Staffordshire’s newest farm attraction, Lower Drayton Farm just outside Penkridge, opened the doors to its huge indoor playbarn as COVID restrictions relaxed on Monday, 17th May.
The move follows a busy few months for the team, which has seen them adapt to offer families the chance to enjoy activities that lay within restrictions during lockdown – starting with a drive thru burger bar & mini farm safari from last February to mid-April, followed by a ‘Spring Unlocked’ event that saw the farm’s extensive outdoor play space open to families. Opening the indoor play marks a real milestone for the family behind the fun – Farmer Richard Bower, who farms the 750 acre arable and beef farm alongside father Ray, and Ray’s partner Val James. Richard says:
“This has been a project 10 years in the planning, and we were unfortunate that the first COVID lockdown hit just before we were aiming to launch in early summer 2020. Like so many businesses, we were left in a very difficult situation; having to adapt all of our plans to try and survive the crisis. As soon as restrictions allowed in summer 2020, we welcomed our first guests to our outdoor-only ‘Summer Unlocked’ event; which proved such a hit we mirrored it again this spring. We were fortunate that we managed to open the full indoor and outdoor attraction for a several weeks from September which provided valuable customer feedback, and we also hosted a very successful pumpkin patch and carving event in October. We had ambitious plans in place for Christmas but, due to the lockdown, we had to stall these and the next opportunity to welcome visitors came in February with the drive thru burger bar.
“We’d like to thank each and every family who have visited us and supported us during these difficult times – the feedback has, overall, been fantastic and it has really helped bolster the whole team during tough times. We are now hugely excited to be welcoming visitors to enjoy the full PLAY@ experience and have already made some additions to the offering – including our new grass toboggan raceway and a revamp of the small animal zone, and have lots of exciting plans for the future!”
When visiting the farm, families can expect plenty of adventure – indoors & out. There’s a 900sqm indoor play barn featuring a 6m high Astro slide, gravity drop slides, vertigo-inducing skywalk and much more, while a baby area dedicated to littlies under 2 and under-5s play space packed with imaginative role play opportunities and lots of climbing, sliding, spinning fun promise hours of fun for all ages. Outdoors, the adventure continues with activities that include racing zipwires, grass toboggans, bouncy pillows, sand and water play. Animal lovers will also delight in the chance to pet friendly rabbits and Guinea Pigs, and get up close with goats, pigs, cattle and other farmyard favourites, and there may well be the chance (weather depending) to hop on a fun yet educational farm trailer ride to find out what’s happening around the farm.
A packed schedule of seasonal activities – from seed planting to veg picking, themed trails and the summer sunflower maze, plus standalone events like the maize maze and pumpkin patch mean there’s always something new to enjoy on the farm, whatever time of year you visit.
For full details and to book tickets head to www.playatthefarm.co.uk