Puxton Park is a farm and countryside adventure playground, about half an hour outside Bristol by car.
We visited on an ordinary, School-holiday free Sunday morning, and the first thing we liked about it was the price! Adults are £4.70, and kids under 3 are FREE, so this was a day trip for under a tenner for us. Children over 3 are £6.10, by the way, and a family ticket for four is £18.00. This puts Puxton at a lot cheaper than Bristol Zoo, @Bristol and even National Trust properties for non-members like Tyntesfield. Bargain!
Like most parks of its kind, Puxton is split into zones, which are easily manageable for any walkers, or those in a pushchair. On this though, I would say that if you are the parent of a non-walker, I’d wait a few months to go to Puxton, a lot of the fun is of the ‘doing’ rather than the ‘seeing’ kind. If you are the parent of a child with additional needs, Puxton is fully Accessible, which is fantastic.
The enormous, colourful, loud and varied soft play centre is the first thing you come across. At 18 months, Tibbs liked it a lot, but wasn’t screaming with delight like some of the bigger children going down the huge slides and bouncing, literally, off the walls. There were a couple of phone-hunched parents on the cafe tables whilst they’re kids ran riot, which irritated me a little, but most people were joining in the fun. The coffee, I’ve got to say, wasn’t that brilliant, but the bacon sandwich was absolutely delicious! No picnics are allowed inside, but if you take your own lunches and snacks, I think you can eat them outside, which is massive, and really quite awesome.
The whole outside has different zones, and we stuck to three. The bouncy pillow is a giant rainbow inflatable pillow to bounce on. The sand pit is a big enclosure full of big wooden replica JCBs and other diggers. It’s also, brilliantly, got about 100 buckets and spades lying around, so you can build sandcastles or haul pretend cement around. We then headed down the paddocks, past piglets, goats and bouncy trampolines, to the working dairy farm.
The dairy farm was my favourite bit. All the lovely cows had just been milked and were chomping on their lunch. It was moist-aired, cow-pat smelling, mooing, hoof-shuffling fun – a real dairy farm, not a sanitised suburban version. All the children loved it.
We left Puxton through the farm shop and decided to do our weekly shop there to compare prices, and it did very well. We especially liked the ‘scoop your own’ frozen products (peas and garlic mushrooms for us) and the meat, which was delicious, particularly the sausages.
In the dead of winter with lashing rain, Puxton’s indoor entertainment is probably busy but worthwhile. If the weather is any way doable for outdoors, or you’re a fan of the mud-suit and wellies combo, Puxton Park is a total bargain and really very good fun day out.