Halloween in Devon at World of country life for the #DevonBloggerSquad
Last week Stephanie Walker took her children to World of Country Life for Halloween and here’s how she got on..
When we moved to Exeter, I was surprised at just how many local attractions there are. Five years into our Devon adventure and we’ve barely scratched the surface with trying them all out.
We had a busy second week of half term. A visit from my sister-in-law followed by a few days travelling across the country to a family funeral, meant we were definitely in need of a fun family day on the final Saturday of the holidays.
Having a 3 year old who is obsessed with animals (rabbits and ducks are the current favourites) and a 5 year old who is keen to explore all things Halloween for the first time. World of Country Life Halloween weekend special seemed like a no-brainer for us and we were not disappointed. World of Country life is one of the local attractions we hadn’t made it to yet and so we were all excited to see what they had in store for us.
On arrival the entrance and gift shop were suitably halloweeny with cobwebs and spiders hanging from the ceilings and staff dressed up too.
There was a scarecrow hunt around the exhibition hall, with each scarecrow identified by a gruesome prop they had with them and a hilarious pun for a name (I love a good pun, is that a parent thing? I’m sure I didn’t use to.)
Our girls loved this and raced around the hall spotting scarecrows. As this was our first visit I would of liked to have read some more of the facts, taken in more of the displays of the old farming machinery and how it worked… but the girls had other plans… maybe next time!
Scarecrows all found and the doors out of the exhibition hall lead us to a soft play and bouncy castle. This would of been enough to keep my two big ones entertained all day and it took us a long time to prise them away. The lure of pumpkin carving was enough for the big one though and often if she’s game the little one is too, or maybe more truthfully doesn’t get a choice!
The pumpkin carving station was great. The staff were super helpful and friendly. The pumpkins had already, thankfully, been hollowed out and there was LOTS of fantastic templates to use and lots of useful carving tools and equipment. We made a goofy smiling face and a cat pumpkin, which the kids have enjoyed having lit at dinner time since we’ve been home.
Pumpkins done, labelled and stored safely for us so we didn’t have to carry them round all day, we were off to find our next adventure.
Next we headed into what was labelled on the map as ‘pirate adventure’. Which is basically a huge pirate ship for playing on, its surrounded by sand and opportunities to climb, clamber and shiver me timbers to your hearts content. This building also has lots of seating and tables, the perfect spot to sit and eat your lunch whether you’ve bought a packed one or are getting takeaway from the onsite cafe. We’d foolishly promised the girls we could head back to eat our packed lunch in the soft play area, which is in an open sided barn, not a warm cosy 4 sided building that housed the pirate ship.
After lunch we decided that as we’d been there for well over two hours and not yet spotted an animal, that should definitely next on our agenda. And animals we found!
Wallabies and rheas first, then round to the nursery and pet centre where we found rabbits (much to the 3 year old’s delight) ducks, guinea pigs, ferrets and some rather strange looking Skinny Pigs.
In the Pet centre we found various birds and the lovely sheep and goat pen, which you can enter and get up close with the (very!) friendly animals. We enjoyed petting and stroking the animals, but be warned if you buy some of the animal feed and enter the pen the goats will leap up at you and push for the food!
On to the next area where we discovered pigs eating pumpkins, calves, yet more goats and a mummy pig with the most gorgeous piglets. Here we got to feed the calves some milk which our little ones thoroughly enjoyed.
The ‘Appy Angus show
We then dashed back down to the barnyard theatre just in time for the halloween ‘appy Angus show.
The show was the perfect length, mix of giggles and mild scare factor for our young family. Slightly madcap with a pantomime style that had the girls laughing and shouting. The show was followed by ferret racing with lots of clapping and cheering on your favourite ferret.
There was so much more to do!
We rounded off our visit with a play on the (new for 2017) air bouncer – a massive inflatable domed area of land- and a play in the adventure zone, that has all your usual park features plus a zip wire (maybe the husband’s fave part of the day) and two huge slides.
Our day was action packed and yet there was SO much more we could of done. We missed out on animal handling, the birds of prey display show, the deer train safari and the transport museum. I think we would struggle to fit it all in on a normal visit let alone without the halloween activities thrown in too.
We had a great day out and some much needed family time. I often judge the success of a day out on how well the girls go to bed that night and after our action packed day they were fast asleep within minutes. Always a winner for me!
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About the Author: Stephanie Walker
Originally from Coventry with a slight detour via Wolverhampton and Luton, Steph moved to Exeter in January 2013. She lives in the St Thomas area of the city with her husband Chris, their 3 daughters and springer spaniel Freddie.
A primary school teacher gone rogue, Steph currently works for Makelunch a national charity seeking to end holiday hunger for children and also runs weekly singing sessions for toddlers and their grown ups.
Steph is passionate about building community, being honest about parenting ( in particular our birth experiences and post-natal mental health) and food!
Disclaimer: We received free passes for the day but all opinion is OURS!!