Friday 12 December 2014

A real life nativity and a fun day out at Umberslade Farm

I'm always looking for new things to do and places to go with Ethan. He's growing before our eyes and learning more and more every day so we want to keep trying new things, introducing him to new experiences and nurture his interest in creative pursuits, animals and the great outdoors to name just a few things.

With the lead up to Christmas well under way, we have been keeping busy and we've been to lots of new places recently and tried new things with Ethan, including his first train ride.

Last weekend, we laughed in the face of the rain and decided to spend Sunday at a place called Umberslade Farm in Tanworth-in-Arden (not far from Solihull). It's a children's farm which really does have children in mind at every opportunity and it's part of a wider working farm estate which was first established in the late 1800's.

It's a 'free-roaming' kind of attraction, where you can wander around at your own pace and pop into any of the barns at your leisure to meet and greet a whole range of animals, large and small, from the ducks and geese to the small animal barn where children can hold ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and chicks, through to the pony stables and the animal barn which is full of farm animals from young calves, ewes and lambs to chickens and turkeys.

There's a lovely relaxed feel to the farm and from the moment you are warmly greeted at the entrance, you can tell it's a family run place and there's no hint of commercialism, just a great place to spend an afternoon.

We had a good wander around the different barns when we arrived and Ethan was facinated by all the animals we met, particularly the calves who he squealed 'Moooooo!' at excitedly and the young lambs, as he has a cuddly lamb toy at home he's rather attached to and seeing the real thing was a very happy moment for him.

We then popped into the Farmhouse Cafe, which is separated into two sections so there's plenty of seating, as we were pretty hungry. There was a lot to choose from and we had a nice lunch together, getting warm, before venturing out to find the man in the red suit.

Yes, you can see Father Christmas here and yes, Ethan has seen him a couple of times already this year but he didn't seem to mind meeting him again, just to make sure he knew what to bring him on Christmas Eve. The grotto was a warm and nicely decorated large shed and the man in question was friendly and Ethan seemed to really take to him. The cost of entry is just £4 and Ethan received a lovely farm animal sticker storybook which he seemed pretty pleased with - great value and an added bonus of our visit.

We made sure we stopped by the feeding of the goats and the calves and we also saw the petting session in the small animal barn, as well as passing the indoor play area and saying hello to the biggest pigs I have ever seen.

One particular highlight at Umberslade at this time of year is a live nativity, which takes place a couple of times each day, involving real farm animals such as donkeys to tell the nativity story, with a Christmas carol sing-along. It's such a unique and lovely idea and definitely something to make time to see. There's also a small Christmas market and mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy.

We spent the best part of three hours at the farm and really enjoyed our visit. The staff were friendly and the range of animals was great and it was nice to see them in their natural living space. Ethan's still quite young but he really loves animals and coming to places such as Umberslade is enjoyable for all of us.

If you live in the Midlands area I'd really recommend a visit to Umberslade Farm, which I'm sure will really come into its own in the summer months with the playground and beautiful scenery, and if you're not local, well you might just enjoy seeing our latest family snaps and some pictures of cute farm animals...

Umberslade Farm is open daily (check the website for seasonal opening times) and prices start from £7.50 per adult and £6.50 for two year olds' upwards during the week, making it a really affordable day out for the family.

* Thank you to Umberslade Farm for inviting us along to enjoy their farm festivities. We would highly recommend a visit, either before Christmas to make the most of the special events or at any other time of the year when you're looking for something fun and educational to do as a family.

1 comment

  1. Those pictures are lovely - I love visiting farms and seeing all the animals.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog


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