Wroxham Barns Summer 2020!
The last time we went to Wroxham Barns was to celebrate their Christmas offering and I’d thought “wow, this has really changed and actually there’s SO much more to do here than I remember”! I’d planned on coming back once the weather warmed up a bit with a view to even potentially buying an annual pass for myself so that I could bring Raffie once a week and then… Lockdown!
But with the ease of restrictions Wroxham Barns has been able to throw open its barn doors once more and we were invited to go and see them again – this time to have a go at trying out the facilities with not only some new (and very welcome) additions making there EVEN more to do, but of course with their efforts in keeping everyone safe post pandemic.
Now we’d had a great time at BeWILDerwood last week and then not such a positive visit to Banham Zoo when it comes to the “keeping safe” stakes but after reading WB’s extensive information on the website I was convinced they would be doing things right – and I was right! They are taking things seriously and while nothing is 100% perfect without the assistance of the actual guests, the fact that they are doing things well themselves made me feel easy before we’d even gone – if you have positive reinforcement I think you naturally follow guides and if everyone is following the guides then I feel safer. So, Wroxham Barns promise:
- Alcohol hand rub stations in place around the site.
- Social distancing queuing systems.
- Every other toilet, urinal and sink closed off.
- Cashless in Gallery gifts, Junior farm & Fun Park, Farmyard café and Restaurant.
- Perspex screens at till points to keep you and their team safe.
- One-way farm and Fun Park system.
- Enhanced cleaning practices.
- Reduced visitor numbers (just under half capacity).
And of course certain areas such as the indoor play will remain closed for the time being while hands-on animal activities have also been suspended. It is also worth noting that if you want to visit the Junior Farm & Fun Park then you have to pre book (this is inclusive for season pass holders and any vouchers you may have too)! They also have lots of reminders to wash your hands and how to keep others safe by clearing your own table etc. It’s done in a fun and non aggressive manner and I found it very appealing and ease making. You can use the code RRbaby when checking out to receive 10% off your ticket prices!
We were greeted upon arrival and had the ropes explained to us but actually the signs are such that it’s pretty clear – still, it’s nice to have friendly faces saying hello and as we made our entrance into the farm, in our allotted time slot, we could see the familiar layout of animals which you are welcome to feed (food is £1 a bag) and the one way system in place is directed by yellow foot prints. It is in the natural way you would make your way around the farm anyway ad we got to see everything. The big children love the pigs and llamas as well as the sheep and goats (we had a very cheeky goat distract them while another came and stole the bag of food – including the bag) and raffie is VERY into the chickens! The farm took us about an hour to get around so not much change here but the real difference was as we moved outside, through the courtyard of independent retailers (who you can visit without a ticket) and the restaurants (the food wafted delicious smells and we felt jealous looking at our home made picnic) and into the picnic area which is vast with lots of tables all set out and distanced from each other. Some under cover and others on the lawn all in view of the newly upgrades Fun Park!
We enjoyed our lunch looking at the quarter of a million pound investment knowing that once we got inside not a penny would have to be parted with! The Fun Park, which used to be hired out to an independent and not included with your ticket to the farm was always a money pit I wasn’t prepared to invest in meaning we have never been. Not even for one ride (tight me) and it was so good as a parent to note that this time they could ride as much as they liked with no thought. There are no coin operated rides, no fair games with an extra price tag and it all felt extremely easy! I LOVE it when an attraction is one price entry and everything is included. HATE it when it is not!
A train, jumping frogs, a merry go round and mini roller coaster are joined by mini golf, a large sand pit with play equipment , two bouncing pillows, Go Karts and the piece de la resistance, the new water fight area! The rides and fun are unlimited while the water station offers every child customer one bucket of water balloons to catapult at each other. We knew this was going to be the winner of the day and saved it till last (which is a good things as we got very wet)! We spent hours here and when we had done everything about 5 times (with the decreased volume of visitors there were no queues and even with the staff – who were all wearing PPE – cleaning every seat after every ride, getting on each one was super swift with little waiting) we went back and saw the animals again before coming back for a last play.
Wroxham Barns has always been great but perhaps with a view to attracting younger children rather than my big kids ages of 8 and 10. It has also always been a place to spend just a couple of hours rather than a whole day – and this is the main change for us because now with the rides there is enough to keep my big two entertained and also, we were there from 11am until they closed at 5. If anything we could have stayed longer. I would actually happily go back again today and really wish we were doing just that!
I had, and more importantly the children had, an absolutely fun packed, safe feeling day and we do very much see ourselves having another day here before the summer is over. Would I be happy with my investment of £11.50 a ticket. ABSOLUTELY!
I assure you that you can take me at my word for any review I do whether the tickets are gifted or otherwise. This is always but I especially want to emphasise this regarding the current situation as it is very important to me. I have been anxious myself about being out and being around people – in good heart I could never recommend anywhere if I didn’t think they were up to scratch!
At Wroxham I felt safe, looked after and like there are good rules in action which in no way took away from our experience of having a good time. They have done well with their seamless adaption and I for one feel very relieved that we have another place to visit where I feel comfortable in the environment. Phew!
When I had moaned on my Instagram stories and grid earlier in the week about Banham Zoo (their efforts were minimal and not really in use when we were there) someone asked me what I expected them to be doing and asked me if I didn’t think it was my own responsibility to keep my family safe when out and about. Well, in answer to that yes of course I have a responsibility and would always be doing my level best to ensure we are doing the right thing but it sure does help when the place you’re visiting cares too and so whatI expect of anywhere really is that they are doing what Wroxham Barns and BeWILDerwood are. Care, thought, consideration and management. In then end I think that’s what’s going to put bums on seats and keep them there!
The Junior Farm & Fun Park is open this year from the 22nd of July until the 6th of September and a wrist band (which gives access all areas including the Fun Park rides) for anyone over the age of 2 (under 2s are FREE) costs £10.50 (plus a £1.00) booking fee. For now members will also have to pay a 50 pence entrance fee per person and a 50 pence booking fee per person but this will be returned upon arrival in the form of a voucher to spend anywhere on site.
We were gifted tickets for our visit to Wroxham Bars Junior Farm & Fun Park.