On Saturday we headed to William’s Den for their Halloween special. It was chucking it down and we weren’t really sure what to expect because we hadn’t visited before. Armed with wellies and waterproofs we made the 50 minute journey from Malton.
On arrival we were met by the friendly staff who were dressed as witches and skeletons. We were given a list of activities and shown where everything was. A sensible idea, which I have never seen done before, was to get you to write your mobile number on the childrens’ wristbands in case they become separated from you. We spent the whole afternoon there and were the last family to leave!
Despite the bad weather we could have stayed longer; the kids loved the indoor play area. The staff had gone out of their way to bring the activities indoors so that we didn’t miss out because of the weather.
The idea behind the indoor play area is to bring the outdoors indoors, so there is a stream, tree house and rope bridges. I would recommend bringing wellies to be able to paddle in the stream.
Outside there is a wooden play area and frames for den building which looked great fun.
As part of the Halloween celebrations we visited the Ice Scream tent where we tried toothpaste, gravy and tomato ketchup flavour ice-creams, yuk! At William’s Den they make their own ice-cream and later in the day we sampled some of the more normal flavours, which were delicious.
For smaller children there was a Halloween disco with party games and, of course, dancing. Our two year old thoroughly enjoyed that. We had lunch in the restaurant which has a wood-fired pizza oven. We watched the chef make our pizzas which were really yummy.
After lunch we squelched down to the pumpkin field where we picked a pumpkin each and wheeled it up to the tent to carve. Each child received a pumpkin free of charge and all the tools and stencils were provided to carve them. The little kiddie-sized wheelbarrows to wheel the pumpkins in were a nice touch.
William’s Den is only two years old and immaculately finished. There are plenty of picnic benches outside to eat picnics in nice weather if you don’t want to eat in the restaurant. Most areas are accessible by buggy/wheelchair and the toilets are probably the most thought-out I have ever seen. The toilet area is unisex to allow families to go in together, with plenty of baby changing, disabled and family cubicles.
We will definitely return in fairer weather to be able to enjoy the outside spaces but the Christmas experience also sounds good. It will include meeting Father Christmas’ elves, decorating ginger biscuits and Father Christmas will help each child build a bear to take home.
The Halloween special and Pumpkin Party at The Den runs until 31st October 2019