While I very rarely do reviews on my blog (I think this is only the fourth in four years!), I was delighted to undertake a review visit to Bluebell Dairy this week as it’s somewhere we have loved as a family for many years.
Having seen it grow from a small dairy with a playpark to the amazing adventure farm it is today, Bluebell’s will always be quite close to my heart as we have so many special memories of our visits. Plus, you know, ice cream (totally worth the drive just for that).
Bluebell Dairy is a family run farm in Derby in the East Midlands and is easily accessed from the A52, Nottingham and the M1. In the last few years this independent business has grown its site impressively – and it seems like every time we visit there’s another new attraction to enjoy! Our visit coincided perfectly with the school holidays and the addition of two new activities – The Maize Maze and the tractor trailer rides, giving us a huge seven hours of fun… and even then I had to drag the kids away!
Here’s what we got up to:
The bouncy pillow
A firm favourite for my children – ok, and for me, we all had bags of fun running, jumping and rolling about out in the beautiful countryside. However old your children are, ours at 11, 5 and 2 all adored every minute with the shrieks and belly laughs to prove it!
Haystack Barn and Corn Pit
Like soft play for little farmers, my little ones love it in here! There’s haystack climbing and jumping plus a cool ball pit alternate made of corn. Finished with diggers, spades and buckets for playing, my kids would have happily spent all day here. The barn also includes pedal tractors and diggers and a brilliant role-play area with a pretend shop, dress-up clothes and milking area!
A must for any farm trip, we bought bags of animal food priced at £1 and had lots of fun making friends with the goats, sheep and pigs. I love how farms allow children to interact with and learn about animals, and think it’s one of the main reasons my kids have never been scared of them as they’ve fed and touched them from such an early age.
There was so much to do at Bluebell’s that we missed some of these, but in any one day visitors can enjoy petting a rabbit, lamb leading, sheep racing and goat grooming – so there’s plenty of animal focused activities with opportunities for learning more about them.
We finally got to this at 330 pm, when the sensible side of me thought we should be herding the kids home before they got too tired. The toddler had also reached his ‘HoldmeHoldmeDon’tHoldmeMummmyyyyyHOLDME’ stage of the day and I was a bit scared of the prospect of being stuck in a maze with a raging, wriggling monster. However, I’m so glad we stayed, as we spent a brilliant hour doing a jungle themed scavenger hunt – and the kids were having so much fun they happily ran around in the fresh air without once complaining their legs were tired – a true first!
Tractor Trailer Rides
These are charged at £1 per person so an addition to the entry fee, although under 2s go free. We enjoyed a fun (and slightly bumpy!) ride around the farm to areas we hadn’t seen before while learning about the farm and its history. The kids loved pretending to be farmers and bumping across the field together!
We were also treated to a delicious lunch in Bluebell’s bright and airy tea rooms, enjoying a kids lunch box, kids sausage, chips and beans and two amazing bacon, brie and cranberry paninis. They also offer a huge selection of cakes – which I resisted this time but have sampled and enjoyed before! We then bought ice cream from the refreshment hut in the picnic area – there’s a huge range of flavours (we had honeycomb, strawberry and cream, vanilla and black cherry and amaretto between us), and they also offer a choice of sorbet – perfect for my toddler who can’t have dairy!
Play park and Go Karts
Last but not least, there’s also a fantastic play park and sandpit, together with go karts for bigger kids and adults, and some mini ride-on toys for the smaller adventurers.
There really is so much to do here – almost more than a day’s worth! We’re already looking forward to our next visit… and choosing which ice cream flavour to sample next!
Read more about Bluebell Dairy on their website or their Facebook page or Instagram.
*We were given entry and lunch at Bluebell Dairy in exchange for writing an honest review.