I last went to Umberslade Country Farm a few years back when my eldest was still a toddler but always thought it was nice compact place to visit. When I saw that they were offering reduced entry until the end of March I thought it was time for a re-visit, this time with my two year old.
It was a lovely sunny February day when we visited which meant that there were lots of other young families also visiting. However there was only a short queue to get in and we were given all the information about what was happening that day plus a map.
I must admit that when we first got there and my toddler had ran around most of the farm in 15 minutes I was concerned that we would not get much out of being there, especially as the Play Barn is currently shut and under construction (by the way it looks like it will be fantastic once it is finished). However there were regular sessions every half hour so we decided to go to the next session which was small animal handling. It got really busy in the barn but the handlers were great at getting everyone settled, some outside and making sure everyone got a turn. They had little baskets for some animals which were really handy if you have younger children. I was worried that my little lady would be too heavy handed but she loved giving the rabbit we cuddled a gentle stroke (I think she wants one now after she told me she wanted to take the rabbit home). I was surprised that despite the numbers of people the animals did not seem fazed by it all.
After this we decided to have a better look at some of the animals. There were a few babies there – lambs only a couple of weeks old still under a heat lamp and some piglets. Being winter most of the animals were still in the activity barn but you could still visit the hens, ducks and pigs outside. You can also buy food to feed the ducks (we avoided this one as my lady likes to sample it herself too much).
From here we decided on going to another activity session with the ponies. Again I was impressed with the handlers enthusiasm and ability to ensure everyone had a fair turn despite it being busy. My little lady loved brushing the small pony and I was impressed she got up close with no fuss.
Once we had seen all the animals again we had a quick play in the sandpit and on the ride on toys before lunch. We had lunch in the café which has been much improved since my last visit having been extended. There is also a section with lots of toys and books which came in handy as we waited for our food. Again I think it was busier than they had planned as the food took longer than expected to arrive but the server was friendly and really engaged with my little one. The food was yummy (could have done with a bit more but that just left room for some cake). I liked that water was freely available with glasses and cups for adults and kids alike.
After lunch there was time for a quick play in the play area. There is a toddler playground and one for bigger kids next to each other. I can see that these are handy to have a picnic at during warmer weather. We had another quick look at the animals (including being photobombed by J-Lo the pig) before having to pick the big one up from school.
Given this place seems small from the outside I was impressed that we got a good morning of enjoyment although we did go around the animals several times. For the price it was definitely an enjoyable morning.
It is worth noting that during winter months, there are some reduced activities especially during the week so it is worth checking before going if there is something you wanted to do.
For more information head over to their website