Special Events and Seasonal Fun - 2020
With the cycle of the seasons, and the comings and goings on the farm, there’s always something new to see and do at Almond Valley. There's also a year-round programme of special events and activities that add further to the fun and celebrate the changing of the seasons. Many of these coincide with school holidays and other happy times.
Warm Welcomes on Chilly Days
In the chilly days between 20th January and 15th March, the tearoom conservatory becomes a cozy woodland den, and the favourite camping spot for teddy bears, woolly caterpillars and many other soft toys. If you're a pre-schooler, why not join them for a picnic and a snooze beneath the stars?
Also during the season of Chilly Days (but excluding the school holiday period 8th-18th February) you can enjoy a delightful and delicious afternoon tea, with a perfect miniature version for children. These must be booked in advance and include FREE admission to Almond Valley.
First Tingles of Spring
Daily - from Saturday 8th to Tuesday 18th February.
It might be chilly outside, but if you look carefully there are all sorts of signs that spring is on its way. After braving the spring spotter's trail, have fun in the warmth of the museum, planting seeds, building nests, and joining in other crafts to prepare for the year to come.
Easter Eggcitement !
Daily - from Saturday 4th until Monday 20th April.
Throughout the Easter school break, the farm is alive with the cheeps and bleats of baby animals, who will be introduced to you at handling and encounter sessions. Grab your clue sheet, sharpen your pencil, and tear around the farm collecting clues on the springtime trail. Keep a look out for hidden eggs that might win you a prize. In the craft area you can make bonnets, masks and other springtime decorations. There will be still further special attractions over the four days of Easter (10th April to 13th April), including our famous plastic duck race along the mill lade.
Daily - from Saturday 2nd until Tuesday 5th May.
A special long weekend of family fun when we can all wish each other a Brilliant Beltane. Turning our backs on the cheesiness and chocolates of Easter, we’re celebrating happier, simpler days when life was closer to nature, and ancient traditions marked the passage of the seasons.
There is a daily programme of lighthearted family activities that delight in the mysteries and wonders of a traditional springtime. Children can create masks that will change them into green boys and girls, with tickely mystical wands that have the power to surprise. Scribble down your secret hopes for the year to come, tie these with wool, ribbon or slices of fabric to decorate our clootie tree. Out on the farm, the animals will be in their springtime finery.
Weekdays - from Monday 29th June until Tuesday 18th August.
Among the trees and forest dens of Highlander's wood, there the chance to look closer at the wonders of the natural world around you. Throughout the school summer holidays there will be experiments and explorations, crafts and creations, and other practical outdoor fun that all the family can be a part of. Guided sessions take place both morning and evening, just drop in and take part - there's no need to book.
Daily - from Saturday 10th October until Sunday 1st November.
As the nights grow darker, and Halloween approaches, strange mysterious creatures emerge from the shadows to cause mischief. Inside the old mill wierd creatures lurk around dark corners, ready to surprise you. It's silly spooky fun. Grab your trail sheet and look out for the clues on your spooky quest. Find your way through a world of magic and shadows with mysteries to solve and games to play. Get creative in the craft area where you can make spooky masks and manufacture monsters.
Throughout the afternoon of All Hallows' Eve (31st October) there a special programme of activities and traditional games - ideal for the families with younger children. No booking is required for daytime activities, and standard admission applies, however if you intend to venture out after dark, you need to book in advance to brave the special scary charm of Witches Wood.
Halloween in the Witches' Wood
Saturday 31st October 2020, from 17.00
Once darkness has fallen, the woods and green fields of Almond Valley take on a far more sinister air. On the night of Halloween, every kind of witch, wizard and monsterous black cat are at large, casting spells, spreading silliness and generally creating havock. Lanterns and blazing cauldrons light your way through the trees, whilst the barns and play areas are lit to impress. With music and games, it's the ideal way to spend Halloween night. Come dressed to kill - every sort of monster welcomed. Places are limited, so advanced booking is essential.
Father Christmas & the Paraffin Pixies
Friday to Sunday 4th - 6th, 11th - 13th, 18th - 20th, plus 23rd and daytime on 24th December
Dear old Father Christmas (Santa to his friends) is once again in residence within his cosy farmyard cottage, set in a snowy landscape conveniently close to the tearoom. He'll be welcoming young friends and handing out some early Christmas presents. Much of Almond Valley will be decorated for the season, and there will be a special chance to try your hand at Christmas crafts. Almond Valley is open during usual hours throughout the period, but all visits to Santa need to be booked in advance.
As darkness falls, the lanterns flicker into life within the Winter Realm of the Paraffin Pixies. Santa's very special helpers, (in charge of lanterns and winter warmth), will again welcome you to their spectacular illuminated world of light and flame. There are wonderous magical sights along a winding woodland trail, amazing lights in the giant covered play space, and happy things happening in the sweeping lights and sticky smells of the orchard barn.
Pre-booking is essential. Combined tickets are available so you can meet Santa, then enjoy your tea, before experiencing the awe and wonder of the Pixie's magical world. It's the ideal Christmas treat.