Rookery Open Farm

Last week I bought Samuel his first pair of shoes. I was really excited for him, it gives him the chance to get out his pushchair once in a while, even though he is not fully walking yet. The problem was, he hated them. I couldn’t even get them on his feet – he would curl up his toes and cry. I’m not kidding, this is a picture of the first time I managed to get them on his feet:

Over the last week I have put his shoes on him every now and then, and he has started to enjoy wearing them because he knows it means he will be walking outside. Even if it is just from the house to the car.

I have wanted to take Sam out for his first solo outing since he turned one last month. Obviously he has been out with the family many times since his first outing a year ago when we took him at 6 week old to Whipsnade Zoo. Usually he sits in the pushchair and tags along, but now he has adjusted to his new shoes he is good to go.

Going out with a baby mid-week has its challenges when you have older children at school; you have to get there and back between school hours, you have to work around nap times, and any other jobs you have during the day. So I chose a local farm for us to go to, Rookery Open Farm. I have taken all the children there during their pre-school years, and I love it for many reasons. I’m going to intersperse some memories into this post, along with my time with Sam. Mostly because I didn’t take many photos today, but also because I love reminiscing.

I didn’t take the pushchair today, the whole trip was to allow Sam to explore.

We started at the petting area. He loved to see the chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and goats. We got in the goat enclosure, and when he touched a goat he squealed with excitement. He loved their flappy ears, and touched the little horns.

Then we went outside to their play area. When I took Max at the age of 2, I had to push him around and round on the little tractors and he didn’t want to play on anything else. The tractors are still there, but I didn’t show Sam this time! Maybe wait until he is old enough to pedal one himself. He was more interested in the swing. Thanks to his new shoes, and new “freedom”, he kept walking back to it.

There are 2 big bouncy castles there, and because it was so quiet today (the best thing about going during school hours) and because we are rebellious, we went on the one for children aged 5-13 and we had it all to ourselves! This is the first time Sam has been on a bouncy castle and he absolutely loved it. I let him crawl around for ages, there were many face-plants and he fell over a lot, but he had loads of fun. Plus I realised that taking a picture of a baby on a bouncy castle is a huge photography challenge.

I tried to get a photo of Sam “driving” the big red tractor but all he wanted to do was climb all over it. I have photos of George on the tractor in 2011 (top), Max in 2014 (middle), and Sam today in 2018 (bottom).

They have a big indoor play barn which Sam is a bit too young to explore. It is great for older children though, and even I had a go down the big slide once to show a 3 year old Max that it wasn’t scary.

Rookery Open Farm is a great place to visit for baby’s day-out. I am looking forward to where his shoes might take him next.

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