to venture across the water to Old Macdonalds Farm in Brentwood. We’ve never been before as it always seems so far away. But actually we jumped in the car and 35 minutes later we were parked up in the car park ready to go.
imageSo it’s a cross between a farm, a play area, and a theme park. Entrance prices were pretty reasonable especially as I had a £10 off voucher. Peppa Pig was visiting the farm on the Sunday we went, so it was quite busy. There was a range of animals to see your usual farm animals plus some random ones in there too like meerkats, otters, and emus. There were lots of fun little facts on the way round, plus each animal had a feeding area, so the kids could safely feed the animals.

image.jpegThe layout of the farm means that you can see the majority of the animals then go to the other side to go on the rides. Mop top loved the sand pit area, it has different size diggers to play on. There were a few rides Mop Top was too small for but still plenty of other rides and play areas she could play on.


We did see Peppa, but it was pretty much a conveyor belt of small children passing by. Quick picture then move on. We managed to get pretty close to the front of the queue on the first session, but after that the queue was ridiculous for most of the day. And I have to say I probably wouldn’t have waited.

The Peppa Pig queue!!

I’d say it’s worth a visit, I can’t see us returning any time soon as we pretty much did it all. When Mop Top is bigger we may return to go on the other rides.

I grabbed a voucher of a leaflet from a local shop, so make sure you get a discount voucher to save you some pennies!

Soft Play; Its not for the faint hearted


With two babies I like to get out and about as much as possible. When its cold outside I always feel stuck and really limited for ideas about where to go and what to do.

We venture to soft play every so often and as the title suggests they are not for the faint hearted. We have quite a few in our area, and they are hit and miss, with a few I vow to avoid.

Usually they are jam packed as every other mum within a 20 mile radius has had the same idea. There are shoes everywhere, chairs moved all over the place to suit different party sizes and its generally very noisy. Don’t even get me started on the germs they must be filled with. Eurgghhh.

I am very aware I sound like a grumpy old woman but these are the realities of my life right now.

There appears to be a category of child at all of these places. Firstly the fast child, running everywhere, doesn’t care for anything in his or her way, just feels the need to run and run fast. Secondly the loud ones, usually shouting, nothing specific just quite loud. The timid ones, clinging close to mum but occasionally gaining enough confidence to explore, but sure to return to mums side. And finally the crying one, kicking of about something, with usually a flustered mum trying to soothe them (We’ve all been in that boat)

Mop top is still either the clingy one or the crying one, she takes a while to warm up if we go anywhere. but I’m sure I’ll be experiencing her running into everything in site and shouting at the top of her voice soon enough.

Now I read this out loud to my mum, and she suggested I write something positive about soft play as it is all very ‘negative’ so far. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for soft play. Usually if its cold or us mums want to meet up with out too much hassle. The kids run around and play and we can (hopefully) grab a quick coffee with a little bit of chat in between rescuing each child from the third floor slide.

We will continue to try out different soft plays in our area, and I am sure Mop Top and Bear will fit into one of those categories at one time or another.

Feel free to share your experiences of soft play by leaving a comment.



P.S After todays incident I would like to add a child’s category, but I am not really sure how to do it politely.  The child you’d quite like to discipline your self but isn’t one of your own so you cant.

(Mop Top came out with a nasty scratch down her face, but did give as good as she got.)