Manor Farm Park is a family-friendly farm park, situated near Loughborough and surrounded by the beautiful Leicestershire countryside. If you’re looking for ideas for day out with the family, I’d really recommend it for all ages and in all weathers!
We visited on a sunny, autumnal Sunday morning, expecting it to be busy on a weekend, and we ended up with most of the park to ourselves.
Unfortunately the woodlands were closed due to the flooding, however we still managed to have a great time – and still didn’t cover everything!
The woodlands themselves include a Fort Adventure Playground and play area, picnic area, safe woodland play area to help “fuel the imagination”, as well as its own kiosk that is open at certain times throughout the year.
You can either walk down to this area or hitch a ride at set times for free on Ernie the milk float, but either way you’ll pass plenty of animals including reindeer and alpaca!
At Christmas, the woodlands host a magical Santa experience, where you can meet him and his reindeer in his woodland cabin – a day out that sounds really special for Christmas, including a woodland post box and scavenger hunt.
Ernie the Milk Float
Although the woodlands area was closed, we still managed a ride on Ernie, which was definitely a highlight of Lily’s day. The driver was so friendly, and despite being 12 o’clock on a Sunday, we had it to ourselves.
We only went down to the woodlands entrance and back again, but Lily really loved it – and a great way to see the trails around the farm too!
The Burrows Play Area
Near the entrance to the farm park you find the Burrows Play Area, which really has something for everyone.
With its own assault course, huge slide, climbing area, rope bridge, swing and separate smaller area for little ones, it really is a fun place to explore!
There are so many amazing animals across the farm, indoors and out.
You can go on donkey rides throughout the day at set times, feed the birds, and even put the pigs to bed.
Each day there is a set programme for times to meet and greet certain animals, and not only help feed or groom them, but also ride some of them too!
In the indoor Animal Chat Room you can find rabbits and guinea pigs through to axolotls, bearded dragons and snakes.
There is also a huge outdoor owl area where you can meet some beautiful owls, and even hold them at certain times through the day too!
This was definitely a highlight for me, along with the beautiful walk around the fields from there, where you can see the miniature ponies, reindeer and alpacas too.
Indoor play area
There is also a huge indoor play area with its own cafe (the Laughing Donkey) too – a great place for a break or to escape the rain, or even to catch up with friends while the kids play!
It has a fantastic pirate-themed wooden play section, a soft play area for the under 5s (central so you can keep an eye on them), a spooky castle, a small ride-on go kart track, a football shooting area, and more!
Food and drinks
As well as the kiosk in the woodlands (open at certain times) and the picnic area there, you can also have picnics in the outdoor forest area near the indoor play barn or have picnics on one of the benches or covered picnic huts around the farm.
If you’re looking to get something hot to drink or something to eat, you can choose from the cafe in the indoor play barn, or visit the Antlers Bistro, which I really recommend!
You can even visit Antlers without a park entrance ticket, but they do a whole selection of breakfasts, hot and cold meals, family options, as well as snacks too. For early birds, Tuesdays til Thursdays they are open from 7.30am, and on a Friday night you can get Fish & Chips in the evening!
It was all very clean, with beautiful coffee, friendly staff, and well catered for children too! What’s more, the toilet facilities were all clean, new and accessible here too.
We had a fantastic time at Manor Farm & Woodlands. There was so much to do throughout the day, and Lily had a great time. Despite spending all day there, we still didn’t cover everything!
As well as all the places to explore, play and visit, we also found the staff so friendly and welcoming.
They also have a lovely gift shop, with affordable gifts for all ages, including pocket-money toys. Gift shops in places like this are usually quite expensive, so it was lovely to see – and all so modern too.
What’s more, they also host events throughout the year, including forest school for home-educated children, toddler mornings, woodland stay-and-play, and some beautiful seasonal events, such as to meet Santa or even have afternoon tea with him, which sounds amazing!
Tips for visiting with families
- There are accessible paths around the whole farm for wheelchairs and pushchairs – find out more here
- Baby-changing facilities are near the entrance as well as near the indoor play barn, as well as disabled toilets. Other toilets and hand-washing facilities can be found near the Animal Chat room.
- There are forest school dates for home-school children, stay-and-play in the woodlands, and Toddler Tuesdays – find out more here
- They host some great family-friendly events throughout they year including some magical Christmas experiences – find out more here
For more on their family Christmas experiences, check out our blog here
Visit the Manor Farm & Woodlands website here