Head down to the farm to feed the animals and explore the outdoors.
Set in 12 acres of the rolling Northamptonshire countryside in the village of Welford is Mini Meadows Farm, a specialist breeder of rare and unusual poultry and, since August 2013, home to a children’s farm.
Travelling from Great Oakley, it was about a half-hour journey – but a very easy one.
The farm is only a few minutes’ drive from Junction 1 of the A14 and my three-year-old Ruby and I were excited by our new experience ahead.
We hadn’t been here before and decided to visit after a recommendation from a friend.
As you drive in you’ll pass the cows and sheep.
It’s a relatively small farm so the car park isn’t huge but there was plenty of space to park when we went.
Ruby was eager to get out of the car and head inside, so off we went!
At the desk we paid our entrance fee – which in my view was very light on the purse!
Just £3 per adult and £2 per child (and under-twos do get in for free).
There is also the option to buy a bucket of feed for the animals for just £1.50, which I’d definitely recommend.
In your bucket you’ll get three cups, each filled with different feed for different animals.
But don’t worry, each cup is colour coded and the front of the bucket shows you what feed is for which animals.
To the left as you venture outside, you’ll notice the chipmunks which were pretty mesmerising – though it was a bit of a hard job keeping an eye on them!
They’re pretty nifty and were zooming around their cage, with one doing continuous summersaults!
We were lucky enough to be given some special food by one of the workers, Ben, to feed them with, which was great (as you can’t feed them with the animal feed in the bucket).
As soon as we stepped outside we were greeted by lots of chickens.
Ruby was a little apprehensive at first but soon calmed down when I showed her how easy it was to feed them.
And it wasn’t too long before all the feed for the chickens had gone...
We then strolled along to see the pigs which were happily playing in the mud.
But as soon as they sniffed out food, they were over like a shot.
On the farm you’ll also find rabbits (big and small), turkeys, ducks, geese, sheep, goats, cows, llama, alpacas, donkeys, pigs, horses, rheas, rabbits and guinea pigs.
So plenty for little ones to see and get up close to.
Once you’ve had enough of feeding the animals, there’s a lovely little outdoor play area with swings, slides, climbing frame and ride-on toy tractors – as well as a huge tractor to sit on.
There are also plenty of picnic tables dotted around so remember to bring a picnic with you.
After an hour or so outdoors, we headed inside to the indoor ‘beach’ area.
Ruby had lots of fun digging in the sand, building sandcastles – and making me pretend food to eat!
Talking of food, there is no cafe on site (although they have one planned for next year) but they do have some tables inside and you can buy hot and cold drinks, plus a few snacks, which you’ll need to pay for at desk at the entrance.
There are also toilets and baby changing facilities available on site.
Dotted around the farm are also plenty of hand sanitising units – essential if you’re feeding or petting the animals.
Before we left I held one of the guinea pigs. And Ruby was brave and held one too – although she only lasted a few seconds before she wanted it off her lap (She’s still not sure about little furry creatures!).
All in all we had a lovely visit and I’d certainly recommend it as it allows children to feed lots of different animals while getting to play outside or inside in the sandpit.
It may be small in size compared to others out there but it has all you’d expect to find at a farm – and all at a great value price.
Where you’ll find them
The farm is not far from Junction 1 of the A14 and can be found on Naseby Road, Welford, Northants, NN6 6HZ.
Open every day from 10am to 5pm (including Bank Holidays) although closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Entry is just £3 per adult and £2 per child (under-twos are free).
For more information visit www.minimeadowsfarm.com or call 07824 393517.
Coming soon is an indoor tractor circuit and the farm is hoping its new cafe will be open for business by summer 2015.
Fancy winning an annual pass to Mini Meadows Farm? They’ve got three, worth £25 each, to give away!
Each pass gives you free entry for two adults and your children, however many you have.
Please include your name and address. The winners will be chosen at random.