The Peter Rabbit Farm, otherwise known as Willows Activity Farm, is a real winner for a family day out. It’s just an hour from both Northampton and central London, and found in St Albans.
So what makes this farm so special? And do your kids need to love Peter Rabbit to justify a visit? I share all in this Willows Farm review.
Willows Activity Farm
You’ll find over 300 farm animals, over 40 activities including rides, soft play and performances at Willows Activity Farm. The real selling point for me isn’t the fact it’s themed around Peter Rabbit, but that it’s geared for young children. It made my life as a parent so easy and if that isn’t an ideal family day out I don’t know what is! Both my then pre-schooler (3)and toddler (1) absolutely loved it.
Prior to the visit neither particularly love Peter Rabbit, but they immediately got on board with it – lining up to meet the characters, dancing at the front of the shows and seemingly genuinely believing that giant rabbits wanted to hang out with them!
The site is manageable, in that you can easily enjoy all of the rides and activities in one day, but it’s not too small that they get bored. We arrived at opening time and stayed til about 3pm, only leaving because the kids were just too shattered.
What’s at Willows Activity Farm?
From a petting corner with guinea pigs and rabbits, to giant pigs and lambs, there are loads of animals. My two are obsessed with animals and farms, so they loved it, happily chucking animal feed through the fences.
During spring there’s a sheep shearing pen and throughout the year other events including animals like the Alaskan Malamute. There’s an animal racing track where littles can take a guess at which animal might be the first to race to their food.
The animals look well-cared for and the fences are at a height that allows little ones to be able to see them.
This was one of the highlights for my two. Being pulled in a trailer by a tractor. It was a bumpy loop ride through the mud and they absolutely adored it.
The other main highlight was the shows. They couldn’t get enough of them. Peter Rabbit and friends take to the stage to see a few songs and dance. All of the children congregate at the front and copy the moves. It’s too cute! The shows run throughout the day.
Dotted about you’ll find activities like pedal and push along ride-on trucks. There’s even a pretend petrol pump.
There’s a sandpit, a chance to pan for gold, a big indoor soft play area, a maize maze during the summer, growing patches (where you can sometimes dig your own potatoes), trampolines and a bouncy castle. I’m not really sure what else they could possibly add because it feels like they’ve thought of everything.
That said, throughout the year there are special events that take it up a notch.
There are a few playgrounds dotted throughout the Willows Farm, all (I think) are themed around Peter Rabbit. From Peter Rabbit’s Woodland Trail to Mr Tod’s Lair, they’re all really well-made. There are themed things to climb, holes to crawl through and homes to explore. It’s all super cute and encourages imagination play.
There’s a handful of small rides geared to toddlers and pre-schoolers – the type that go round and round.
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Other Things to Love
There are good changing facilities. You have a few choices for lunch and snack spots, including a café inside the soft play area. Expect the usual, like jacket potato, sandwiches and breaded chicken.
How Long Do You Need?
Allow a full day to get enjoy all of the shows, activities and parts of the farm. We stayed for about six hours, which included having lunch there and seeing a few of the shows twice. A full day will also allow you to get your money’s worth.
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Tips for the Farm
- Bring a buggy if that’s what you’d normally use. The paved tracks make it pretty buggy-friendly and there’s an informal buggy park near the tractor ride. That said if you have a confident walker the activities are so close together that you could probably get away with just carrying them every now and then when they get tired.
- Grab a schedule or take a photo of the board that lists what times the activities are on, so that you can make sure you don’t miss out.
- If you plan to watch any of the Peter Rabbit shows get there 10-minutes or so beforehand. That way you’ll get a seat.
- Hold on tight to little ones on the tractor ride. Kit was so excited her little legs kept doing that bouncy frog leg thing and she nearly launched herself out of the tractor!
- You’ll need to exit via the big gift shop so have your excuses ready or be ready to part with some cash.
- There’s a path round the whole site so you don’t really need wellies. A puddle suit might be helpful around the gold panning station and sand pit, but it depends how energetic your child is!
Overall Thoughts on the Peter Rabbit Farm in St Albans
Sure there are loads of great farms much closer to where I live, but I’d still recommend a visit to this Peter Rabbit farm, largely because there’s enough for a full day out. Plus, the Peter Rabbit dancing/singing shows were a real winner with my two and I haven’t seen that sort of thing at local farms. It’s perfectly suited to toddlers and pre-schoolers, and under 2s are free, which is great value.
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Willows Activity Farm is open daily throughout the year from 10am to 5.30pm.
Tickets and More
P.S. I don’t have any of my own photos to share on here because I didn’t plan to write a review – was expecting it to be like any other farm, so all of my photos have the children’s faces in them and I don’t share their faces on here.