Today was the last day I have all three little ones at home during the week before the Big J starts school.
Today was NOT a day to spend doing chores.
Or watching endless runs of Miles from ruddy Tomorrow, interspersed with Sofia the bloomin First.
So I put on my super mum jeans, drank a double shot expresso and decided to brave Finkley Down Farm. Solo. 3vs1.
This is the calm before look….
Finkley is located just outside Andover, and has a great car park situated right by the entrance so no long trek before you’ve even got to the entrance or the nightmare ‘child drag’ back to the car when they are too tired to walk (yet somehow miraculously always have the energy to ‘race’ when someone suggests one!)
Within 30 minutes the baby had been shoved into the arms of a poor by-standing random dad (sorry random dad) as a blood covered J (who is pretty much freaked out by the sight of a mere spot of blood) came towards me, closely followed by the town crier-esque younger sister making sure everyone was aware of the big brothers predicament! And all the super mum power drained out the bottom of my Fat Face loafers.
But…an amazing young staff member quickly got me some paper towels and ice packs, without even being asked, and the kind daddy and another random mum entertained the girls whilst I instigated Operation Blood Clean Up. An ice cream later, and a new fat lip, and we were practically back to full force. And the super helpful young man even came back 10 minutes later to check all was ok and if there was anything else he could do. Top marks for staff Finkley!
Finkley, these days is way more than a farm, in fact I’d say it’s more play place with a farm than the other way around. You certainly need energy to take on Finkley. There are animals (I could have snuck a little bunny into the buggy basket!) and you can also do petting sessions. However…the thought of being responsible for four small hands holding delicate chicks/bunnies with real eyes and beaks (with the very real possibility of a baby screaming for attention at the same time) meant one of my little white lies was used up at this point (all mums are allowed 3 a day right?….the shop is ACTUALLY about to close, it is honestly bedtime not 5.30pm etc)…there were “no animal holding/feeding sessions on today, what a shame kids”. But there is a HUGE indoor playzone, with four sections for various ages including a slightly different ball shooting area, a Little Tikes outdoor play area, a track with sit and pedal tractors, and a little pretend car garage area with cars/tractors to sit on and pretend fill up with petrol etc. There is also a massive slide, a water shooting contraption (great when we went on a boiling hot day with daddy earlier in the summer), den building area and even more!
An obligatory part of any day out for my children is a trip to the cafe, and given it means no meal prep and cleaning up for a busy mum, its rare I decline their requests! It is a cafeteria style queue and get your dinners straight onto your tray, which I usually love as there is none of the waiting around with kids who told you what they wanted for lunch 40 minutes ago, however…be warned…I queued for about 20 minutes! 20 minutes with three kids in a queue. I needed more than a bottle of water by the end of that 20 minutes. The cafe was aptly named “The Moody Cow”. Evidently they’ve seen my sort before. Fish finger and chips and a pasta bolognase later and energy levels were ready for the giant sand pit.
There is a large disabled toilet big enough for two kids and a buggy to get in at the toilets next to the playzone. This is always one of my biggest worries when I’m out with all three on my own. However, there was no baby change unit in there so it was an on the floor with the portable nappy mat jobby.
If the weather is good take a picnic. There are pleanty of outdoor picnic benches and I think an indoor picnic area is available if raining.
Finkley offer an after school rate of £6.45 per person so if you are close by this is a great idea!