Parenting

Top 5 Local Family Day trips

The Exhausted Mum’s Top 5…Local Family Day Trips

As much as you love your home town, some days, you just want to escape and try somewhere new. You’ve probably exhausted every park in the vicinity & you fancy heading outta town. You don’t want to drive for miles because you can’t be bothered to pack your entire life into the car and you’re also trying to juggle your trip in between your children’s nap and feeding times. Where do you go?

1.HOBBLEDOWN (30 mins)-Hobbledown is a multi award winning adventure park & zoo, a truly a magical place where children can play and let their imaginations run wild.

As well as an indoor playbarn, which consists of a huge indoor soft play and restaurant, they also have an outdoor adventure playground for slightly older children. The adventure playground is set in the mysterical grounds and includes underground tunnels & some amazing climbing equipment which will keep children entertained for hours.

You can also explore the Hobbledown village and the animals which include; sheep, rabbits, meerkats, llamas, birds, camels and goats.

Hobbledown is a fantastic place to take children in wet or dry weather, however to get the full experience and make the most of your entrance fee, then we would recommend visiting when the weather is dry. In our opinion, Hobbledown is well worth visiting and a truly unique venue for a wonderful family day out.

2. BOCKETTS FARM (45 mins) -Bocketts Farm is a working farm set in the Surrey countryside and is perfect for a fun-filled family day out. It is our go-to farm whenever we fancy a change of scenery.

There are a variety of animals (goats, llamas, chickens, horses, rabbits, cows etc) for the children to pet and feed (you can purchase animal-feed at the entrance gate).They also have a reptile handling area which a lot of children seemed to love, although ours were too scared to hold!

There is the Big Kids Play Barn; a huge indoor play area open to all ages which includes a giant four-lane astro-slide, perfect for family races! There are trampolines indoors and outdoors, for when the great British weather lets you down!

For the under 5’s there’s a giant jumping pillow, a tree house and a go-kart track plus an outdoor playground with swings, climbing equipment etc. For adults, there’s The Old Barn Tearooms and The Cow Shed Coffee Bar; the perfect venues to grab some lunch, a coffee & some delicious cake. There is so much to do at Bocketts Farm, it’s well worth paying a visit, it won’t disappoint.

3. HAMPTON COURT PALACE-THE MAGIC GARDEN (35 MINS) –Hampton Court Palace is well worth visiting in its own right, but during the summer months they open The Magic Garden; a large children’s playground in the grounds of the famous 16th-century Tudor palace.

They have a variety of mysterious mythical beasts, some of which you can climb onto (they also vent smoke and make noises), there is a large sand pit with racks and water pumps including a sandy river, the climbing area has several towers & well-constructed bridges so little ones can take themselves back & pretend to storm the battlements and besiege the towers, there is also a secret grotto to explore and a shallow water area including a pontoon, raft and rope for little ones to cross. Our daughters absolutely loved playing in the water fountains (ensure you visit well-prepared with towels and swimsuits; we weren’t so prepared and so it was soggy pants all round). They have some amazing slides too; the inner-child within you can let loose and come flying down with your little ones in tow; best times.

It is all set on artificial grass which is extremely soft underfoot and perfect for children to roll down the slopes safely. During exceptionally busy periods (weekends in particular), it’s worth noting that your time may be limited to 90 minutes, so it’s better to visit at off-peak times (their website can advise you on the best time to go). You cannot purchase tickets in advance, so ensure you plan ahead. Overall, we love a trip to Hampton Court Palace, the gardens of the main palace itself are also breathtakingly beautiful and there are lots of places to lunch outside of the palace around the river, so it’s well worth a family day out. The Magic Garden most definitely provides a new and unique way for your family to explore the palace’s past whilst also teaching your children a little bit of history. Enjoy 🙂

4. GARSONS FARM ESHER(30 MINS) Garsons Farm is an award-winning garden centre & farm shop. You will also find one of the UK’s largest ‘Pick Your Own’ farms, which is the perfect activity to do with little ones during the summer months; our daughters love a trip to Garsons as it has so many elements under one roof.

Once you have finished collecting your fruit & veg, you can head inside for some lunch; they have a lovely spacious restaurant & huge selection of mouth-watering cakes (they also have loads of high-chairs, a kids menu, a kids packed-lunch option, a bottle warmer for feeds etc so they are very well-equipped for families).

They recently opened an outdoor play area for little ones which consists of swings, a mini-kitchen, climbing apparel, slides, ropes etc and whilst it’s not huge, it certainly does the job to keep them entertained and has been a welcome addition to Garsons Farm.

The staff are all super-friendly and the inside of the garden centre is mahoosive; they have everything from birthday cards, kids toys and lovely gift ideas to sun-loungers and garden furniture sets (NOTE; towards the end of each season, they have incredible offers and you can often find yourself an absolute bargain!). In addition, you will also find the farm shop itself towards the entrance; a place to stock up on some fresh ingredients for dinner, all the produce is super-tasty and most definitely a hit in our household. If you haven’t yet visited, it’s well worth a trip this summer.

5. BATTERSEA PARK CHILDREN’S ZOO Battersea park children’s zoo is a huge hit at Electric Earlsfield HQ. It has some fantastic play areas for children of all ages including; toy tractors, climbing frames, slides, trampolines, mechanical rides, a sand pit and water play section, plus a decommissioned fire engine and a life-sized tractor for some imaginative play.

There are a wonderful range of animals including; snakes, meerkats, sheep, donkeys, rabbits, bunnies, monkeys, otters, ferrets, hedgehogs, birds etc and the zoo is actually the perfect size for tiring out your little monkeys; it’s small enough for exploring, but not too big for little legs.

Parents can enjoy a well-deserved rest on the seating and picnic tables surrounding the play areas or enjoy a snack from The Lemon Tree Cafe. If you’re looking for a fantastic day out at a lovely local zoo, then head over to Battersea Park Children’s Zoo.