I can’t wait to get out and about as a family again. Are you starting to plan your spring and summer family days out in the East of England? Here are our favourite Suffolk outdoor family days out…
In 2021 there are so many new questions that come into your head as a parent when planning as family day out – In fact as I’m writing this, we are still not even legally allowed to go out! So here’s my run down of how family attractions adapted so far.
If you’re like me, now the road map out of this craziness has been announced, my head is full of half baked plans. Fun spring and summer days out with the kids and even more exciting with other families and friends too – When (hopefully) the restrictions begin to be lifted in the spring these are some the places are looking forward to visiting again
With being outside feeling so important and safer right now I wanted to specifically share our favourite outdoor places.
So with this is mind, as we got a taste of the new normal visiting some family attractions last summer, I thought I would share our experiences and recommendations of some great places to go with children in Suffolk
Hollow Tree Farm
Hollow Tree Farm is a well thought out family farm. There’s a large shop and café to visit on arrival (full of great seasonal produce) and the farm trail stretches out across their beautiful farm land out the back. There’s a clear route to follow with lots of space to social distance and a nice mix of animals with different ways for the children to feed them. They also have lots of different play equipment for kids to enjoy on their way round. There’s also outdoor snack spots and lots of open space with climbing frames and giant tree swings, all set against the beautiful Suffolk countryside.
We had a gorgeous afternoon there last summer when all the social distancing measures had just come into place.
There were differences to normal – You needed to book online before going on the trail, but it was easy to do and really well organised. There were plenty of hand washing stations and also hand gel near each climbing frame.
There was still so much to do and see as we walked around and we could see they’d been working hard during lockdown – The grounds were looking lovely. It never felt too busy and they had clearly marked out where you need you walk going in. The outdoor café was open last summer, which was nice for drinks and an ice cream at the end too. Plus a visit to their farm shop, meant we then had some lovely meat on the BBQ to finish off the day at home.
Anther farm we love to visit is Jimmy’s Farm just outside Ipswich. In fact it is so much more just than a farm, being one of those rare family attractions that has as much for adults as it does for the kids.
There’s an animal trail that goes far beyond the standard pigs and sheep, full of fascinating rare breeds, spread out over a vast area overlooking the stunning rural Suffolk landscape beyond. There’s also brilliant play equipment, giant bouncy pillows my children love, den building in the forest and a butterfly house to visit in the summer. The food as you would expect is really good, but also a nice laid back atmosphere where you can enjoy a meal not worrying if the kids are a bit fidgety. Now on to my favourite, the shops – The farm shop is full of amazing local produce, their meat of course, and then row upon row of treats. They have also expanded in recent years to now have little interior, clothes and toy boutiques.
We last visited summer 2020 when restrictions had just been lifted, the following is our experience from then
What’s Jimmy’s Farm like with social distancing measures in place?
How we found it summer 2020….
- You need book a slot on their website to visit, easy to do and you then show your PayPal confirmation to enter.
- There’s lots of space and social distancing signage, and such lovely friendly staff.
- There were still so many different animals – there’s always something new to see every time we visit.
- The restaurant was closed when we went over and only a few things in the shop so you might need to take snacks, depending on how they are doing it this year.
- Even though social distancing measures in place, there were still ways to get involved. Feeding Alice the camel was my children’s highlight!
- (Before visiting this spring It’s worth checking on their website to see how plans for 2021 opening are going.)
Where can we take the kids for a day out that’s outdoors in Suffolk 2021?…
Suffolk Food Hall
We visited the Suffolk food hall last summer and it was so much better than expected. I thought we were just stopping off at a nice food shop for some treats but it turned out to be so much more.
It is full of aisles of lovely food and home ware pieces, BUT there’s also things for kids – a huge bouncy pillow outside that my two loved, a little park and an outside café with seating in the shade to enjoy the pretty river views. By no means is this a full day out but for us made the perfect little run out where we get to browse and shop and enjoy a coffee outside while the children play for a while.
Definitely the kind of place you can pop to when you want a mini trip out to break up the day
We visited last summer and despite it being a hot sunny day after lockdown had been lifted, the beach wasn’t crowded and the children had plenty of space to play and swim. The beach is lovely to set up camp while the children enjoyed playing in the sand and the waves on their inflatables.
When we visited you needed masks in all the arcades and there was lots of hand sanitiser. However they did feel pretty crowded at some points so I’d suggest if you want to take the kids on the pier and the arcades, the earlier in the day the better. There’s lots of parking right beside the seafront and again we got their early morning, so we could enjoy a quiet walk along the beach before most people arrived.
What’s there to do in Sudbury, Suffolk as a family?
Belvue Park, Sudbury
One of our favourite parks is Belvue park in Sudbury. We are lucky to live locally and spend a lot of time here, but with so much to do for children of all ages, Its a great one to visit combined with a wander over to Sudbury’s beautiful water meadows or the town is only a five minute walk away with lots of family friendly places for a meal.
There are different play areas to enjoy, including an obstacle course and a giant sand pit with 3 climbing frames for different ages. There’s tennis courts, lawn for a kick about and a skate and scooter park. On sunny days and holidays there’s also a café hut serving cheap ice creams and drinks. The zip wire is also handily positioned near the exit, so you can bribe the kids to leave with the promise of a go, on the way out.
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Some more blog posts you might like…
Being a Lockdown Mum – Our Weird New Normal From the noise and mess to baking & phone obsession’s, here are the 10 things I’ve learned being a family in Lockdown
Kids rainy day activities for fun at home – here are our favourite boredom busters
Ideas and Printables for zoom activities for Kids – My children have also loved keeping in touch with family and friends on video chats. We have tried lots of different games and quizzes. I have made some into printables you can download here.
We are really lucky to have a big garden space to play in, and like many we have a trampoline that the kids LOVE to bounce on. With so many hours to fill right now, I’ve written a post here with 6 fun things to do on a trampoline.