Farnham is a traditional old English market town with an ancient church, narrow streets and lovely Georgian buildings along the town's roads.
Things to do:
1. Penguins, peacocks and parrots ... Birdworld
Holt Pound, Farnham, GU10 4LD
www.birdworld.co.uk, 01420 22140
There is much more to see than just birds at Birdword. The landscaped gardens are spacious and great for running around and it never feels busy even though it is popular.
The new Penguin pool opens in May and there will be a great opportunity to see the birds splashing in, under and out of the water with huge picture windows for little ones to peer through. The Animal Handling on Jenny Wren Farm is lovely. Lots of guinea pigs, rabbits and "pretty mice" are bought out and given the chance to run about on tables. The staff are on hand to keep an eye, but are quite happy for children to have a try at holding or stroking the pets.
The free road safari is a welcome sit-down on tractor-pulled carriages. It is a short ride, but another exciting element to the day for little ones.
The Jenny Wren Farm play area is ideal for toddlers: old tractors to drive and a mini fort to command. Plus there's a wooden play area for slightly older children.
The Underwater world has lots of tropical fish from tiny clown fish (Nemo from Finding Nemo!) to huge piranhas and crocodiles. And, cleverly, you can take around a little plastic stool so children can step up and see better into the tanks.
Baby changing: Lots.
Picnic tables: Yes, some overlooking ponds and birds to watch as you eat.
Treasure trail: During holidays and special occasions
Parking: Plenty, free.
Something to eat... Puddleducks Restaurant
Exactly the kind of restaurant you would expect to find at a park like this, Puddleducks gets crammed full of people at lunch time and turns into a loud and cramped place to eat fairly expensively priced food. The food actually ran out the day we were there. So, either eat early and avoid the crowds or take a picnic.
Children’s Lunch box: £4.50
Admission: Adults £11.95; Children (age 3 to 14) £9.95; Under 3’s free; Family (2 adults and 2 children) £39.95
2. All things military... Aldershot Military Museum
Queens Avenue, Aldershot GU11 2LG
www3.hants.gov.uk/museum/aldershot-museum.htm, 0845 603 5635
This is actually a great place to bring children and while they may not understand the seriousness of war as such, it is an animated and interesting site to explore and to teach them a little about our history.
There is lots to see with recreated barrack displays, objects and military paraphernalia throughout the years and great military vehicles such as tanks, armoured cars, a Bedford bus and Jeeps, to name a few!
Children can try out "monkey crawling" through the training tunnel, jump into costumes and even learn the basics on the driver training unit. There is an easy Children's Trail where they spot objects around the galleries and guess what's in the feely boxes. If the children are made of strong stuff, they can even have a taster of what it's like to be shouted at by a Sergeant Major!
Parking: Plenty, free
Picnic tables: Yes.
Baby changing: Yes.
Overall: Lots to see, space to run about and brilliant value!
Admission: Adults £2.50; Children age 5-15 £1; Under 5's Free, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £5.00
3. Stay and play... Fizzy Kids
10 Camp Road, Farnborough GU14 6EW
www.fizzykids.co.uk, 01252 669977
Just a few minutes drive down the road into Farnborough is Fizzy Kids, a 6000 square foot purpose built child's indoor play-space that is super! The children can literally run wild on the rope bridges, slipping down the tube slides, gliding through the tunnels and disappearing in the huge ball pool, while parents sit back and sip a nice latte in the comfort of an easy chair. Rescuing children from the play tunnels is easy too as they are wide enough for most mums to clamber through... which is reassuring if your toddler is great at climbing but not so good at reversing out of tunnels.
Baby changing: Yes.
High-chairs: Yes, plenty.
Lockers: For storing change bags etc.
Children’s Lunch box: £3.95 for 4 items from a good selection plus a drink. Hot food all freshly prepared: beans on toast or spaghetti on toast a nice option and no fries at all so no deep fat fryer smells!
Parking: On-street parking plus Peabody Road car park is about 30p per hour.
Admission: Children under 1 year £1.25; Under 4 years £3.50; over 4 years £4.25. Unlimited stay most days.