Reviewed by Stella Young
We are a married couple with 3 small children, a little boy not long turned 3, and 11 month old twin girls. We were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring 2013 so we could start taking our little brood on some family days out. Muddy Boots was on top of our “to do” list, as had heard good things about it, but had to wait for some nice weather. So we waited, and it snowed, we waited more, it snowed more, then finally mid-April we had a glimpse of what was the makings of a lovely spring day. So with a bit of regimental planning, we finally pulled on our wellies, jumped in the car and headed for Muddy Boots, Balmalcolm, Nr Cupar, Fife.
We weren’t long in to our journey before we knew our first priority when we arrived, baby changing! The farm was obviously busy, as there were a lot of cars in the car park, but there were still plenty spaces available. We entered the farm and saw lots of play activity areas, but couldn’t see an obvious pay desk. When we reached the shop/reception area, we realised this was because there is no charge to come to Muddy Boots, only charge is for children if they want to use the activities, you pay per child and they are issued with a wristband, there is no charge for adults.
We swiftly made our way to baby changing, which was within the main shop area, alongside ladies & gents toilets, and also a dedicated children’s toilet. Something I have never seen before, I guess this is part of the reason they have award winning toilet facilities. The baby changing/disabled facility was very spacious, no problem getting in there with the double buggy, plus husband and 3 year old! Very clean and modern.
Being on a tight budget, we had brought a picnic with us, and headed to the Muddy Munchkins play area for Under 7’s, where we found picnic benches. Within this area, there was a tractor/race car play area, complete with pretend petrol pump to fuel the vehicles, the kids loved that. There was a wooden play area, shaky bridge, balance logs etc, playhouse, chutes, giant jumping pillow, all of which had ample observation seating for parents to keep an eye on their children, whilst relaxing at the same time.
Once my boy had exhausted this area, we decided to head in to the café and shop area, the shop was filled with a glorious array of fresh and frozen produce, a lot of which was directly from the farm. A lot of the prices were on par with the large supermarkets. The farm boasts a large café area, with a modern yet rustic feel. It served a huge variety of drinks, including flavoured teas, also a menu of home cooked meals which included vegetarian and gluten free option. We chose a table quite easily, considering we always need to have plenty of space for the double buggy, there was a big pile of highchairs, and I also noticed a bumbo suitable for smaller babies. I got us all seated, grabbed a few toys from the selection available and ordered some drinks for us all. The prices were very reasonable, and the kids were amused playing with the toys.
We then headed out to explore the rest of the farm, this was where the fun really started, the play barn – exactly what it says on the tin, a barn converted in to a play area, the quad train, the grass sledging, duck racing (of the rubber variety), lamb feeding, sadly we missed the muddy trotter pig racing! I’m not sure who was most disappointed about the fact we had to go home, my 3 year old or my husband!
There is no charge for non-walking children, then it varies from £3.50 to £6.50 per child depending on age. An annual pass for Muddy Boots is available for one child for £50, bargain considering there is no charge for adults, every additional child pass is £40 thereafter. There was plenty mum’s there with young babies, just using the café and shop.
The Muddy Boots theme is carried throughout the farm, from cleverly sculpted animals made from Wellington boots, to little footprints embossed on the glass in the café.
Whether you are looking for an adventure day out with the kids, or somewhere just to chill for a nice lunch and coffee, or a farm shop laden with goodies, from fresh peppers to home made ice cream, Muddy Boots is worth a visit.
A massive thumbs up from the Young family.
For more information or to buy a pass visit www.muddybootsfife.com