Farm shop moves with times to keep up family fun
THIS farm shop has more than most to keep both adults and children entertained - whatever the weather over the school holidays.
Nixon’s Farm Shop at Heald Green has become a big hit with families in recent years, thanks to its TWO huge tearooms and the option of both indoor and outdoor play areas across the site. The farm is nestled down a lane close to Manchester Airport - so for planespotters there’s the added bonus of spotting the jets zooming past too.
The huge outdoor play area looks out across the farm fields and has it owns tearooms right next to it.
Parents can sit either inside, outdoors or in a partly covered area which has its own play area and bouncy castle too.
The outside play area includes a range of Little Tikes equipment including slides, castles and climbing frames as well as cute little Wendy houses for kids to play in. There are also special pig and cow posing seats that make the perfect spot for family photos on a day out.
More adventurous little ones will enjoy the mini climbing wall next to the fields, while there’s a large chalk board for little scribes to get to work too.
Meanwhile inside, in the farm’s converted cow shed, there is also a huge play barn. It boasts a minitractor race track and more bouncy castles.
There’s a dedicated soft play area for the littlest kiddies, and a lego mega-brick play zone.
There’s even a football strip running the length of the barn for older children to shoot some goals.
Families hail it “fabulous” and a “great little find” on Tripadvisor.
The most recent five star review from angiescoular saying: “It’s our favourite place to visit! We love the outdoor play area, my daughter Martha adores the goats and my son Monty favourite things are the sandpit and the bouncy castle.
“We’ve always found the staff to be very friendly and helpful and the food a good standard and reasonably priced.”
There’s a “pets corner” at the farm where families can visit rabbits, donkeys, hawks and budgies. Over the Easter holidays there are a host of special events on the farm, including an Easter Egg hunt and petting days with the animals.
And also this week, the farm will play host to a special Artisan night market on Thursday afternoon. The free event will see the Worker Bee market set up at the farm, with a host of locally-made goods for sale, from 3.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursday April 6.
The farm has been owned by the Nixon family since 1930, and they’ve sought to diversify over the years to rise to the ever-changing economic landscape. And during lockdown they took the opportunity to really expand on their outdoor space, which has created the brilliant new play areas open today.
Julie Egglestone runs the farm shop with husband Roger, her brother Paul Nixon and cousin Ian Nixon. Julie previously talked about the constant drive to adapt and change to survive.
She said: “Over the years we’ve done all sorts of things to try and keep improving, keep with the game. 25 years ago there wasn’t a supermarket within 10 miles of here, and now we have every supermarket going within a five mile radius.
“We have to keep reinventing ourselves, it gets a bit wearing at times, but that’s what you have to do in farming.”
There’s free parking at the back of the farm, while you pay £6 per child for the indoor play barn for 90 minutes, or £5 for unlimited use of the outdoor play area at the front of the site but booking is essential online. At the front the converted farm building is a dedicated tearooms where you can order hot and cold treats including its ever-popular full English breakfast and children’s meals.
The farm shop itself is renowned for its full butchery and range of locally-grown produce.
There is also a gift shop at the site.
How to get there and ticketsNixon’s Farm Shop is on Bolshaw Lane, Heald Green, SK8 3PS. It is just off the A555 Manchester Airport Relief Road.
The shop opens daily from 9am - although will close early at 4pm on both Good Friday and Easter Monday. On Easter Sunday the farm will be closed.
Entry to the farm shop and Tearooms is free, but you need to book tickets for the indoor playbarn in advance online with duo ticket £9 for 1hr 45mins in the Playbarn and 60 minutes in the garden barn. If the garden is not open due to the weather conditions you will be able to use garden tickets to get a complimentary hot drink from the play barn.
Wristbands for outdoor play only can be purchased for £6 for 90 minutes.