Mumbler Reviews York

Days Out Reviews

Real parent reviews of days out with kids in York

The Blue House Bookshop, York: A Mumbler review by Awesome Books Club

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Amy of the Awesome Books Club

York Mumbler Amy and her two children recently visited the Blue House Bookshop, Bootham, York.  Find out what they thought about it, along with lots of useful information in her review.

Here at Awesome Books Club we never need an excuse to go to a book shop! I was really excited when asked by York Mumbler to go and visit the newest independent bookshop in town. The Blue House Bookshop at 10 Bootham in the centre of York specialises in children’s books from birth up to young adults. From the outside, it looks incredibly inviting to any children’s book lover with a beautiful display of children’s books and gorgeous coloured lights.

A warm welcome

The Blue House Bookshop, York outsideOn entering the shop Karen, the owner of the shop was instantly lovely and welcomed us with a warm smile. The shop was easily accessible with a pushchair from the street to the downstairs. My two mini Mumbler’s aged (1 and 4) soon made themselves at home finding some books and taking them off the shelves and Karen was more than happy for them to sit and look at the books on the child-sized colourful chairs available for them.

There was a huge variety of children’s books on offer for every age range both fiction and non-fiction. There were some classics such as Peter Rabbit and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to some less well known. Karen informed me that she really enjoys finding new books to stock the shelves with and encouraging young children to come into the shop and get excited about reading. It was apparent that it had been Karen’s lifelong dream to own a book shop and this became clear as you started to browse what is on offer.

You can tell the shop is stocked by someone with a good knowledge of children’s books and with an understanding of the importance of reading for children. When you continue upstairs there are books for older children to young adult age again you a greeted by more wonderful books and there are more chairs to sit on and read! What a lovely way to encourage children to pick a book and delve straight in!

Look out for weekly story sessions coming soon…

The Blue House Bookshop, York windowIt was no wonder finding out from Karen that some of her working background was in retail and window dressing. It really showed, how she displayed the books with such love and care. Karen also shared that she has lots of exciting ideas in store such as weekly story sessions (possibly going to be on a Tuesday morning so watch this space). Karen also shared that she is hoping to get local authors in to share their latest books and carry out signings. If you are looking for a new book or want a gift of a book for a child, you know I really would recommend a trip to Blue House Bookshop as there are a great variety of books to choose from and plenty of help with recommendations. Karen mentioned that if they don’t have a book you would like in the shop they are more than happy to find it for you.

Children are very welcome

The fact that my mini Mumbler’s didn’t want to leave all the wonderful books on offer at The Blue House Bookshop means it was a hit for my children (we might have stayed all afternoon if we didn’t have a party to get to!). At Awesome Books Club we love children’s books and we are so excited to find anywhere that helps spread the joy of reading to children.

The Blue House Bookshop would be a great place to visit if you have children who love to read already or if you want to encourage more reading. There are so many different books on offer in this absolute treasure of a book shop that it would be hard for them not to find one they would like! The fact that children are welcomed to look at the books and you don’t have to worry about them touching anything is always a plus when you have little ones.

Useful links & information

  • The Blue House Bookshop is open Monday –Friday from 10am -5pm
  • Saturdays 10am-4pm and Sundays 1pm-4pm

For more information see the Blue House Bookshop on facebook.
For more Mumbler reviews of things to do in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.

Awesome Books Club logoYou can follow Awesome Books Club on Facebook and Instagram for lots more book & reading recommendations!

Don’t miss Awesome Books Club post on the Top 10 Children’s Books for Christmas.


Christmas at York Castle Museum: A Mumbler review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Lisa

York Mumbler Lisa and her family recently went to the Castle Museum in York to the Dickensian Christmas and to see Father Christmas. Find out what they thought about it in their review. 

Castle Museum YorkThe Castle Museum is always a unique and interesting attraction to visit, entertaining and educating mini Mumblers of all ages. In the festive run-up, the museum is transformed into a traditional Christmas experience, inspired by Dickensian times.

This Christmas Experience features a fantastic and engaging adaptation of the Dicken’s classic, ‘A Christmas Carol’ followed by an entertaining and interactive opportunity to meet the main man himself…Father Christmas.

There’s plenty of entertainment while you wait…

Whilst waiting for the Festive Experience to begin, we were entertained by a brilliant magician, in character from Victorian times, as well as a trip to the sweet shop on the recreated Victorian Street. A great idea to bribe and cajole mini Mumblers into good behaviour!  Our two boys ate their chocolate and sugar mice and we were entertained by Fagin trying to persuade them to join his gang.

