“ Address: Burnside Farm / Stanley / Perthshire / Scotland / PH1 4QB / Tel: 01738 827286 „
Active Kids Adventure Park, just outside Perth, is a great day out with lots to keep your children occupied and entertained. We popped in for lunch and ended up staying for over four hours - and we would have stayed for longer if we hadn't had to get home to Glasgow.
It's at Stanley, north of Perth, on a working farm and is well signposted off the A9.
**So What's There?**
There's a large outdoor play area, farm animals, a smaller indoor soft play area for under sevens, a toy shop, a coffee shop and an outdoor play equipment shop. There is also a facility for hosting birthday parties.
**The Coffee Shop**
We had lunch as soon as we arrived. The coffee shop was very busy (it was a Saturday during the Easter holidays) and there were plenty of staff in attendance clearing tables, tidying up, serving at the counter and preparing the food. It is a self-service type set up but any food that has to be prepared is brought over to the table for you.
The staff were friendly and obliging - asking if we wanted our coffee at the same time as our soup, or would we rather they were brought over once we had eaten, for example.
There are loads of high chairs and the toilets and baby change areas are conveniently placed, clean, tidy and well equipped.
We had sandwiches, delicious homemade soup, cakes and coffee. It was very good and reasonably priced. I note from their brochure that they have won a Healthy Eating Award.
**The Outdoor Play Area**
At first glance I thought the adventure park was expensive. It cost us £21 for a family of two adults and two children (Liam was free, as are all those under two years old.) However we could have spent all day here. There was loads for the girls to do and we were lucky that it was a sunny and dry day. It obviously wouldn't be quite so much fun if the weather was rotten.
Once in the adventure park all the activities are free. There are no coin operated rides or other sneaky ways of trying to fleece you for a few extra quid. Your hand is stamped once you pay and that is it. You are free to go in and out all day and all the activities inside the park are free.
There are two of those giant "jelly belly" bouncy inflatables - one is restricted to those under seven years of age, but one is for everyone, mums and dads too!
There are pedal-operated go-karts and a nifty wee track complete with a viewing bridge. I felt like I had had a proper work out after pedalling round a couple of times with our daughters on the back of the kart shouting "Faster, Mum!" There are smaller go-karts and a smaller track for younger children too.
There are ground level trampolines and sand pits complete with mechanical diggers.
We had a great game of hide and seek in the big Wild West-style wooden fort which has numerous steps, walkways and climbing nets. Great for all wannabe cowgirls!
And, I confess, I couldn't resist a shot (or six) on the Astro Slide. I really am a big kid at heart still....
And then it was my turn to supervise our number three child while Dad played a couple of games of Crazy Golf with number one and number two. What they lacked in skill, they made up for in enthusiasm and it was one of their favourite activities of the day.
Dotted round all the larger activities are swings, climbing frames, a zip wire, football and rugby posts, target football and seesaws, as well as plenty of picnic tables and a large covered wooden tent area.
Everywhere was clean, litter free and there were staff in attendance. All the equipment seemed to be well maintained and operational. There are clean and well equipped toilets and baby change facilities within the adventure park. Children MUST be supervised in the adventure park. There was a birthday party group there when we visited and all the children were identifiable by the hi-viz waistcoats that they were wearing.
To one end of the Adventure Park are the farm animals. There are ponies, pigs, hens, donkeys, Highland Cattle, ducks, geese, llamas, a Jacob sheep with her lambs and the cutest pygmy goats I have EVER seen. There are information cards on the fences with details of the animals and their names and there are hand-washing facilities by this area. The animals all seemed to be well looked after and healthy and had good sized enclosures, shelters and plenty of grass beneath their trotters. We spent quite a lot of time in this area.
**Indoor Play Area**
We didn't use this area but we could see it from our vantage point in the coffee shop. Although it is restricted to under sevens, to my mind it did look like it was more geared to pre-schoolers. It is right by the coffee area with a safety gate so you could happily supervise your child while enjoying your tea and scone in the elevated café. Priced at £3 per child, it would be a good option on a wet day, or if you wanted to catch up with friends over coffee and lunch while the little ones occupied themselves for a while.
This is under the same roof as the coffee shop too. Again, we didn't really spend much time here (the sun was shining - a novelty! So we were outside making the most of it!) but from what I could see there was a great range of toys for all wallet sizes. There were smaller "pocket-money" toys as well as the top of the range quality toys. I did spot some brilliant scale model tractors and other agriculture vehicles which I may have to investigate when Liam gets a bit older....
The toy shop, as well as the coffee shop, can be used by all without using the adventure park.
**Outdoor Play Equipment Shop**
Adjacent to the adventure park is a display of outdoor play equipment by TP and Berg which can be "test-driven" before being purchased. They offer a delivery and installation service. Again, this wasn't something we used although we did see the display of equipment for sale.
**Would We Go Back?**
Absolutely - yes! Although £21 seemed expensive at first, this gives hours of entertainment and is great value when you consider it would cost us more than that to go to the cinema for 90 minutes. I would maybe take a picnic next time and just buy ice creams from the coffee shop, which would make it a more economical trip.
Liam loved the swings and the farm animals, and because the grass was litter-free and clean, I was happy to let him crawl around and have a wee explore to himself. Zoë and Amy had great fun playing crazy golf and would have spent all day on the astro slide and the jelly bellies. I quite enjoyed releasing my inner child on the astro slide too!
**The Facts and Figures**
Active Kids Adventure Park, Burnside Farm, Stanley, Perthshire, PH1 4QB
Open daily from Mid March to Christmas
Outdoor Adventure Park open this year from 1st April to end of October
2011 opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun 11am - 5pm
Adventure Park: £6.75 per child, £4.50 per adult, £21 per family, under 2s free
Indoor Soft Play: £3 per child (under sevens only)
Adventure Park & 1 hour Snack & Play: £7.75 per child, £4.50 per adult
Annual Pass Valid for 1 year - All Areas £65 per child, Adventure Park only £45 per child, £30 per adult, Indoor Soft Play Only £45 per child
I think this is a great place for a day out. There is plenty to do, it is in a safe environment, it is clean with hygienic toilet and washing facilities and there is lots of fresh air and fun to be had. Obviously, like all outdoor places of its type, it is weather dependent, but if the sun is out (or it's not raining at least), and you are in the area, I recommend it highly.