Saturday, 23 July 2011

Our trip to Kent Life

Earlier this month A, G and I went on the local Mum and Tots summer outing to Kent Life "Kent's Premier Heritage Farm Attraction"...does it live up to its tagline I hear you ask?  Read on and find out!

We've been to Kent Life a few times as it is fairly local to us, it is based just outside of Maidstone by the side of the M20 motorway.  Our main gripe with the place in our previous visits has been how packed it was, visiting at a weekend or on a Bank Holidays have proved to be a nightmare for us in the past - but as we visited on a Monday we didn't have that problem this time round.  The attraction is set out in the original village formation of the area from years gone by and shows old age farming traditions, showcasing the machinery involved.  There is a blacksmiths shop, a village hall (which houses a bar - handy!) and original cottages (mind your head!) - it'd be a great place for school age children to visit as the learning opportunities are endless!  My two, being only 3 and 1, didn't really benefit from these aforementioned opportunities but they did love the fantastic timber structured playground, the indoor playcentre and all the animals that were there.

The animals are spread out accross the attraction, but they mainly centre around the working farmyard and "cuddle corner" - where the children get to sit and handle some of the smaller creatures.  G wasn't too sure of the chicken, rabbit and guinea pig (she's got a bit of a nervous disposition!) but A absolutely loved it.  They provide them with lap mats to stop the animals accidently scratching them, but the animals they used are so tame they do nothing but just sit there anyway.

You can purchase a small bag of animal food for £1 in the shop, and at the entrance, to feed the other various livestock - which are mainly sheep and donkeys, however we also saw a pig or two and a few ducks. 

We took a picnic with us and ate it sitting on the grass near the playground, but food is available in the tea room or coffee bar (although I have to say, get in quick if you're planning on visiting on one of their busier days!).  The prices are fairly reasonable and there are some beautiful homemade cakes on display.

The favourite part of the day for me had to be our visit to the on site paint-a-pot studio, the prices really are great and there is a range of items for the children to paint - and all are available to take away the same day.  My two decorated a ceramic tile each for Nanny and Grandad at just £2 each (and it came complete with a little stand!), I should have taken a picture of them but I was just too eager to send them off I completely forgot!  There are various statues for older ones, ranging from dragons to cars to princesses. 

Facilities are generally good on-site, although G and I did have to wait in a long line of school children when she needed her bum doing!  I believe that there are bottle/food warming facilities readily available as well.  Another thing I like about Kent Life (even though some parents may not) is that dogs are permitted on site as long as they are kept strictly under control.

 Entrance prices are £8.95 per adult and £6.50 per child over 4, under 4's are free. 

They also run various events throughout the year, so it's worth checking out the website:

All in all this is a great way to spend a few hours with littlies, and a great educational attraction for older ones, but any more than that and you may struggle.

Ooooo...nearly forgot - there's a lovely little new farm shop near the entrance/exit selling lots and lots of lovely local produce, keep your eye out for it!


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