Enjoy an immersive one-man show of ‘A Christmas Carol’

The atmospheric recreated Victorian Street Kirkgate provides the perfect backdrop for a very professional and entertaining adaptation of the classic ‘A Christmas Carol’.  Audience members are invited to take part in some of the key roles in the story.

Props were dispensed to the audience to get into character and then the classic tale of festive self-enlightenment and redemption began.  With one innovative actor, and the use of clever props and different areas of the street, Scrooge’s story was faithfully recreated through an abridged version, that will entertain people of all ages.

Meeting you know who 🎅Father Christmas at Castle Museum York

No Christmas experience is complete without the presence of the man in red and the Castle Museum offered a unique and interesting twist on the standard Santa meet and greet experience.

We were ushered into an atmospheric Victorian parlour room and each child was provided with a Christmas card to decorate and write their name and Christmas list on.

The festive atmosphere was built up with an outstanding rendition of the classic festive poem, ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ by a charismatic actor who managed to bring it alive to both excited children and parents alike.

All the cards were hung on the mantlepiece and, following some excellent sound effects, Father Christmas duly appeared down the chimney, to the audible delight of all the young believers.

He did not disappoint and had the most traditional and detailed costume you could imagine.  Every child was given a special present for Christmas and the opportunity for photos and to get on the nice list, before the big day.

It is truly magical!Around the Christmas Tree at York Castle Museum

The Castle Museum has managed to create a truly magical Christmas experience that plays out in the atmospheric Victorian Street.  As well as being thoroughly entertaining, it also provides culture and education by transporting children back to Victorian times, immersing them in classic Dicken’s, as well as of course giving the opportunity to meet Father Christmas.

This experience adds to the deserved reputation York has built up as one of the most festive of places in the UK.  As the museum is located in the heart of the City, you can also immerse yourself in everything that the ever-popular St Nicholas Fair has to offer on Parliament Street has to offer to finish off a truly unique Christmas family trip.

Useful links & information

  • The Christmas Experience runs until 22nd December with extra week dates including Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th December
  • Time slots are 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm
  • Online bookings must be made for 10:30am, 11:30am and 2:30pm sessions
  • £8.50 per child plus museum admission (Universal Credit Child over 3 £4.25)
  • A child ticket for Father Christmas includes free admission of two parents/carers, but they do need to pay normal admission to York Castle Museum

For more information about the Christmas Experience at the Castle Museum, York see the full details on York Mumbler.

See more information about the Castle Museum, York here.

For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


Disclaimer: York Mumbler was given free tickets for A Dickensian Christmas at the Castle Museum York in exchange for an honest review.


William’s Den, Halloween at the Den – Pumpkin Party: A Mumbler review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Fiona Brook

It’s Halloween this half term, and those inventive folks at William’s Den have put together a frightful fun programme of spooky events for their young visitors at their Pumpkin Party. My 2-year-old and I were excited to head to the Den on behalf of York Mumbler to check it out…

More than just a pumpkin patch 🎃🎃🎃

It was a crisp sunny day when we visited, and so we started our ghoulish adventure outside, exploring the “Petrifying Pumpkin Adventure”, which gave my toddler and his little friend plenty of opportunities to hide and shout “boo” at each other. Older children will be occupied by a Trick or Treat puzzle to complete.

Then, passing the haunted pumpkin playhouse, we entered the well-stocked pumpkin patch and picked our pumpkin, before the kids borrowed a mini wheelbarrow each to cart it to the nearby pumpkin carving station where the parents were getting creative with carving a pumpkin to take home.

The highlight of the day for my little boy was the “spooky disco” – not just dancing to suitably themed music (the sight of a room of small children attempting to do the iconic Michael Jackson Thriller dance may not leave me for a while), but also games of Pass the Pumpkin and Musical Bumps. The two ladies dressed as pumpkins who were animating this event were brilliant at getting everyone involved, and ensuring that all of the children got some sort of treat.

We sadly missed out on the Broomstick Races, but enjoyed other Halloween themed courtyard games included Tic Tac Toe with real pumpkins as the game pieces; “Pin the smile on the pumpkin” and a game of “Witch Hat Toss” hoopla.

Ice Screams and more…

The Ice Scream tent was a spooky step too far for my toddler, but it’s a fun idea for older kids. Follow a green-haired witch into a darkened teepee, where a hairy hand emerging from the wall offers you a tiny shot of ice cream to sample and guess the flavour…but beware! Flavours include Toothpaste and Onion Gravy. Yikes!

No trip to the Den is complete without one of their homemade ice creams in more conventional flavours (check my previous review of this here), and I’m pleased to report that since our last visit, there is now a vegan choice available. I had the vegan chocolate ice cream, and it was smooth and delicious.

