It may seem unusual to recommend a farm as a rainy day destination, but Cockfields Farm in Ashton-under-Lyne has brought the outdoor fun inside.
After a recent revamp, the farm has catered for the often drizzly weather and there are now several indoor activities on offer- perfect for babies, toddlers and older children.
Beautifully crafted Wendy houses have been painted and filled with toys to create a little market street for imaginary play, and there are nearby reading tables with children's books provided.
Cockfields Mini Village
There is also a small soft play area that has a number of soft rocking toys, plus a mini bouncy castle.
Soft play for babies and toddlers
Cockfield's miniature bouncy castle.
In true UK fashion, the large outdoor climbing frame with double slides has been brought inside and placed in a huge indoor sandpit. Surrounded by benches and tables, it's the perfect place to let the kids roam free whatever the weather, whilst parents enjoy a cup of tea from the café.
Outdoors brought in
Through to the main barn, along with the animals waiting to be fed, there is another smaller sandlot filled with buckets and spades, an abundance of mini tractors and cars to ride on, plus a few coin operated toys.
All of the indoor areas are included in the entrance fee and are in addition to the usual animal activities. On our recent morning visit we washed a tortoise, stroked a hedgehog, admired a lizard up close, and scrubbed three hilarious and very happy piglets.
Cockfields also regularly run special themed activity days throughout the year and during school holidays, encompassing everything from forest schools and scarecrow festivals, to circus skills and pirates week!
Outdoors at Cockfields Farm
If the weather is on your side during your visit, outdoors, as well as more animals, there is also a large trampoline, more sand play, and a swing set as well as the lovely fields to roam in and hunt bugs.
I've occasionally heard people complain about the farm being small but the key here is in the activities - make sure to check out the board upon your arrival and get to as many as you can. The staff at Cockfields Farm are lovely and will always go the extra mile to make sure that all children can engage with the animals. All in all, a great family trip out - whatever the weather!
Useful information: Address: Cockfields Farm, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8AR
Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 10:00am-4:30pm. Sundays from 10:30am-4:00pm.