Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

So spring has finally sprung and leapt into summer and with a free Saturday morning, we thought that enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. As a result, we went to Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, for a Teddy and Friends Adventure.

The Farm

As we have been to Meanwood Valley Urban Farm a few times, it is probably a good start to talk about the farm itself first.  The farm is not massive and with a toddler, it will probably take an hour to go round. As you can imagine, it is pretty much all outdoors. As a result, you need to be prepared to the weather and as some of the paths on the outer fields are grassy and hilly. Taking a pushchair can be difficult! However, there is enough to see without going to these parts.

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Sheep!

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is a charity and so there isn’t the same mindset as some attractions. This can be seen by the low prices that it charges for entry. However, there is a shop and cafe to allow you to financially support the farm if you are able to.

In terms of animals, there are the “Old McDonald” type of animals – pigs, sheep, cows, chickens etc. If you go at the right time of year, you’ll see the lamb enclosure and you can get really close to them. Unfortunately, I was unable to get good pictures of the lambs. This was because Heidi wanted to play Hook-a-duck (not with a real duck!)

I don’t think we have had to use the changing facilities, but we have used the cafe and it is quite child friendly. I would have no problem going there if I wasn’t taking Heidi!  There are plenty of hand washing stations as well, which is obviously very important when dealing with animals.

Teddy and Friends Adventure

However, the real reason we went to Meanwood Valley Urban Farm on this occasion was the Teddy and Friends Adventure. This was planned, organised and run by some Leeds Beckett Entertainment Management students. They were: Anna Bowlt, Molly Moore, Olivia Griffiths and Orli Lewis. We didn’t really know what to expect, given that the adventure trail sounded cryptically interesting. There were less cryptic activities including arts and crafts, face painting and penalty shoot out competition.

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The flyer as seen on Twitter

We paid our money and given an activity booklet with a crossword in it, and the farm was littered with questions to fill the crossword.  The questions were at a good level so that a 2 year old could answer them verbally. However, an older child would be able to answer and write the answers in the crossword. I have to confess that I had to google one of the questions!

The activity booklet also had an anagram puzzle to work out the name of the bear. The farm was again littered with random letters and they made up a name. This one was good so that the children could practice the letters and the adults could spend a few minutes trying to work out the answer!

There was no map or plan to follow, but the farm isn’t big enough to go too far wrong. There were bear paws printed along the way so you knew where you were going. It also led to an inspired bit of parenting, with me leading Heidi in singing “We’re going on a Bear Hunt”. This probably annoyed everyone enjoying a quiet Saturday morning!!

Activities and Games

After completing the trail, we had a go at the “Guess the Name of the Teddy” game, as well as having a go at the Hook-a-Duck where we won some lollies! Because Heidi has a crazy fascination for face painting, we headed inside to get her face painted. You can see the excellent result below!

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Heidi Tiger!

Actually, it was really good that we headed in as in here was a beautiful cake stall, although after the lollies, we avoided more sugar!. There was also a tombola and arts and crafts table.  The reason why I said it was good that we headed in was that there was so many helpers (clearly wearing Leeds Beckett hoodies!). It was so good to see pretty much one-to-one interaction on the crafts table, which is perfect. Obviously, I don’t know how things went in the afternoon, but as we came and went, the car park was full. It was clear that the event was well supported by the public. However, it didn’t feel busy, or crammed.

Hopefully this kind of event will happen again at some point at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, as it was really good way to spend the morning. It clearly it brought many more people into a hidden Leeds attraction with really good ethics. A win-win for all concerned!!

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