A pumpkin-tastic day out for kids of all ages. Coupled with the usual climbing, paddling, sand play and den building fun of the Den, you can easily spend all day there, as we did. My 26-month-old still needs a hand on the climbing equipment, but can certainly take full advantage of the wonderful exploring opportunities in this amazing venue.

Good to know

  • The areas around the pumpkin patch can be a little boggy in the Autumn weather – take your wellies!
  • The Pumpkin Party at the Den runs from 21st – 31st October 2019. One free pumpkin per child per visit.
  • Admission prices from: Adults £8, children under 3 from £4.74, children 3+ £11.25

Useful links & information 

William’s Den – Castle Farm, Wold Hill, North Cave, East Riding of Yorkshire HU15 2LS
For more information on the Halloween events at Williams Den see their website. 
For more information about Williams Den, York, see the York Mumbler information page.
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


Disclaimer: York Mumbler was given free tickets for William’s Den, Halloween at the Den Pumpkin party in exchange for an honest review. 


Spilmans Pumpkin Festival: A Mumbler review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Vicky

York Mumbler Vicky recently went to Spilmans Pumpkin Festival near Thirsk with her friend and four children. Find out what they thought about their day out in her review.

Getting a wheelbarrow at Spilmans

Getting a wheelbarrow at Spilmans

Spilmans Farm is about a 20-minute drive from York, a couple of miles off the A19. It’s a family-run, working farm. The parking is on-site and spacious but in a rather muddy field due to the rainy weather we’ve had recently… be sure to take your wellies!

On arrival, we were greeted by a variety of witches and ghouls! We grabbed a wheelbarrow and headed to the pumpkin farm. The pumpkin field is huge with a large selection of pumpkins to choose from (including some white pumpkins which are called ghost pumpkins – who knew!).  There are plenty of wheelbarrows to carry your pumpkin selection to the pumpkin shop.

How much does it cost & what else is there to do? 

Entry to the farm is free, and on festival days includes a free tractor ride around the farm. You pay for your pumpkins after picking by wheeling them to the shop.

Watch out as the pumpkin pricing structure isn’t clear until you have picked your pumpkins… the bigger the pumpkin, the higher the price but it ranges from £1-£10 so there is something to suit all budgets, (I might have steered my boys away from the biggest they could find if I had realised!).

In the pumpkin field, there is also a straw bale mountain, a corn maze (£3 per child) and a corn cannon.

Busy carving at Spilmans

Busy carving at Spilmans

After paying for the pumpkin you’ve chosen,  you head to an outdoor area to wash them off (again wellies and mud proof clothes needed if the rainy October continues!) then head into the carving barn.

In the carving barn 

The carving barn has to be booked in advance. It costs £5 per child and there are two carving sessions per day. There are long tables set up for you to carve your pumpkin with the help of some on hand experts and a variety of tools and stencils. The best bit is you get to leave all of your mess behind!

Within the carving barn there is other entertainment on hand. There are singing pumpkins, a spooky walk through some decorated farm buildings and a less spooky walk for little ones and a spooky cinema.

Useful tips and information from Mumbler Vicky

  • Wellies are essential as the pumpkin field gets very muddy
  • We didn’t eat at the farm but the BBQ type food in the marquee looked good as did the farm shop
  • The pumpkin pricing is on the website
  • Pre-book your pumpkin carving slot

To sum up Vicky thought… 

Spilman’s offers a unique day out as long as you don’t mind a bit of mud. If offers the chance to carve the pumpkin you have picked from the field where they were grown. Plus some expert carving assistance, great carving kits and no mess at home!

Useful links

Pick Your Own Pumpkins are available every day in October (open 10am to 4pm). Halloween Festival Dates are weekends at October Half Term (23rd – 31st)

There is more information about Spilmans Pumpkin Festival here.
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


Trainmaster, York: A Mumbler review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Tanya

York Mumbler Tanya and her three-year-old recently went to a Trainmaster session in York. Find out what they thought about it, plus lots of useful information in her helpful review.

If your child loves trains, these sessions are for you! Enjoying the ride on train at Trainmaster York

What could be more fun for a train-loving toddler than a Trainmaster session? My three-year-old was so excited to walk into a room full of toy train tracks and couldn’t wait to get stuck into the session. Although we have train track at home, that’s nothing compared to the amount provided by Trainmaster.

