Mummy Diaries | Christmas at Thrift Farm

Little boy looking on at an animal barn full of goats

Note:
even though I’ve backdated this post, the tier system has changed since the time of writing and consequently, this experience is no longer available. The website states that the café and farm park will remain closed until the beginning of February.

It wasn’t that long ago that we visited Thrift Farm, as I booked Alfie on the pumpkin Hocus Pocus Halloween event. We had loads of fun that day, and he didn’t want to come home, eventually being dragged kicking and screaming. With that in mind, I just had to book the Christmas special event asap. But sadly, the weather wasn’t in our favour, and it was too wet (and cold) to do a lot of the outdoor things.

Food 4 Thought Café

First, a pitstop was needed. While we don’t always visit the café, we’ve never had a bad experience, and I was pleased too see a festive menu out in force. Unfortunately, we’d had lunch before arriving for our Santa slot, but that didn’t stop me ordering a mince pie. Alfie was in on the action too, asking for the raisins and the pastry top, which was in the shape of a star. I also ordered a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, which was delicious, and very warming. The boys got cold soft drinks – a carton of juice for Alfie and a Pepsi max for Ash.

There’s also a small shop within the café – on my last couple of visits, I’ve been unable to find the previous one which was much larger. I’m not sure if it’s all change because of Covid. But there was a decent selection of toys and some local produce – like eggs and bottled apple juice. That’s one of my favourite things about farm shops and Christmas – we always used to have russet juice at home. We didn’t end up buying anything, although Alfie had his eye on a couple of the dinosaur bits and cars.

Little boy decorating a gingerbread man
Father Christmas experience

I thought it was quite short in comparison to other places, but it was still magical, nonetheless. We made out way to the barn, where one of the elves met us and took us inside. We had to present our passport (which was basically the admission ticket with our timed slot and number of our party) and then hold onto it, before making our way through the barn, following the fenced maze to where Father Christmas was. There was a fence up separating us from him, and Alfie wanted to climb through the gaps and go in. After that, he wasn’t fazed at all.

A bit like last time, he only answered questions when prompted and soon got distracted by all the decorations in the grotto, including a couple of mechanical bears – which meant he was ignoring Father Christmas altogether. We followed the elf to our next port of call – the toy workshop.

Now this was impressive! Another elf was behind a counter, which was fully packed out with toys for kids of all ages. Even better, they were in age order, and all Alfie needed to do was exchange his Christmas passport for a toy of his choosing. First up, he was looking at the baby toys, before we moved along and picked him up so he could see the ‘older’ toys. He chose a car that turns into a dinosaur – it’s pretty cool, and they do a shark version as well. We will have to keep our eyes out for other items in the set.

And last up, it was time to decorate a gingerbread man. We were the only family in the room but were told to sit at a certain table. The elf handed us a paper plate, consisting of a gingerbread man, a pot of icing (with a spreader) and a pot of Smarties. Of course, I got roped into the decorating while Alfie just ate the icing and decorations. Spreading really thick icing with a tea stirrer was not the easiest so I did it as quickly as possible, as it was clear that Alfie was ready to move on.

Man petting rabbits at the farm
Fun on the Farm

Once again, like on our last visit, we paid £1 for a bag of animal feed – and I regretted not buying two lots, as we used it up so quickly! We went alongside the barns, where there are pigs, goats and the Shetland ponies, and Alfie just kept wanting to feed the goats. He got quite animated too, when he went to feed one of the goats and the other one got jealous and butted his friend out the way!

We also went into the animal barn, which is always full of animals – again, lots of goats! Face masks were needed to be worn in there (as well as the Christmas experience and café) and this was when we really needed to have some feed left! By this point, Alfie was asking to go on the tractors and crazy coupes, but sadly it was too wet, and instead, we went to the petting zone.

This time around, there were a couple of alpacas, some rabbits and guinea pigs. Alfie was quite unsure about petting and was happy to just look at the animals. The guinea pigs seemed quite nervous when they were being strokes, but the bunnies loved all the attentions. They were so fluffy. I’m not sure whether the petting zone is a new development/upgrade, but it’s a great way of getting the kids involved. The staff are always so friendly and knowledgeable about the animals too.

Rain, rain – go away

And then like I said, because of the weather, we couldn’t do much else. Alfie went to go on the tractors, but they were wet, and we didn’t even bother going to the outdoor play area this time. In fact, it was Alfie that asked to leave – just over an hour into our visit. To be fair, we were both cold too and we had done everything else that we had planned. We will have to go back when the farm reopens, or maybe even hold out until spring and lambing season!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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