Keeping children entertained during the school holidays can not only be exhausting but sometimes daunting, especially when things cost too much.
But a trip to the award-winning Thornton Hall Farm Country Park keeps everyone happy without needing to spend a fortune.
I love taking my two children - aged five and two there - as there is so much to see and do. This time, I was accompanied by my friend, Katie Hammond, who also has two children - seven and five and I have to say, we had a blast.
The weather was perfect with glorious sunshine. Obviously, this meant the farm, which boasts breathtaking views of stunning countryside, was busier than usual, but kind and efficient staff at the gates ensured visitors didn't have to queue up for long.
Once inside the spacious grounds, the kids went wild in the Wizzick Barn with ride-on tractors, rope swings, an 18ft high Wizzick slide and a giant sandpit. In fact, we could barely drag them away from the play barn as there was so much to do! The farm gives children and adults alike plenty of opportunity to interact with rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, llamas, ponies and lambs. And you can buy a bag of food to feed them. There are timed sessions for lamb and calf feeding, plus egg collecting too.
Plus, there are plenty of hand washing stations so you don't have to worry about you or your kinds leaving the farm with dirty hands!
There are lots of other fun-filled activities planned on a daily basis at the farm. My two enjoyed having their face beautifully painted for free by Alison Lee, who runs Paint Me Parties.
For lunch we decided to eat in the cafe, which offers a varied menu at reasonable prices, however, there are plenty of benches both inside and outside the barn if families fancy bringing a picnic along.
After a short break, it was back to play for the kids and as they wanted to enjoy some sunshine, they made the most of a swing park outdoors with a go-carting area.
We also paid for the children to experience the caterpillar ride - cute, converted yellow barrels all equipped with seatbelts - which meant that the youngsters wanted to go again and again!
What an amazing and memorable day we had at this gem of a place and we will definitely be returning.
Thornton Hall Country Park, which is situated between Earby and Skipton, is highly recommended for families with young children. Admission prices are children £7, adults £6.50, seniors £6, under-2 £3.50 and under-1 are free, but you can make your day out as cheap or expensive as you like as there are additional extras like the caterpillar ride, quads, pony rides, and a safari trip, which gives visitors a unique, fun and educational guided tour of the farm.
There are some great special events lined up this Spring/Summer - from dinosaurs and The Gruffalo to themed toddler parties and tribute bands! Plus, during school holidays there are daily extra activities offered at no extra cost. These include Monday - Meet & Greets with special characters, Tuesdays - Free Pony Ride, Wednesdays - Circus Workshops, Thursdays - Free Face Painting and Fridays - Critters 2 You.
For details or to purchase tickets, visit the website by logging onto www.thorntonhallcountrypark.co.uk”