There was lots of train track already set up plus extra to add on and more than enough trains to go round everyone. There are also bridges and tunnels on various parts of the track for added interest. The Holgate session at Poppleton Memorial Hall was mainly busy with toddlers, however, children (and babies) of all ages are welcome at the sessions. What makes Trainmaster York even more fun is the two mini ride on trains that go round their own track –  these were a big hit with everyone. My little boy waited patiently for his turn and loved being a train driver for a few minutes. A craft table is also available with things to colour in if anyone wants a break from the trains.

How much does it cost & where is it?

Trainmaster is currently running every month until December offering two timed slots for hourly session at Poppleton Memorial Hall and Pocklington Scout Hut. It costs £6.50 for children and adults go free. Trainmaster also offer a saver ticket for four sessions priced at £20. Plus siblings, multiples and group discounts are available.

Useful tips & information from Mumbler Tanya

  • There is some car parking available at the Memorial Hall but spaces are limited. However, there is plenty of on-street parking available and we had no problem finding a space.
  • Tea and coffee are available for the adults (donations welcome).
  • There are chairs around the room to sit and chill or chat with a cuppa while the kids play.
  • I had a chat with a few parents and many of us remarked how calm the session was and how there were very little disagreements between the kids.
  • Having lots of trains helped and the track was big enough so that if any little ones need their own space there was plenty of track for them to do their own thing.
  • We left via a trip to the child-friendly toilet, the small toilet was an added bit of novelty for my son.
  • Baby changing facilities are also available.

The Trainmaster York session was a really enjoyable way to spend an hour with my little boy and it was nice to walk away knowing I didn’t need to tidy away all the train track! My little train enthusiast can’t wait for the Trainmaster session next month.

Useful links

For more information about Trainmaster, York, see their website. 
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


Ravin Rascals: A Mumbler review

Review by Helen Goodwill

Ravin' Rascals Logo transparentThe last time I went to a rave was in 2001 with my then boyfriend (now husband) and I spent most of the night waiting for a song to come on that I could sing along to (it never happened!).

Fast forward eighteen years and we’re off to another rave, this time accompanied by our 7 and 5-year-old daughters. This family friendly event, hosted by Ravin’ Rascals, promised bubbles, face painting and glow sticks and did not let us down.

The music was much more up my street this time with dance classics like Rhythm is a Dancer combined with more modern songs like Paradise by George Ezra and the irrepressible Baby Shark song!

The free ice cream halfway through the two-hour session went down a treat as did the bubbles which came on intermittently throughout the afternoon. I had a slight concern about how slippery the floor was becoming, but as soon as the bubbles stopped a member of the team could be seen mopping up the residue to ensure no slips or falls.

The UV paints and accessories all added an element of fun that the adults could get involved with and the entertainers interacted with the children enthusiastically, providing energy and dance moves for the children to copy!

The event was well organised and the mix of entertainment, bubbles, ice-cream and competitions ensured that the two-hours flew by and we all had a great time!

For more information about Ravin’ Racals visit their facebook page HERE


Woodland Adventure Company – Gruffalo’s Child: A Mumbler Review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Jo Neill

Woodland Adventure Company

The woods at the Woodland Adventure Company

Find out what local Mumbler Jo thought about the Gruffalo’s Child session at the Woodland Adventure Company in Stamford Bridge in her review of her recent visit.

We went on a great adventure into ‘the deep dark woods’ with the Woodland Adventure Company recently.  We booked onto the Gruffalo’s Child session which is aimed at 2 -6-year-olds. It is set in beautiful woodland just outside Stamford Bridge and this 90-minute session includes craft making, a hunt through the woods, marshmallow toasting and free play.

About the session 

The session began with each child making their own stick man out of whatever they could forage from the woodland floor and the results were brilliant. The children then took the stickmen on an adventure through the woods to find the characters from the Gruffalo storybook series.  The group included children ranging from 2 to 6 years and the session leader skillfully involved all of them. They made sure they each got to take part in the hunt, find the clues and stroke the animals when they found them if they wanted to.

The hunt through the woods was great fun, with clues that were carefully strewn about and some lovely special effects. The idea of walking through the deep dark woods and actually finding the familiar creatures from the stories worked so well – for Gruffalo fans and newbies to the story alike, it was lovely to see the children’s imaginations really fired up. I won’t spoil the surprise but the ending of the trail is an absolute highlight and safe to say something I’m sure they will all be talking about for a long time to come.

The route through the wood was pram friendly and not too far a walk for little legs to manage.

Back at base, the campfire was lit and the children got the chance to watch popcorn being popped over the fire, toast their own marshmallows and wash it all down with hot chocolate. The base itself is a great area with dens, seating around the fire, a self-service café and woodland toilet.

