Every summer my sister and her family visit us from Dubai, so we take advantage of the time we have together and I always try and take them to a local family attraction (in addition to our obligatory trip to Thomas Land!) Last year it was The Sea Life Centre in Birmingham – mainly because the weather was so appalling! With a little more sunshine this year we decided to venture to Hatton Country World, which has Hatton Adventure World for kids, and is about a twenty minute drive from us in Warwick.
Not being the most organised of mothers, I didn’t check the entry price before arriving and have to admit that I was a little surprised by how much it cost to get into Hatton Adventure World – £9 for adults, £9.50 for over 2s, and free for under twos. I don’t really agree with having to pay more for a child over two than for an adult, I find it a little bold. But perhaps that’s just me? So for three adults, one three year old and one 19 month year old, it cost us £36.50.
We were handed a list of events and activities taking place throughout the day, but I only looked at this later on, so it would’ve been helpful if the people serving us had explained this to us when purchasing our tickets.
Lunch, soft play and Superslide Mania
Once through the gate we headed to Snorty’s restaurant as it was lunchtime and we were all starving! The dining area is situated right next to the indoor soft play area and Superslide Mania. So I did have to avert a couple of tantrums from Taylor who just wanted to go play rather than sit down and eat! The food was typically unoriginal and what you seem to get on most kids’ menus (sausage, fish, chicken with chips, beans, veg). Taylor had the fishcake which was apparently cooked to order, but I have to say it didn’t taste great. All of the kids meals were £5.45 and included a drink, adults around £6.50.
Of course we had to spend quite a bit of time in the soft play areas. They have different sections for different age groups, which I really liked. Taylor was too young for Superslide Mania, but my nephew loved the bumpy slide. Of course my sister dared me to go down the vertical drop – it took ages for me to build up the courage, but once I saw a young girl who must’ve been about eight, of course I had to do it!!
After the kids (and adults!) had finished running around inside, we headed outside where there’s a huge variety of activities – from lots of farm yard animals and outdoor play areas, to trampolines, fairground rides, a huge inflatable slide, bowling, and mini JCB diggers. We certainly didn’t run out of things to do.
It was the first time Taylor has visited a petting farm and she absolutely loved the billy goats and found the cockerels hilarious. Once she realised she could feed the goats grass, there was no getting her away!
But her favouite attraction by far was the huge inflatable slide which my sister and I took turns going down with her. It’s perfect for little ones as you don’t go too fast but bouncing down it is a lot of fun. Every time we got to the bottom Taylor demanded ‘more!’ and threw a major tantrum when we finally decided we had to move on!
It had rained early that morning (but was a sunny afternoon) and it was a little disappointing that the small slides in the play areas were covered in puddles so we weren’t able to use them. The bouncing castle was also wet through and we felt the water could’ve been cleaned up by a member of staff so that visitors could’ve still used them.
We spent some time on the large trampolines before heading to the Great American Gold Rush – where kids can collect tiny bits of gold in the bowls provided and redeem for a medal. I imagine older kids would love this, but ours were a little too young to understand. Although Taylor did enjoy holding her hand under the running water and splashing mum.
The fairground rides weren’t running when we were there. I see that from my leaflet (that I looked at near the end of the day!) that they only run for half an hour at set times twice a day. So make sure that – unlike us – you plan your trip around the activities accordingly.
There are some great supersized games that the whole family can get involved in. My sis and I were pretty excited to discover the outdoor tenpin bowling (with actual bowling balls). As usual, she was far better than me (little sister complex ha!) and we had to bring our short-lived game to a halt once the kids started picking up the pins and trying to kick the bowling balls. There’s also a giant snakes and ladders board and drafts.
We headed over to the helter skelter but was disappointed to find that all of the sacks (which you go down in) were heaped in a soaking wet pile. Again, we felt that the staff could’ve been a little more proactive in moving them out of the rain, or just hanging them around to dry throughout the day. Another mum was with her son when we arrived there and she took it upon herself to hang them all up. I did go down with Taylor, but we go stuck!! I had to use my feet to pull us all the way down! So perhaps it’s more suited to older kids who can go down alone (and are smaller than me!)
We discovered the assault course behind the helter skelter and we entertained ourselves for half an hour timing each other to complete it (yes, I mean the adults!) The kids ran around for a bit and Taylor found it hilarious watching mummy run – I suppose she’s never seen that sight before! Yes, my sister beat me. But it was only by a second. And she is a PE teacher so it was hardly fair…
We then headed to the JCB track where they have lots of mini diggers for the kids to ride. It wasn’t very busy when we were there but I imagine this gets so popular during the summer holidays. I did like how they had plenty of diggers though, and they stipulate a time limit for busy periods so that everyone can have a go. My nephew was in his element and loved the pretend petrol pump where he could fill up his digger. I had to push Taylor around, but she had a blast too.
It was getting past tea time so we decided to head home after that. Unfortunately we didn’t get chance to look in any of the shops at Hatton Shopping village (shopping with a hungry toddler is no fun!), but I will definitely be returning to have a browse another time.
Despite my grumble about the prices and a few issues with some of the activities, we did have a great family day out and the kids really did love it. It’s perfect for toddlers who just want to run around and explore.
We didn’t get there until midday, but we could’ve definitely made a full day of it as there is so much to do. There are also a number of scheduled activities throughout the day such as Falconry Displays and a Tractor Safari ride, which we didn’t realise. And they have activities designed specifically to suit various age ranges from under 5s, up to 8 years, and 8-13 years, so there’s something for everyone. I particularly like how adults can get involved in all of the activities too and have a bit of fun with it.
I do think for the entry price, the staff could be a little more helpful and proactive. However the kids loved every minute of it and as family attractions go, Hatton Country World really does have a lot to offer.