Monday 4 April 2016

Willows Activity Farm - The new Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground

We were invited to a special bloggers event for this but unfortunately we were away but very luckily we got tickets to attend yesterday and review it instead which I'm delighted about as it was completely finished and the children got to play and explore whilst I got to take loads of photos.

The new adventure playground only opened on 2nd April so we were still among the first to have a look around. Hopefully this blog post will be really useful to you if you're planning on taking your children too. Hertfordshire easter school holidays have fallen really weirdly this year but it's great to see that Willows has taken this into account and your children will be able to meet Peter himself up until 17th April! You can find more details about whats on and when on their website - Willows Farm.

I love Peter Rabbit and both children enjoy watching the animated series on Cbeebies as well as having many Peter Rabbit books, so I knew this would be a very popular day out for both of them. Considering the age gap between them, it's sometimes difficult to find something to entertain both of them for a good amount of time but we definitely found that at Willows.

We live very close to Willows Activity farm and often drive past the signs for it, we have been twice before. I took Oliver once when he was roughly 9 months old and we both took him whilst I was pregnant with Isabelle (and needing a wee every five minutes)... we can definitely say that it is so much better now. There have been so much that has been improved including adding more toilets which would of been very handy for me a few years ago and my poor chubby ankles. I do however dislike that they will no longer have their birds there or the bird shows as the area they were in is now for Peter Rabbit which is a shame that they couldn't of had both.

Over £1million was invested into developing the new playground and re-theming the site itself, it incorporates the natural landscape and state of the art interactive technology - they definitely haven't cut any corners or chosen cheap options here! It is much better than I thought it was going to be.

You'll be able to meet Peter Rabbit and Lily Bobtail at Willows Farm, there's a chance to take some photos too so definitely don't forget your camera!

The play area has been designed to get your children using their imagination, encouraging them to explore and to be adventurous just like the characters are in the stories. Oliver was trying to act out some of the scenes he has seen and remembered from the cbeebies programme. You'll find; outdoor climbing frames as well as slides and rope walkways at the Peter Rabbit secret treehouse, upon there is also some little interactive things which you can see in my photos and the Benjamin Bunny treetop adventure, Jeremy fisher music pond (where children can jump on lily pads and actually hear musical sounds they need to guess the instruments) and the Mr. Bouncer great invention (a sensory gaming activity to help the children to learn about numbers and colours in an active and fun way).
Chief Executive of Willows, Andrew Wolfe said: “We’ve always been committed to improving the quality and range of activity at Willows but this is by far the biggest and most exciting - we can now invite our visitors to enjoy a day with one of the most famous children’s characters in history.
“This is something completely new for local families to enjoy  the first ever Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground in the world! We’re proud to be opening in the year of the 150th anniversary since the birth of Beatrix Potter, author of the original Peter Rabbit childrens books, and were delighted that we are able to bring them to life for the next generation,” continued Mr. Wolfe.
Thomas Merrington, Head of Product Development at Penguin Ventures said: “The Willows brand fits seamlessly with ours and we’ve worked together to create an experience true to the Peter Rabbit values. It really feels as though you are stepping into Peter Rabbit’s enchanting world!”
The playground is being built in partnership with Silvergate Media, the co-producers and global licensing agent of the CGI animated TV series ‘Peter Rabbit’, and Lappset Creative, a leading manufacturer of themed activity attractions.
Johan Granholm, Director of Lappset Creative said: “The new area is designed to engage young imaginations, championing curiosity, camaraderie and discovery – we know that parents and children alike are going to love it.”
You'll also find yourself in Mr McGregor's garden and his shed, where there is speakers that let out the sound of his footsteps every now and then which make the children pretend to be Peter Rabbit and have to quickly find their way out. Inside the shed is a climbing frame and a slide at either end. Isabelle desperately wanted to go on the frame and also down the slide = daddy had to go too! I have the funniest video of Michael not only stuck on the slide but also of another child going down the slide and hitting into him (luckily that child, was ours so it's fine!).
There's also a sandpit, a swing and various other sensory toys to chose from. One of my favourites was Miss Tiggy-Winkle's kitchen - although don't stand up adults! You're too big to stand up in there.

We didn't get to see everything at Willows Farm, there's just so much to see and do. Also if you're visiting with toddlers like we were - they don't move very quickly and tend to scream if you try to make them move a little quicker. Unfortunately we missed the live shows but they sounded fantastic, Oliver was gutted to have missed them, both Peter and Lily have their own shows there at the moment in the Peter Rabbit Theatre.

We also didn't go to the Peter Rabbit Burrow Café but they offer a menu of delicious hot and cold food/drink! Unfortunately with Isabelle's allergies we always take packed lunches with us on days out, they now have some great little Peter Rabbit themed picnic benches to sit on and we were lucky weather wise.

There's so much to see and do, if you've got a treasure loving child make sure to pan for gold! If you find 8 pieces you could collect your very own medal. Willows also offers an extensive indoor play area which we didn't get into this time unfortunately - we need to go again don't we?! apparently they have cotton-tail village where children enjoy imaginative play.

We got to meet some farmyard animals and also have a cuddle with some. At the entrance we also purchased some animal feed, it was a good price at £1 for two bags and you get a reasonable amount in them. Willows farm also offers a ride on Tristan the Runaway Tractor but be warned if you've a bad back like grandma it's probably best to sit this one out as it can be a little bumpy! There's also a Peter Rabbit Woodland Play Trail, funfair rides, bouncy castle, more play areas and ofcourse some animals to see and feed.

Isabelle enjoyed pretending to milk a cow! Funny that, the girl with the cows milk allergy.

Don't forget to look out for old brown in the Peter Rabbit adventure playground. You can see him hiding in the tree.

For more information visit you can visit -, follow @Willows_Farm on Twitter or find them on facebook at - 

Are you planning on visiting Willows soon?

My top tips for visiting Willows Farm this Easter would be:

  1. If you want to feed the animals later in the day, don't carry the food around all day... the actually have a vending machine in the farmyard enclosed area on which you can purchase some! (we didn't know this!) it's by where you wash your hands.
  2. Spend the whole day there! Don't think that you'll go for the afternoon - there really is so much to see you can spend the whole day there.
  3. Make sure you allow time for meeting Peter Rabbit! He'll walk around and greet everyone so if you think there seems to be loads of people and that you won't bother, don't walk away... honestly he will get around to everyone.
  4. If you want to see the farm, it's probably best to save the play area until a little later because the children will not want to leave it! Oliver would of spent the whole day in there.
  5. The exit through the farm is via the gift shop - obviously... but the good news is that they offer a range of pocket money toys so that's a result if you want to buy something but not spend a small fortune on it. (I must also add that the range of Peter Rabbit items they had in the gift shop was beautiful).


Mary-Kate, x
 *please note that we were given free entry tickets in exchange for an honest review.  


  1. As I pressed 'publish' on my post, I saw you'd written a post about Willows farm, he he! We went today (well, technically, yesterday) but didn't manage to get to the Beatrix Potter trail. There are so many things to do on the farm, the 6 hours we spent there were not enough!

    1. I have only just spotted this comment! Sorry for not replying. We love Willows farm! So so looking forward to Christmas there! Are you going? xx

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