This was a special school holiday session. The 90-minute session was £10 including the refreshments.

For a magical experience, a great way to get kids enjoying the outdoors and a picturesque walk I would highly recommend booking up. We will definitely be back.

Useful links

More information about the Woodland Aventure Company summer sessions on York Mumbler here. 
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


National Railway Museum, York: A Mumbler Review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Jo 

Mumbler Jo and her two children recently visited the National Railway Museum. Find out more about it and all the amazing things you can see in her brilliant review.

The summer holidays and rain was threatening so I decided to visit the Railway Museum with my 2-year-old daughter B and 4-month-old baby.

Entry to the Museum is free

Peeking into the trains

I was surprised to find it wasn’t too busy. Entry is free but donations are asked for at the entrance desk and some activities, like the miniature train and mallard simulator, are ticketed at £4 and £3 respectively. However, there was so much to do – far more than we realised – even without these additional activities.

We worked out that the museum is split over two sites. Nearest the main entrance is the old Station Hall with train platforms housing historic carriages and engines, fabulous railway signs, old posters and some great paintings.

Experimenting with the Magnets

On the other side through a link tunnel is the enormous Great Hall where modern and historic engines sit alongside each other and – absolute highlight of the visit – a working toy model railway. A lift at each end of the link tunnel allows pram and wheelchair access but at busy times be prepared for quite a wait. Both areas have a buggy-friendly baby change, although they do double up as the disabled loo as well.

Enjoy the storytelling session

We arrived at 11.30am, just in time for the storytelling session which takes place at platform 6, in an empty railway carriage – so far, so Harry Potter. The storyteller did a great job of corralling 20 under 6’s into collectively telling the story of an imaginary train journey.

Why not take a picnic along

We took a picnic for lunch and I was glad I had and it’s great to have this option if you’re watching the pennies over summer. The cafe can be a bit pricey although the seating area in the Station Hall nestled between historic carriages on platform 4 is fun. We found a table to eat at without any problem, with space for the double buggy and plenty of highchairs for little ones. The Great Hall also had a spacious café with a good selection of cakes and a kids lunch box option. According to NRM website, the kids sandwich box starts at £5 and their hot kids meal option is £5.75.

Under 5’s play area

Trainspotting

B discovered the working model railway just off the Great Hall and, along with several other kids she had a fantastic time waving at the trains and running from case to case to see them come out of the tunnels. Near the model railway is an under 5’s area where, be warned, there are two rides on Thomas the Tank Engines. Another highlight of this area was a wooden toy train set which provided hours of fun. At 2pm a pop-up busking scientist – pulled out their Science cart and kids of all ages flocked to try out the different experiments – all for free.

Overall thoughts about the National Railway Museum

One of the great things about the National Railway Museum is the space and sheer scale of it all. Plenty of room to manoeuvre a double buggy and for a toddler to run around in between the giant engines.

This is a fantastic wet weather option, a great space for a coffee and cake and a memorable experience for children to explore the enormous engines. I have one happy and newly converted model railway fan.

Useful links & information

For more information about NRM over the summer holidays see here.
For more information about the NRM over October Half Term see here.
For more information about the NRM over Christmas see here.
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


Piglets Adventure Farm, York: A Mumbler Review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Nikki

Find out what Mumbler Nikki thought about her recent family day out to Piglets Adventure Farm near York. 

Piglets Adventure Farm commonly referred to as simply ‘Piglets’ is a guaranteed fun-filled day out for all and is where we headed to on our family day out.

Open throughout the majority of the year with lots of appropriately themed seasonal activities, we purchased tickets for their ‘Summer Fun’ adventure. These can be purchased in advance on their website at a discounted rate of £9.95 per child and £8.95 per adult with free entry for children under 1. Concession rates are also available with proof provided on the day. Tickets on the door have a slightly increased cost of just £1 per ticket.

Make the most of it and get there when it opens

We arrived as the doors opened at 10am to a fairly empty car park and a day of drizzle! We accessed through the small but well-stocked shop and were given a map and timetable of the day’s activities.

In an attempt to escape the rain, we headed straight for the Tractor and Trailer ride which would take us to the indoor Play Barn. There was no queue so we jumped straight on board and within a couple of minutes arrived at the barn.

Enjoy the indoor fun, especially if it’s raining

The kids (aged 4 & 13) were in their element with three indoor slides, a ‘foam block pit’, and a rope swing. My youngest particularly enjoyed the ride on tractors & spent ages riding around through the hay bales.

