If you have a splash park near you then make the most of it! Children love to run around under sprinklers and get wet when it’s hot, and there are parks with dedicated areas all over the country. They tend not to have paddling pools which keeps it cleaner and arguably safer, and some are just a few water fountains and others are much more elaborate – like the one at Fishers Farm.
We went to Fishers Farm last summer with our daughter who was three at the time, and another family with two children of a similar age. They had a great time exploring but as it was a hot sunny day, the splash park was definitely the highlight.
Fishers Farm Park is in Wisborough Green near Horsham in Sussex. We thought it good value for money at £19.95 per person (two year olds are £17.95 and under 2s are free) compared to other places closer to London, as there is a lot to do here.
We took a hay ride in a trailer attached to a tractor around the farm fields where we saw various farm animals (they have alpacas, goats, sheep, donkeys etc) though I think the ride itself was the best part for my daughter. We didn’t go on the barrel bug safari where adults and children can climb inside barrels and be towed around!
There’s a ghost tunnel ride and a mini train more suitable for younger children; my daughter really enjoyed her first time on bumper cars (accompanied by me and my husband in turn, as we did it twice) and a toboggan run style ride where you sit on a tyre and whiz down a steep hill. So steep in fact I really didn’t want to do it, so my friend took her on it!
There’s a toddler village for under 5s and areas like the enchanted wood and a pirate ship which are fun for little ones to play in. There are also some traditional fairground rides which we were surprised to see as we entered as I was expecting it to be just a farm! We went on the teacups and the carousel (which are included in your ticket cost); there are a couple of things you have to pay extra for like bumper boats and quad bikes.
Fishers Castle is a giant wooden castle to play in and explore, including a maze, rope bridge and slides, and a sandpit in front which was a hit with our children. My three year old was a little small for it and sometimes needed help, though with some sections a bit too small for me to squeeze through it wasn’t ideal – and the slide takes you out of the side of the castle, so at one point I was waiting at the front for her to come out, and she had gone down the slide, spotted something else she wanted to go on and ran towards it – luckily I saw her running away from the castle in a different direction to where I was standing and ran after her! So I recommend if you have two adults and smaller children, positioning one adult at the entrance to the castle and the other at the exit from the slide!
Giant jumping pillows are also great fun but the bigger ones can be hard for small children to scramble up as you basically just have to run and throw yourself on the top. There is a smaller one for younger children at Fishers Farm as well.
The Splash Attack area has a soft foam surface and lots of sprinklers, water guns to aim, buckets to fill and so on – your child will definitely need swimwear (or a change of clothes) and a towel. There are deckchairs along the edge for parents and a grassy area nearby, and a little shop selling ice cream, sun cream and water pistols. We spent quite a lot of time there and I would come again just for this!
And if that isn’t enough, there’s an indoor play barn, soft play, a baby sensory room, a theatre and one of the cafes has a soft play inside it called ‘cowpat cannons’. We had our lunch sitting outside at the Farmers Grill, with animal themed cardboard lunchboxes for the kids and hot food for the adults.
This summer Fishers Farm is running a programme of events including Wiggly Weekends focused on creepy-crawlies, and magic shows. On our visit last summer there were pony rides and pig racing – the children could choose a coloured flag representing the pig they wanted to cheer on, and were given a plastic medal if the pig they had chosen won – or in my daughter’s case even if it didn’t win! At the end of the day we were just heading out when we passed a darkened room with coloured lights and were invited in for a disco!
I was absolutely worn out by the end of the day but had a great time and I definitely recommend a trip here with children.