Mummy Diaries | Pumpkin Hocus Pocus at Thrift Farm, Whaddon

Goats at the farm

Friday 23 October 2020

When Alfie was really little and I was on (my extended) maternity leave, we went to Thrift Farm loads – and even had a loyalty card. We hadn’t been for ages, probably well over a year, so when I had a day off, I booked us tickets. We visited during the Hocus Pocus event (23-31 October), which meant for every paying child, you got a free pumpkin. There were plenty of other themed activities and decorations too – a pumpkin patch, carving and craft in the gazebo, plus the Hocus Pocus trail and all sorts of Spooktacular fun.

NEW – Pedal Tractors

On arrival, the first thing Alfie wanted to do was ride the pedal tractors and Little Tykes cars. His legs were too short to pedal the tractors, and I wasn’t able to push him very well, but he was more than happy just sat on one. He loves tractors. The Crazy Coupes were more his thing, and he’s always loved those. I sometimes regret not buying one, but for the lack of space. He could have easily spent ages doing laps of the tracks – and it’s a really good little addition to the farm! The equipment is suitable for children under the age of 10, but I would probably say under 5s on the cars, and 5-10 year olds on the tractors.

Little boy on a green pedal tractor

NEW – Thrifty’s Outside Park

And another amazing upgrade is the outdoor play area, with equipment suitable for all ages. The play area is set within a giant sandpit, so there’s the opportunity to build sandcastles, transport sand on trucks or even play with it on the play area – there’s some metal bowls on pulleys and things you can play with. Alfie was drawn to the ‘bigger kids’ area, so I had to really keep an eye on him. He loved climbing up and down the ramps, going across the wobbly bridge and sliding down – before repeating over and over. It was difficult to get him away.

There’s also a giant red tractor to sit on and play with. It’s similar to the one we saw at The Patch MK. It was incredibly popular, with kids constantly crowding around, waiting for a turn. Sadly, some older children were climbing all over it and trying to get on while the younger ones were playing and having photo opportunities. They even pushed in front of Alfie more than once, as they were climbing all over it while the younger ones took their time getting off.

SEASONAL – Pumpkin Patch & Craft Marquee

Although we had an afternoon booked at The Patch MK for the weekend, Alfie really enjoyed the mini pumpkin patch, and choosing his pumpkin. There were hundreds in all different sizes, but they were just all orange ones, no squash varieties. In the marquee, you could carve your pumpkin, or just take it home. We didn’t carve ours – firstly, because I don’t know how to, and secondly, Alfie’s attention span wouldn’t hold out.

There was also wand making in the tent. Choose a stick and then decorate with a choice of coloured wool, feathers and other items. It was such a fun (and cute) task! Despite saying all afternoon that he wanted a wand, when it came down to it, Alfie got bored easily – so I only managed to get two different coloured strands of wool on it. It looked very sparse. He then wanted to run off out of the tent – but not before he got his mini bag of Haribo Starmix for ‘completing’ the craft.

Little boy in a field of orange pumpkins

And of course, the animals

At the entrance, we paid £1 for some animal feed and were told we could feed all the animals with it, except the ponies, donkeys and rabbits. Alfie absolutely loved stroking and feeding the goats. They were so friendly – maybe not so much to each other, as they butted one another out of the way to get to the food – and loved all the attention. I also fed one of the cows, but Alfie was quite scared. In fairness, it was a big cow, and as he went to grab the food, he had the longest (and roughest) tongue! It creeped me out a little bit, and as the cow gobbled it up, he scratched my hand. It was honestly the weirdest feeling.

This was in the all new animal barn, which has arrows pointing in a clockwise direction to keep everyone safe and socially distanced while you walk around. Of course, in the barn, there was a large handwashing station – and walking around the farm, there was plenty of hand sanitiser and other hand washing stations, so that was never an issue.

Little boy feeding a goat at the farm
We didn’t get to walk around the paddock, as Alfie was more interested in all the different play areas, but we will be back for sure – especially as Alfie keeps asking to go to the farm. But there was just enough time to see the gorgeous Shetland ponies and the pigs (who were asleep). We even entered the new petting zone, which runs every hour. The rabbits were being well-loved by plenty of children, so we didn’t get too close and Alfie just watched on, before asking to return to the pigs!

Thrift Farm is always good value for an afternoon out. We didn’t go this time, but we love the Food 4 Thought café, which is also really reasonably priced. Despite the car park (and overflow!) being completely rammed, which made me panic, social distancing wasn’t an issue at all. The covid-19 guidelines are all on the website, which is where you need to pre-book your tickets. Once you’ve selected your arrival time, you’re free to stay as long as you like. We booked 2pm and stayed for just over 90 minutes!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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