We purchased a coffee from their in-house coffee shop & sat on one of the many indoor picnic benches watching them play. We noted they also sold a range of cakes and other snacks including pizza made fresh on site all of which seemed reasonably priced. It’s also worth noting if you’re the parent to a young child who ‘can’t hold’ they now have permanent toilets in the barn which were clean and in good order, with baby change and toilet training facilities available!

After an hour or so, the rain seemed to stop so we rounded up the kids to go back to the main farm area. With regular return journeys, we didn’t need to wait long for the tractor ride back, passing a couple of open fields and stys full of baby piglets on the way much to my youngest’s delight.

Explore all the activities outside

Back at the main area, the kids (or rather, my eldest) took charge of the event timetable & proclaimed we were heading to the Barrel Train. Due to the rain, it was typically wet and muddy but it all added to the fun as both kids climbed on board and enjoyed being bumped around the track. The queues were short and the ride quick so they had a couple of go’s before heading over to the go-kart track where a selection of both single and double go-karts were available. My eldest spent a good 10 minutes racing around the track with her brother bouncing around beside her.

Watch a live-action show

An announcement on a microphone system cut short their fun as it was declared the ‘Magic Hatter’ show was about to start in the seasonal show tent. We headed over and were pleasantly surprised by the large gazebo filled with banquet chairs in front of a small stage. The kids gathered around on the floor and were kept well entertained by the renowned Magic Hatter. As an adult, I could see the use of audience participation and slapstick comedy was a sure-fire hit with the kids, as were some of the puns with the adults!

Time for lunch

The kids at this point announced they were starving, so we grabbed one of the many picnic tables on offer. Whilst we did spot an inside seating area filled with tables to bring your own picnic or alternatively sit and eat from ‘The Trough Cafe’ we had however bought our own and enjoyed the sunshine which was now beginning to make an appearance.

Don’t miss the pig racing!

The tannoy made another announcement just as we finished lunch & we noted a herd of people heading towards the ‘Pig Racing Arena’. We followed the crowd & sat down on the edge of the grassy bank to hear the staff gearing up the crowd to cheer on the release of their pigs who were to race around a paddock to the sound of the crowds cheers. As an added bonus, the kids got to run around the outside following their favourite pig. In case you were wondering, our family favourite ‘Boar-us Johnson’ came in second!!

With time to relax before the next animal feeding session at 2.30pm, the kids let loose on the play equipment in the middle of the park. This included a build and play sand pit, bouncing pillows, Olympigs obstacle course, a Truffles farmhouse & barn play area & yet more ride on tractors. With all this going on, we didn’t get chance to try out the seasonal ‘Water Wars’ or the Crazy Golf course….

Feed the farm animals

With the kids sufficiently fed an hour or so ago we headed to the animal barn, a short walk across a pond via a wooden bridge and past a field with a few animals present. Dodging the chicken that decided to cross our path as we entered the busy barn, we were met with a variety of typical farm animals all eagerly awaiting their lunch. A scramble ensued as the buckets were bought out filled with fresh vegetables, however the staff did ensure that each child got a go at feeding the animals whether it be the goats, rabbits or Guinea pigs. Whilst there, we popped into the ‘Piglets Maternity Ward’ to find a mother and her baby’s suckling happily in their pen. Due to the crowds gathering, we didn’t stay for the animal handling session immediately afterwards but are sure it was worth building into your stay if you have time.

Get lost in the maize maze

We headed towards the Maize Maze and immediately regretted our decision after getting lost within the first few minutes! We decided to do the ‘timed run’ (not compulsory) having a small mobile device that you ‘plug’ into each find within the maze. This was a great concept as it meant no cheating but after about 10 minutes started to work against us. Needless to say we quit having reached 7 out of the 8 targets….

Even have a trip to the ‘beach’

We then headed off to the newly built ‘Beach area’ & I must say this is where Piglets shine. As explained previously, Piglets is a near all year round experience and each time we go, there is something new. The beach didn’t disappoint.

A row of pretty painted wooden beach houses greeted us along with a large sand and water play area & a small coffee shop. The beach huts were available to hire for £20 a day but worth considering for a full day’s use. The weather was playing ball so we sat down for another coffee while the kids played. Looking around, you already get the feeling that this extremely new area is already set to expand shortly….

End the day with a foam party!

The highlight of the day & the one the kids were looking forward to the most was undoubtedly the Foam Party at 4pm. We gathered around the closed off area and after about 10 minutes of ‘warming up the crowds’, thanks to the over enthusiastic staff doing a conga line through the spectators, the foam was released! The kids were in their element!

