Special Events and Seasonal Fun - 2019
With the changing 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 seasons. Many of these coincide with school holidays and other happy times.
Warm Welcomes on Chilly Days
In the chilly days between 14th January and 22nd 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 (15th January to 22nd) you can enjoy a delightful and delicious afternoon tea, with a perfect miniature version for children. These must be booked in advance and allow FREE admission to Almond Valley. Read more about Afternoon teas.
FIRST TINGLES OF SPRING - daily from 9th to 19th 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 30th March to 22nd 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 ( 19th April to 22nd April), including our famous plastic duck race along the mill lade.
BRILLIANT BELTANE - daily from 3rd to 7th 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 an increasingly commercial 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. Around the old buildings and watercourses of Livingston Mill there are mischievous sprites who will reveal secrets of fire and flowing water. 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 in the gardens, craft a living bower to take home and nurture, while on the farm, the animals will be in their springtime finery
DEN-BUILDING ADVENTURES - daily from 29th June to 20th August
Join the tribe for daring daily adventures exploring some of the wildest and most remote corners of the Almond Valley site. Build your shelter, set up camp, forage for food, keep a look out for wild animals, and learn how to survive in the wild for at least half an hour.
SPOOKY HAPPENINGS - daily from 5th to 31st October
As the nights get darker, mysterious creatures emerge from the dark corners of the old farm. 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, games to play, and some scary surprises around every corner. Get creative in the craft area where you can make spooky masks and manufacture monsters. All of this silly scary fun can be enjoyed any day from the 5th of October until Halloween during usual opening hours (10.00-17.00) with no need to book in advance.
Friday Fright Night - 25th October - from 18.00 to 21.00
A little extra horror once the sun goes down, with a scary surprise around every corner, ghost trains to nowhere, and trailer rides circuiting the graveyard. Come dressed to kill. Good family fun, but perhaps not suitable for very young children or adults of a nervous disposition - no advance booking required.
Spooky Saturday - 26th October - the all-day Halloween Party - 10.00 to 17.00
On the Saturday before Halloween there's even more spooky fun going on throughout the day - dooking for apples and other traditional games, crafts and creations, and music for monster dancing - ideal for families with younger children. Open as usual from 10am to 5pm - no advance booking required.
SANTA'S FARMYARD COTTAGE - 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th and daily from 21st - 24th December
Once again, it's the time of the year when dear old Santa Claus visits Almond Valley and settles into his comfortable farmyard cottage within a chilly midwinter forest. He’ll be welcoming young visitors, 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 as usual throughout the period, but all visits to Santa need to be booked in advance.
On Sunday 1st of December, Santa will be at home in a cosy cottage free from noises and distractions, exclusively for children with autism and their families. As with other Santa visits, these must be booked in advance.
This year you can also enjoy Santa Breakfasts.