Almost Spring

I used to think that Winter was my favourite season but the last few years have seen me slowly change my mind. Of course I love Christmas and the seasonal loveliness it brings. The past few Winters have been nothing but grey and dismal. Instead of snow we’ve had rain and constantly fluctuating temperatures. This has made me yearn for Spring more than ever.

This year I have noticed what a negative effect Winter has had on my physical and mental health. I’ve never been diagnosed with anything like seasonal affective disorder but I definitely do suffer some form of blues quite badly around this time. In the past I’ve suffered from a Vitamin D deficiency but I know take supplements which do help somewhat.

Last weekend I felt the need more than ever to get out and search for the first signs of Spring. Here in the UK Spring officially starts on March 20th but I knew if I searched hard enough I could find what I was looking for. I was also desperate to feel the sun on my skin and get some fresh air in my lungs.

With no sign of rain we set off to visit one of our favourite places. Acorn Farm is a small community run farm near Knowsley. I’ve blogged about our visits a couple of times. The children love the animals and the parks, but for me it’s more about the sensory garden and the little woodland walk.

There’s a herb garden where the plants are already flourishing. We spent some time smelling the leaves and branches and guessing which herbs they were. The sensory garden was alive with signs of Spring. From the tall yellow daffodils to the stunning purple crocuses, it couldn’t help but to lift my spirits.

I don’t know whether it’s a part of getting older but I certainly don’t remember taking this much notice of flowers and plants in my younger days. I also notice and appreciate the signs of seasonal changes so much more now too.

It was so lovely to do something as a family. Our weekends can often be busy and time together can sometimes become neglected.

Those few hours outside, surrounded by nature with the sun on my face made me feel happier than I have in a little while. So I welcome Spring with open arms, ready for growth and renewal.

 

 

Jake’s Birthday At The Farm

For Jake’s second birthday I wanted to do something different than the usual little tea party at home, I wanted to invite some family to join us for a day out and I knew the perfect place, Acorn Farm is half an hour away from home, it’s excellent value for money and it’s so much fun.

We woke on Sunday morning to beautiful blue skies and the weather stayed warm and bright all day, we could not have chosen a better day to go, we covered ourselves in sun cream, made a picnic for everybody and set off for a day full of fun.

I’ve written a blog post about Acorn Farm before which you can find here, our second visit didn’t disappoint the animals were as friendly and well looked after as last time and the children got to enjoy the two play parks this time as well. We bought a few bags of animal feed and made our way around the farm, all the children had a go at feeding the animals and I think the adults enjoyed that part too.

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We stopped for a quick refreshment break while the children played on the huge activity frame before moving on to feed the chickens and ducks and to visit the cute Meerkat.

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There are lots of picnic benches at Acorn Farm and we found one with a little shade, we spread our picnic out and everyone happily munched away, the children played some more on the smaller play park which includes a big wooden tractor and a little playhouse. After packing our leftovers away we crossed the car park to see some more animals and take the woodland walk, we came across a poor billy goat with his head stuck the fence, FrugalMrW walked all the way back to the farm to let somebody know and he had just got there when I phoned him to say the goat had unstuck himself I don’t know who I felt more sorry for.

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We took the woodland walk it was nice and shaded which was a relief from the heat of the afternoon, there were some beautiful flowers which I couldn’t help but stop and photograph, there was also a bug hotel which I thought was fantastic there are lots of little things like this throughout the farm like the golf ball chimes by the peace garden, it really is a beautiful place to visit with lots to see and do.

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After returning to the main part of the farm we visited the farm shop where the children got a little treat each and I bought two gorgeous flower baskets, afterwards everyone enjoyed an ice cream and a last play on the park before we set off for home.

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At home Jake enjoyed a couple of early birthday presents and his birthday cake so we could share it with everyone, it really was a perfect day everyone had a great time and it was so nice to spend the day all together.

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Angela xx

A Family Day Out At Acorn Farm

This weekend we ticked two things off our Summer Bucket list, we visited a farm and had a picnic.

We were going to visit a farm that’s quite local to us that I had taken my older kids to when they were young. On seeing the admission prices and the fact they wanted to charge for Jake (he’s 12 weeks old). I decided to look further afield. I came across a lovely little place called Acorn Farm in Knowsley which about a thirty minute drive from us.

Acorn Farm started out as a community project in 1985 and has gone from strength to strength since then. They continue to involve people from the local community, as well as providing local employment opportunities. There’s also day service placement available for those with disabilities.

When I saw this statement on their website ‘Acorn Farm is a registered charity and we try to keep our admission and other charges to a minimum to ensure that everyone is able to access our services regardless of their level of disposable income. Any surplus generated is used to improve the farm’s facilities’ I knew the farm deserved our hard earned pennies.

Here are a few photo’s from our visit

The admission price is fantastic for families on a tight budget, £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for kids !

As well as the usual array of farm animals, they also have Meerkats. This little fella was busy keeping watch.

 

 

 

You can buy a very generous sized bag of animal feed for 50p. All the animals were really friendly and those who weren’t were clearly sign posted.

 

 

There is a beautiful little sensory garden where you can chill out. Like the rest of the farm this area is beautifully maintained.

 

We paid £1 for Daisy to pet some of the smaller animals. The petting sessions are usually only offered on weekends but are available every day throughout the Summer holidays.

 

There are plenty of spaces outside to have a picnic, the farm also has a small café offering freshly cooked meals.

Although we had a picnic we needed to feed Jake so popped in the café for a coffee. Daisy enjoyed a huge slice of sticky apple cake.
The farm also has two fantastic play areas for children, a woodland walk and a shop where they sell local produce and plants from the farm.
I can’t believe this little gem of a place has been sitting under our noses for years without us noticing. It will definitely become a regular day out for us now.
Acorn Farm also won a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor this year and I’m really not surprised, the site is beautifully maintained and the animals look healthy and well cared for.
If you want to check out there website then you can click here .
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