**This review includes all the attractions at the Ice Cream Farm pre Covid 19. Be aware that currently you must purchase tickets from their website before you visit, however these are really low cost and the maximum you’ll pay is £2 per child. Once you’re inside then the normal play pass rules apply. Some of the attractions are currently closed but I genuinely think that even with the current state of play it’s still a brilliant place to visit, so don’t be put off going!
I remember the Ice Cream Farm as a child when it used to just sell ice cream and had a few cows to look at! Today, after a multi million pound investment in 2015 it’s a whole day out, with soft play, wet play, fantastic outdoor attractions and farmyard animals. The ice cream still tastes pretty good too!
Before I start rambling on about each attraction, a bit about the cost of everything. Basically admission to the outdoor playground (Daisy’s Garden) and farm is completely free. For every other attraction you can choose to pay individually (£4.50 per play) or a far better option is to buy a Play Pass which give you 5 plays for £15, working out at £3 per play.
There used to be a wide range of play passes but unfortunately they seem to have stopped these and replaced it with just the one. It is valid though for 24 months and can be shared between children.
Parking is completely free, there’s a car park right next to it and an overflow on the other side of the road with a pedestrian crossing to get over. When you arrive, you’ll walk through the entrance desks where you can purchase your passes, but if you don’t want to buy one you are free to walk straight through into the free bits.
Ok, so here’s all the attractions you can find at this gem of a place:
Daisy’s Garden: This will be the first thing you come to and it’s completely free, so if you’re short on time you could just do the Garden, buy an ice cream and go home. Part of it looks like something straight out of Teletubby land, you’ll know exactly what I mean when you see it. There’s loads for them to play on in the garden so expect to spend a long time here, its brilliant. Don’t miss the tree in the middle of the garden which spouts out strawberry smelling bubbles about every half hour, much to the delight of everyone, bar the unsuspecting adults who end up with a load in their hair!
Honeycomb Canyon: Is a large sand and water indoor play and is our favourite attraction here. It consists of lots of water channels, with pumps and troughs where the kids can get their brains working rechanneling the water. Do watch little ones round the troughs as there can be several inches of water in them. The sand pits have sand chutes, a sieve and pulley so it’s definitely worth taking a bucket and spade. For older kids there’s giant tepees with climbing walls, rope bridges, slides and scramble nets.
In the winter I’d recommend going in full waterproofs and wellies as it does get cold in there, but in the summer swimming costumes are the norm (little ones aren’t allowed in just nappies). Either way they’ll get absolutely soaking so a towel for afterwards is a necessity. Apart from the toilets there aren’t any changing facilities, most people just change them in the main room next to where they are sitting.
Fun Factory: A big indoor ice cream themed soft play suitable for all ages. It’s got a massive play frame best for age 4/5 upwards (although my 3 year old goes in if it’s quiet). There’s so much to do in there and it involves lots of the usual soft play climbing, my right knee has never been the same since I twisted it running around in there in 2018! The big slide is good fun, if I’ve got my tights on I can beat the kids to the bottom. Just behind the slide is the easy to miss freezer room with hanging icicles and giant fans. There’s a ball firing pit, a lightning room, ball pit, an unnerving 1st floor glass floor, I could go on but I’ll leave it for you to explore.
The toddlers and babies have their own play areas. For heights under 1.1m there’s a play frame with two slides, bubble tubes and an infinity floor and for under 70cm there’s a separate area with two ball bits, and various soft play shapes for them to clamber on.
The Loft: Upstairs from the Fun Factory is a games area for 7 and over.
The Pantry: Next to the Fun Factory, the cafe serves up family friendly food so they’ll be something for everyone. The best thing is they serve the food super quick because we all know that you don’t want to keep a tired and hungry child waiting. If you’re a VIP pass holder you get 10% off on all purchases including food and drinks, just show your card to the cashier. To help maintain the free parts of the Ice Cream Farm they don’t allow any picnics so you do need to purchase all your food from them.
Silvercone: This is a little car (one adult and one child can fit on it together) that you drive slowly around a track. It’s not obvious but you can use your Play Pass here, just take it next door into Strawberry Falls (the mini golf) and they’ll give you a token to use. Otherwise you can just put a pound in.
Fudge Farm: Just like Daisy’s Garden this is completely free and has a nice selection of animals to have a look at, I find it a nice quiet thing to do after all the fun of the rest of the activities. Don’t miss the Tractors just before the farm entrance, the kids absolutely love climbing on and pretending to drive.
Strawberry Falls: Fun little mini golf complete with strawberry coloured fountain, what more could you ask for!
Mini Scoop: A couple of miniature diggers for them to sit on and shovel sand. I’ll be honest, even I struggle a bit with the controls…it is for ages 4 and over so not sure what that says about me. Again, just head to Strawberry Falls for a token if you’re using your play pass.
Rocky Road: Their newest attraction, Rocky Road is an off road driving experience in replica mini Land Rovers . Hands down their favourite outdoor attraction - and mine come to that! If they’re under 1.2m in height (minimum height is 0.9m), you’ll need to ride with them. Unless you’re super petite you’ll need to sit on the back and straddle your child in the front. I try to refrain from correcting his over steering but the temptation is just too much!! It’s not very well signposted so if you don’t know it’s there it’s very easy to miss. Just head down on the path in between the trampolines and tent.
Gemstove Cove: A little treasure seeking play, where the kids can sieve for precious gems which they can then take home with them.
Marshmallow Mound: Two big inflatable mounds to have a good jump on. I’d love a go on this but they won’t let me, too tall apparently ;)
Be aware that at busy times they will limit your time in the big attractions to just one hour, which isn’t a bad thing in the Fun Factory on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I always feel like a lie down in a dark room after coming out of soft plays.
As for the ice cream, there’s more flavours than a child could ever dream of in the Ice Cream Parlour! I’m quite a traditional girl, I like my raspberry ripple, but if rhubarb cheesecake is your thing, then you’re in luck.
Finally there is the gift shop (The Impulse Emporium) which annoyingly you have to walk through to exit, good luck getting out of there without buying a toy! They do sell the big tubs of ice cream here which work out at much better value than the ones in the Ice Cream Parlour, but if you’re travelling a long way then bear in mind it might melt by the time you’re home!
Whether you are local or coming from outside of Cheshire I genuinely think you’ll have a brilliant day here and I also think it’s pretty good value compared with a lot of places, especially given the flexibility with the play passes. Hope you enjoy your day out here!