So what is the best way to celebrate your daughter’s 9th birthday together with her six 9-year old girlfriends and two younger brothers? Hmm… I reckon we needed a large space to let their steam off together with a few challenges to keep their excitement high and ideally some educational bit thrown in as well if at all possible (crucial to me! ;-)).
Hobbledown Adventure Farm seemed to tick all the boxes! It used to be a rather run down animal farm which after an ecola outbreak has been bought and totally refurbished and rebranded itself as a great place for the outdoor fun! It is advertising itself as a mystical farm full of wonder and.. Hobblers! 😉 The whole farm concept is based on a book ‘Hobbledown’ by Kecojevic about a mystical world full of Hobblers and their mystical adventures.
The characters are present at different places throughout the farm and feature within the description of the farm animals. A very clever way of bringing a book to life!!
The farm itself is absolutely brilliant! It is really a 40% farm and 60% a big adventure playground so a win-win for both the children and the parents! There are many animals to get to know such as pigs, goats, sheep, donkey, peafowls, rabbits, wallabies, chinchillas, meerkats, chipmunks, parrots, alpacas, ponies, cattle and geese. There are many animal handling sessions introduced throughout the day. We spent some 20 minutes stroking the rabbits and heard a brief talk about the barn owl from one of the staff member which was great.
And then of course there are brilliant adventure playgrounds guaranteed to bring a smile into every child’s face! For the younger ones there are jumping pillows, huge sand pit area with some slides and treasure to be found. For the older there is a Tree Top Walk (you need to be over 1.30cm), Climbing Towers (for the younger children) and tons of fun in the zorbing area! And then there is a brilliant indoor play area again suitable for big and small ideally for the colder months!
Needless to say we tried it all ;-). Conrad did a 26 feet high Climbing Tower which is in effect a large open ladder which he climbed with the harness on of course.
We spent ages in the brilliant outdoor adventure playground where the children were climbing inside the metal see-through tunnels (so you can see them the whole time which is encouraging!) high in the air as well as some underground tunnels (where you cannot see them which was a bit of a worry for me I must say).
They had tons of fun in the Zorbing Area running inside the cylinder shapes inflatable cylinders! They did it in twos so double the fun – they were falling head over heels laughing the whole time! 😉
And of course the High Rope course (all except Arthur as below 1.30m) which is a challenging rope course suspended 3m in the air where the children had barrels to crawl through, a skateboard to skate on and a barrel to ride on!
It was fantastic for me to see different children taking it differently – some very cautious and rather slow, others confident and rather fast, the natural climbers! Conrad is one of these naturals who simply adores climbing (his favourite pets are monkeys!) while Giselle was very cautious which is similar to what she is normally like.
Brilliant activity which certainly requires a lot of courage and perseverance from the children and teaches them to overcome their fears and gives this high on adrenaline sense of accomplishment in the end (sliding down on zip-wires! ;-)).
I have also learnt something incredible about Giselle – she is more tenacious and brave than she often gives away. While on the skateboard part she has fallen off and suddenly found herself hanging on the top rope with her legs in the air (she had the harness on of course!). One of the girls started to panic but Charlize has calmly assessed a situation and got herself back into the skateboard by moving slowly alongside the rope holding on to the top of it with her both hands.
Once she safely reached the rest spot she has embarked on repeating the challenge yet again (she could easily start crying or ask to go down) and tackled the same route yet again, successfully this time around! What a brilliant behaviour – I was so very proud of her!! She showed the calmness, courage and tenacity all in a spare of few minutes and all at her own accord! A very brave daughter indeed! 😉
Happy 9th Birthday lovely Giselle! 🙂
ΡIY (Plan It Yourself):
How to get there:
Best by car, the postcode is KT19 8PT, Epsom, Surrey.
We paid £12.50 each for adult ticket (less for the two grandparents as over 65 so £7 each) and £13.50 each per child (under 2’s free). You get 5% discount if you book one week in advance which we did (taking a gamble with a weather ;-)) so paid the above prices minus 5%.