Today we visited Hollow Tree farm in Suffolk. This is a new place for us but we’d heard lovely things so thought we’d go for a try.
- Distance (I’m not driving far away to find it sets him off and we have to come back).
- Cost (again for the same reason as above and because quite frankly children are expensive so we try to save money where we can).
- Is it crowded? How much space is there? (J doesn’t do well with loud and crowded places).
- Is there somewhere to eat? (Is it best to take picnic? Is there a child friendly cafe? Ideally I will want us sat far away from noise such as coffee machines as they make J really anxious).
- What can he do? (J isn’t really a ‘look at this’ child. He likes to be active so I always look out for play parks, fields/grass etc.
- Can I take the buggy? (J creates his own little ‘space’ in the buggy which is great when things get too much for him). Sometimes I leave buggy in car so try to park close so it’s easy to get too.
Hollow Tree Farm passed every test. It was less than an hour from home, only cost £3 to get in (J was free). The bag of food for animals was 50p. I can’t believe somewhere that offered so much, was so cheap!
What was there?
Firstly, we went through the barn to see the animals. There were babies so I was very excited. J was a bit spooked by the cows (they were very big) but he got straight in there with the sheep and lambs. He was happily feeding them…but only from finger tips as he found the whole slobbery palm thing just too gross.
Then we went for a walk outside. It was such a lovely day. The farm wasn’t too big so we could get around easily. There were little trails and activities regularly dotted around. J liked walking along the wooden planks, sitting on the crocodile and feeding the goats using this funny mechanic feeding ‘machine’ (I’m not sure what it’s actually called).
There was a lovely ‘natural’ park with trees and branches to climb, mud hills to run up and down and an amazing slide (which J went on multiple times and laughed his head off). I think he liked it so much because he likes to be ‘enclosed’. He likes being hidden inside things so he loved this dark tunnel.
To help J with his transport obsessions there was a real life tractor to sit on, little ride on toys and a track to go around and a sandpit with diggers. The sandpit was an indoor one which was great for having some time out of the sun.
We also practiced Makaton signing for the animals. J can do many of them himself (with a little reminder). It’s great to use both the symbols and the signs for ‘real life’ rather than just in books and with Tv shows.
We went to the cafe for lunch. Prices weren’t cheap but the food was decent sized portions and really tasty. They had loads of cakes and biscuits AND a farm shop.
I think this is a great place to visit and very family friendly. We look forward to our next visit.
Ps: click here for a FREE ‘Old MacDonald’ Makaton downloadable signing sheet.