The fun-filled soft play centre near Bristol that’s value for money this half-term
It shares a site with a farm so children can also view animals in the summer
and live on Freeview channel 276
One thing you quickly learn as a new parent is that when you find a venue which keeps the children happily occupied for more than an hour - you remember it, and keep going back.
And so with the school half-term upon us, I decided to revisit Farrington’s Playbarn to find out if the attraction still offered the help us parents needed in our battle to fill up a week-long spell with fun activities.
Located just off the A37, a 30-minute drive south from Bristol, the playbarn is part of a small farm yard-like estate of shops which includes a fish and chip shop, a beauty therapist and a restaurant.
I visited on a Monday lunchtime, so parking is easy, and I was immediately impressed by the size of the playbarn. The price wasn’t bad either. Inside, you pay only for children; £1.95 for one-year-olds and £4.95 for kids aged two and above. Prices for the half-term and weekends go up to £2.95 and £6.25 respectively.
The entrance and exit were manned by a friendly staff member who provided me with the confidence that if one of my children escaped my sight, there’s no chance they’d be getting out.
Inside, you first see a collection of picnic tables before a large, colourful soft play area with three levels - it was enough to get me excited about having a go, let along the children! The apparatus features ball pits, tunnels and a drop slide.
For those with young children, I saw a toddler area split over two levels and even a baby area to practice tummy time. Also, in one corner I noticed happy children coming in and out of a row of play houses with their hands filled with plastic cans of baked beans and cooking utencils.
Finally, if that wasn’t enough to keep the kids occupied, I spotted a line of clothes hangers holding costumes including dragons and superheros.
Not knowing where to start, I simply took the shoes off my children and let them run loose while joining them to supervise them on equipment. I recommend going down the soft play slide with your child between your legs!
Half an hour in and I realised I didn’t bring lunch, not knowing how long I would be. Thankfully, there’s a cafe selling food hot and cold food as well as coffee.
Sitting down on one of the wooden picnic tables, I observed a parent next to us with her head in her laptop, seemingly working while her child played around her. It certainly brought a whole new meaning to the term ‘remote working’.
Remembering there was an animal trail and outdoor playground when I visited last summer, I asked a manager if they’d be coming back. ‘In the Spring, hopefully’, she said.
For now, however, the playbarn has plenty to occupy your children for a few hours - because let’s face it, we all need a bit of help sometimes! It must be why it is rated four-and-a-half star on both Google and TripAdvisor.
Farrington’s Farm Home Farm, Main St, Farrington Gurney, Bristol BS39 6UB