Over £1million has been invested into the playground which incorporates the natural landscape surrounding Willows along with state-of-the-art interactive technology. There are outdoor climbing frames as well as slides and rope walkways at the Peter Rabbit Secret Treehouse and the Benjamin Bunny Treetop Adventure, with equipment that has been designed to encourage children to explore. It's the first Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground in the world and it's opening coincides with the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth.
Other features include the Jeremy Fisher Music Pond, where children can jump on lily pads to hear musical sounds and guess the instruments, and the Mr. Bouncer Great Invention, a sensory gaming activity to help them to learn about numbers and colours in a fun and active way. Children can explore Mr McGregor's Garden or pop into Mrs Tiggy-Winkle's Kitchen, too. Little N absolutely adores Peter Rabbit and Friends, and was excited beyond belief to see the new playground. I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed, too!
In true Willows form, the Peter Rabbit Holiday Hop has a programme full of activities that kept me and the boys - and our friends - busy and entertained for the whole day. There were shows throughout the day, such as the Peter Rabbit Show, Lily Bobtail Song Time and the Scarecrow Show. The children got to meet Peter Rabbit and his friends, although Little N was too scared to say hello - he hates mascots - and J was off in a world of his own!
The kids had loads of fun playing in the JCB Zone which has lots of JCB ride on toys, before we headed to The Big Dig sand area and the tractors. The kids went panning for gold, which actually meant the mummies got frozen hands as it was us that went panning for gold whilst the children got the glory and were rewarded with a little medal each. The Bouncy Haystacks (bouncy castles and slides) were up on the day, but as one of Little N's friends currently has a broken arm he wouldn't have been able to go on and we didn't want him to feel left out, so we went for another round on the rides and back to the tractors again instead with our ice-creams (for the children) and cups of tea (for the mummies).
The Sheepstakes Sheep Racing was the funniest thing ever. You get to bet on which sheep you think will win the race out of five sheep, and each one has a little jockey on it's back (it's a doll, don't worry). We watched the races twice, and I picked the yellow sheep for the first race, which came last. When we watched the race again you'd think I would pick a different sheep right? Wrong, I picked yellow and came last again. My friend backed the winning sheep though and was very proud to win a badge!
The boys loved going on the fairground rides; they have a carousel, spinning teacups and the one with the swings which I can't think of the name of. It's the first time either of them had ever been on a fairground ride before as my sensitive Little N is usually too scared and J has been too small until now. They also really liked getting to meet some of the animals close up, though it has renewed Little N's idea of getting a pet guinea pig, which I am dutifully ignoring!
We watched a show called Animals Encounters where a sheepdog herded some ducks before heading to get some lunch from the cafe. Who would have thought that a dog could shepherd ducks into a pen?! By the way, the cafe is amazing value for money. They do kids' boxes where you can choose five items plus a drink for £5.50 or ten items plus a drink for £8.95. The five item box was plenty for my boys to share, and Little N had the drink while J just had water. And I had chips. In case you were wondering.
It was such a brilliant day out, we were really lucky that the sun shone for most of the day considering that the forecast had predicted rain! The Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground is fantastic and it's worth visiting Willows Activity Farm just for that, let alone all the other amazing activities they have running all day! It's great day out and will be enjoyed by all. Tickets cost £18.50 for adults, £19.50 for children, and under 2s are free. Do book online as you can get whopping savings!
We were given complimentary tickets to Willows.