Having a birthday at the end of October means you get to team the usual birthday celebrations with one of the most fun seasons of the year – Halloween! When looking at ideas for Roo’s birthday celebrations, we wanted something which offered a little more than the standard witches and ghouls. When we discovered Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival, our choice was made!
Willows Farm with Peter Rabbit and Friends was a highly anticipated event in the family calendar. I have a life long love of Beatrix Potter which I’ve (proudly) passed on to the boys. And we are all now a little Peter Rabbit mad. Add into the mix talk of Halloween fun and we were at excitement level 11 out of 10!
So did the Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival meet our high expectations? Read on and find out…
A Birthday Treat at Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival
After a short trip around the M25 and half the CBeebies anthem CD played, we arrived at Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival. Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival takes all the best bits of Willows Farm and adds a family friendly Halloween twist. We excitedly hurried to the entrance where we had our first Halloween-y encounter…
We missed a trick (or treat?!) by not dressing up in Halloween costumes. For each day of the Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival, there’s a competition for the best Halloween themed fancy dress. Get your little ones kitted out in their favourite Halloween attire to be in with a chance to win some fantastic goodies.
On entry, a daily programme of events is provided. Because there’s a lot to see and do, this is a really useful tool for planning how and when you’ll get around everything you want to.
If you’re Peter Rabbit fans like us, then the live shows and meet and greet experiences are not to be missed. Head to the first show of the day – The Peter Rabbit show. It’s a great interactive sing-and-dance-along with the main Peter Rabbit and friends characters – Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail.
After the show, we explored The Peter Rabbit Adventure playground nearby. The playground is split into different areas – Mrs Tiggy-Winkle Kitchen, Peter Rabbit Secret Treehouse and Jeremy Fisher’s Music Pond. Lots of fun was had on the different equipment and shooting down the many slides. Roo particularly enjoyed “making music” in Jeremy Fishers area. OB was pretty impressed with the climbing options and “real life” Peter Rabbit statues.
Now onto the Halloween Fun!
After the playground we enjoyed some tasty dishes from the lunch menu at the Peter Rabbit Burrows Cafe. After lunch we then moved onto the Halloween events. The Halloween specific event which run are: Pumpkin picking at the Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Carving, The Pumpkin Magic Show and Pumpkin Arts and Crafts in the Events Marquee.
With an entry ticket, every child gets to pick a pumpkin from the crop grown in Willows own Pumpkin Patch. Its the best part of the Pumpkin Festival and undoubtedly make the ‘childhood memories’ shortlist.
The Pumpkin Patch is located to the very rear of the farm. You can pick any pumpkin in the entire patch – there are all different sizes, shapes and colours on offer. Literally thousands to choose from. It’s great fun picking your way through the pumpkins trying to find the one you’re looking for. The children (and adults) absolutely love it!
It’s worth considering how you’ll store the chosen pumpkin/s for the rest of the day. We had under-buggy storage space so we could go large!
To carve pumpkins, head to the Pumpkin Carving area where helpers are on hand to support little ones with carving. We chose to carve our pumpkin at home because there was still so much to see and do. We did however enjoy some Halloween themed arts and crafts!
What else is there to do at Willows Farm?
Aside from Peter Rabbit & Friends and the Halloween event, there’s a huge amount of family fun to be had in the rest of Willows Farm. There’s absolutely loads to see and do. The farm provides an opportunity for children to see lots of different animals and get up close. There are daily animal encounters, pig races, milking demonstrations and pet-a-pet sessions.
The woolly jumpers indoor area is a huge soft play suitable for babies up until 12 years. The Under 2’s soft play ensures the littlest visitors are free to explore without being bulldozed by the (understandably) super excited older children. To ride the slides, socks must be worn and arms and legs must be covered. Children not suitably dressed are not allowed to ride the slides.
There are also sandpits, tractor and tailor rides, JCB Young Drivers area, inflatables, fun fair rides and more.
Willows Farm have a “only milk the cows” pricing policy. This means the entrance ticket is all inclusive and there are no additional charges for rides or entertainment on offer. Therefore visiting Willows Farm during the Pumpkin Festival provides excellent value for money for parents. Not only do you get all the great ‘seasonal extras’ and Peter Rabbit fun, you get access to the full activity farm and all the activities on offer.
To help with planning a trip to Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival, below are some common question and answers about visiting. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, pop a comment in the questions box.
Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival – Most FAQ’s
Where is Willows Farm? St Albans – just off junction 22 of M25 and easily accessible from London and surrounding Home Counties
What dates are Willows Farm Pumpkin Festival on for 2018? Thursday 25th October until Sunday 4th November
Do I need to pre-book? Pre-booking is available (and discounted) but you can buy tickets on the day
How much is entry? On the Door Tickets are £23 child, £22 adult, £21 senior. Under 2s go for free. Booking in advance saves £4 on each ticket so £19 child, £18 adult, £17 senior
How long do we need here? A full day is needed to get around all the attractions and shows.
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