We left not long after the foam party finished although the park was open for another half or so. Both kids were wiped out as we picked up an ice cream on the way out from the Ice Cream Parlour & had a quick look around the gift shop on the way back to the car. For just £1, my youngest was able to buy 3 small Pick n Mix plastic animal figures to add to his collection at home which he was very proud about! The eldest was simply content with her ice cream and a sit down in the car after a long and busy day.

Useful links & information

Piglets Adventure Farm, Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Lane, York, YO32 9ST
See more details for Piglets here.
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


Murton Park – Yorkshire Museum of Farming, York: A Mumbler Review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Fiona

York Mumbler Fiona and her tractor loving toddler are frequent visitors at Murton Park. Find out why they love it, plus lots of useful information in her review.

Parenthood has brought many unexpected things into my life, including a new-found expertise in vehicles.  Being a mum to a tractor-obsessed toddler means that I am now very familiar with a wide variety of construction vehicles, trains, and especially farm machinery.  As a result, the Yorkshire Museum of Farming has almost become a second home to us this summer.

More than just tractors

Situated at Murton Park just outside York, the Farming Museum is a brilliant place for your little tractor fanatic to let off a bit of steam.  There are several real-life tractors and other farm machines to marvel at, as well as ride-on tractors to borrow in the yard. The play area is well equipped with climbing apparatus, slide, rockers, seesaw, swings and a playhouse; and there’s a clean spacious sandpit with plenty of sand play toys. The select number of farm animals (chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, guinea pigs) kept my toddler entertained, although it’s not a petting farm as such. The entire site is nicely laid out for a casual wander outdoors.

Older children and adults with an interest in early history may also enjoy the recreation Viking village, Stone Age village, Roman fort and Tudor Farmhouse. There are themed historical activities in the school holidays.

Take a trip on the Derwent Valley Light Railway

As a bonus, on Sundays and Bank Holidays the Derwent Valley Light Railway runs a little train every half hour or so along a length of track from a platform outside the museum. Rides are unlimited and at no extra cost (Santa Special events excluded). My little boy enjoyed getting on the train, giving his “ticket” to the guard, and riding the train for the short journey through the fields.

Fiona’s top tips

  • The on-site café (open 10-2pm on weekends and school holidays) offers simple lunch and snack options, including a child’s meal deal of sandwich, Pom Bears and juice carton.
  • There are also a few picnic tables outside if you want to bring your own lunch.
  • It is best visited on a fine day to enjoy the outside spaces.
  • If it does start to rain then there are exhibits to see in the indoor galleries, as well as a small enclosed indoor soft play area
  • You are allowed to bring your own picnic to eat in the covered atrium area.

Useful links & information

  • The 2019 entrance fee is a reasonable £7.50 for adults and £6.00 for children, with under 2s going free. A Family Ticket is £21.00.
  • What makes this an absolute bargain though is that admission prices give unlimited return visits for 12 months – this makes it a brilliant option to just dip into for the odd hour at the end of a day, at no additional cost.
  • Open from Easter until the end of October, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (last admission at 3.30 pm).
  • Free on-site parking.
  • Baby change table.
  • Accessibility: Some of the outdoor areas outside the main yard (such as the short nature walk and Viking village) can be a little tricky to negotiate with a pram or wheelchair due to the nature of the terrain.

See all the details of their summer activities here.
See all the details of their October half term activities here.
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.

 


William’s Den Ice Cream Launch, near Brough: A Mumbler Review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Fiona Brook

Yummy ice creams

You may know about East Yorkshire’s adventure play wonderland William’s Den, but did you know that they produce their own ice cream? Find out what local Mumbler Fiona and her son thought in her review.

William’s Den has recently launched their new ice cream Sundaes and Shakes menu. My little boy Wilf and I were lucky enough to attend their recent evening reception on behalf of York Mumbler to try it out for ourselves.

Set in the stunning Yorkshire Wolds 

The attraction is set in beautiful countryside on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, and it was a glorious summer evening when we visited – perfect for ice cream sampling. Wilf has only just turned 2 and so I was keen to see what the Den could offer someone his age and physical ability. Initial impressions were good – he made a beeline for the enormous outdoor sandpit and spent a happy half hour playing in the sand and using the various chutes and scoops. The wooden frames and branches for den building also looked like fun.

How about the ice cream? 🍦🍦🍦

Then onto the main event – the ice cream! Eight “favourite flavours” are on offer, plus the newly-launched Sundaes and Shakes. The menu has been developed to appeal to all ages – from the lilac swirled “Unicorn” ice cream with multicoloured sprinkles that will certainly catch the eye of younger customers, to the more indulgent “Den Millionaire” sundae, which sounds like Millionaire’s Shortbread re-imagined in ice cream format.

