Hop Til You Drop

So we're about to start week 5 of the school summer holidays and if you’re a parent like me, chances are you’ve reached (or are close to reaching) the "Aaaagghh! What Do I Do With The Kids Now?" stage.

You can only visit the cinema or park so many times, and you probably know the entire kids TV schedules by now. Also, seeing "Back To School" banners in shops doesn’t mean the holidays are nearly over, as they’ve been up since June. Strangely, our kids don’t seem to find “tidying their bedrooms” as a fun and exciting way to spend their time either? Strange. 

However last week, we DID take them out on a day that was perfect for them. We went to "The Hop Farm" in Paddock Wood in Kent, the attraction which hit headlines this year for being the home of the only UK Prince gig this year. He wasn’t there when we turned up (must’ve seen us coming) but it’s obvious that this place is much more than a…well…hop farm. Once upon a time it was the world’s largest hop village, producing more ale than Al Murray could shake a stick at. In fact, the Oast Houses (a true sign you’re in Kent) are all still there, some of which are home to a museum of how the farm used to work.

However the rest of the site is the bit that made our kids eyes light up: giant jumping pillows, go carts, outdoor adventure play area, 4D Cinema, soft play zone, carousel and a farm with animals you can feed – we knew they’d be occupied for hours. Actually, being honest, me & Mrs Beale had a few goes on the carousel too and we weren’t the only parents either! (The punchline here is surely "I'm just a big kid..at Heart." Hmmmm. Move on…).

Although not all of the attractions were open on the day we were there, the bonus was you paid 1 entry fee which meant the kids could run from one ride to another without having to pay each time  - AND they could obviously go on them as many times as they wanted. We…..relaxed. There’s a central picnic area where we had a good vantage point so we could keep an eye on them while we sat in the sun chilling out!! If you’ve got kids twiddling their thumbs (particularly if they’re 9 or under) then the Hop Farm is worth a visit.

Also don’t forget, we’ve got loads of other ideas on our events pages here at www.heart.co.uk if you’re in need of some inspiration before term-time kicks in again.

Have a great weekend!

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