William’s Den co-creator Tor Carver spoke passionately about her own childhood memories of ice cream and the careful development of their ice cream range, and it’s clear that quality and provenance of their food offering is integral to the overall Den experience. All of their ice creams is made on-site using locally sourced milk and cream brought in from St Quintin’s Creamery in East Yorkshire. It may have been easier to buy in ice cream from another local producer, but Tor explained that the William’s Den ethos is that they strive to make as much of their food as possible from scratch and to know exactly where their ingredients are coming from. As she explained – food memories are such an important part of childhood and they’re keen to get it right for their customers.

We sampled two flavours – Strawberry for Wilf and Coffee for me (parents of sleep-allergic toddlers will know that you get your coffee fix however you can!). The ice creams were deliciously creamy and good natural flavours – it certainly got the toddler seal of approval from Wilf, who declared it “yummy” and demolished it quickly, barely pausing for breath.

Exploring the indoor play area 

After polishing off our ice creams, we returned to explore the main indoor play area, which is an impressive wood and rope network of climbing nets, suspended rope tunnels, platforms and slides, giving the impression of being in a vast treehouse. Below is another huge sandpit, with a water feature running through the middle. It certainly captured my imagination as an adult, let alone a child. Prior to visiting, I’d wondered whether the attraction would have much to offer a 2-year-old; however, Wilf seemed to love it, although he needed a lot of help to use the climbing apparatus. We will definitely be returning when he’s a little bit bigger though!

Useful links & information 

William’s Den – Castle Farm, Wold Hill, North Cave, East Riding of Yorkshire HU15 2LS

For more information about William’s Den on York Mumbler.

Or visit William’s Den website.
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.


York Maze: A Mumbler Review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Vicky 

Find out what local Mumbler Vicky and her family thought of York Maze when they visited during the school summer holidays.

On one of the hottest days of the year so far I visited York Maze with my two boys aged 5 and 6, along with 2 mum- friends with a total of 5 other children ranging from 2 years old to 6.

How to find York Maze

York Maze is easy to find, straight off Elvington Lane and has plenty of parking. We visited on one of the first days of the school holidays and it was busy but not ridiculously so and busyness did not impact our day at all as it was easy to find a parking space and there were no queues to get in.

It is not a cheap day out, tickets are a little cheaper booked online up to midnight the day before, but expect to spend £60 for entry for a family of 4, under 3’s are free.

What is there to do? 

There is SO much to do! This place is definitely a full day out, we arrived at opening, stayed until 5.30 pm and did not manage to see and do everything.

Attractions include a huge sandpit with a climbing frame in it, a huge bouncy pillow, The Popcorn Pillow, (which, unlike many places, is not a free for all and children get a very orderly 10 minute session on it with some sessions just for smaller children- I liked this!) Huge tube slides called ‘The Corn Snake Slides’, the ‘Volcorno’ slide which is a unique climbing structure and slide, a bouncy castle obstacle course (the Cobstacle course’) again run in a very orderly way, not a free for all, the huge maize maze, mini-golf, reptile displays with handling sessions throughout the day (my boys now want an African Giant Landsnail…!) a mural wall for painting, a climbing wall (The Cornwall) various other mini maizes, an interactive tractor ride (which is more of a show with live actors popping out on the way round as you hunt for the baddy- The Crow King !)

Then there is pig racing at various intervals throughout the day- again an interactive live show and KerNoels House Party which is a very funny and well-delivered comedy show. And loads more things to do.

There are live characters wandering around for meet and greets- Mrs Sweetie and Kernel Corn (or something like that) which is a nice touch and gives the place a ‘theme park with a twist’ feel to it!

The corn/maize theme is strong and could almost get a bit much with everything named after corn or maize- so you need to go with good humour and embrace it. The loos are clean and plentiful and there are loads of places to have a pic-nic including a large covered barn, so best to take a good pack-up and save some money, we had pizza for dinner there before we left for home after a picnic lunch and found the catering to be is good but pricey.

In summary, it’s a full-on day out!

Overall I thought York Maze was a great, full-on day out, so much to do we stayed all day and didn’t manage to squeeze it all in. There is something for all ages of children, plenty for older ones, but the younger ones in our party (twin boys who were 4 recently) did get very tired by mid-afternoon on a hot day and had to go home and perhaps didn’t get the same value as the older ones so I would say it is aimed at school-age children rather than toddlers.

It was great to visit on a sunny day but wet weather would not have spoiled it as many activities are covered.

We will definitely visit again!

Useful links

See the York Maze listing for more information
For more Mumbler reviews of the attractions in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.