The toddler had his second birthday at the weekend. We celebrated him turning 734 days old (I have just added the extra 4 days!) with family which was a novelty in itself.
It’s incredibly hard to believe that that much time has passed already since our slightly turbulent introduction in the noisy wards of Erding hospital, that busy blustery Autumn Day (This post from ASausageHasTwo had me reminiscing about our meals that week in a German hospital. I kind of wish we had recorded ours now, I especially used to look forward to the brotzeit of an evening, usually consisting of a plate of rye bread, smoked meats, cheeses and pickles, all served with an Alkoholfrei Erdinger Weissbier! Erding is home to the Erdinger brewery, they even had the stuff on tap in the hospital reception!). Anyway, I digress…
Forever gone are the baby days. No more pushing around a contented infant happy to look at the world around him as I got the shopping done for the week, this Toddler has an absolute hatred of all things einkaufen (shopping) which probably saves his Father a small fortune.
The last 300 odd of his 734 days on Planet Earth have usually involved a toddler scenario or two that can be quite hard to keep a straight face at. He’s not a morning person (a bit like his Mother) and as his speech develops like wild fire, he’s beginning to express himself more extensively. I am hoping that he grows out of his “goway nanny” phase that he yells at each poor unsuspecting elderly lady that dares to try and speak to him when we are out and about too early (a phrase that’s not just reserved for the elderly I must add, he uses “goway baby” for anyone under and up to the age of five) and he doesn’t quite feel like socialising. More often than not thankfully he enjoys the company of other people, even if he doesn’t quite grasp the concept of sharing toys or food just yet. Having said that, I did have to laugh when he pressed a half chewed up gummy bear into the palm of our neighbour’s hand the other day (he’s not in the habit of eating sweets by the way, his big brother had some and in his infinite wisdom thought the toddler might like to try one!)…
Unlike last year, where we celebrated his first birthday at the quite brilliant fairy tale themed Marchenwald with a quick trip for some oompah dancing at The Hofbrauhaus afterwards, we went for more of a rural theme. As he’s quite obsessed with animals and anything with wheels, we opted for a day at Finkley Down Farm so he could spend his birthday surrounded by everything he loves, together with some of his cousins and his amazing cake bearing granny to boot…
Finkley was somewhere we used to go to as young children. It was just up the road from our house (well, pub. My parents ran a country inn for many years!), so inevitably it became THE place to go for birthday parties, and get-togethers with friends. It has been quite a few years since my last visit, and to be honest, as much as it was always a good day out, I didn’t hold out much hope that it would have moved on much since then. After all, it is the only real family attraction of its kind in that area, so you can imagine that it doesn’t really have to try all that hard… But, I was pleasantly surprised to see it really has moved on, and it does try really hard, and it’s probably the best farm park experience I have had to date in this country. Not that I have been to every single one mind you, but still. It takes a lot to impress me about places like this… It was also done up for Halloween when we visited, which was fun!
We met my sister and family, and Granny (with the cake!) and started off with a quick walk past the bird of prey display. As he walked down the line, the Birthday boy “introduced” himself to every single feathered friend with a “Hello Bird”, “Hello Bird”, “Hello Bird” until we got to the one in the middle where he stood confused at the creature in front of him that stood taller than he does. Then we had a “Hello…. Cat?!?” It was a very large owl… Afterwards he headed straight off to the pedal tractor section with his cousin who was quite content to push him about for ages! Don’t be fooled by this tiny being, at a few months older than The Toddler, she might be fairy like in stature, but she’s feisty and incredibly strong, and the two of them are quite hilarious together!
One major recent development at Finkley is the addition of a big play barn, with a variety of soft play areas for different ages to enjoy! The big favourite with our group was the soft play area set out like a giant hen house, complete with an air system where you can shoot soft balls (or “eggs”) about the place. Most of our group spent a happy hour or so in here whilst my Mum, Sister and I got to catch up over coffee from the well organised Moody Cow Cafe next door (could describe me before Coffee of a morning!).
Then it was on to meet all kinds of four legged friends (including the opportunity to hold baby bunnies at one point, a really sweet and calm experience for all involved thankfully), Shire horses, sheep, hares, cows, alpacas, pigs, guinea pigs, goats and ferrets, not to mention chickens and birds of prey (nowhere near each other thankfully). One thing I do remember from Finkley visits as a child is being able to feed the animals, which you still can. There are clear signs telling you which animals can and cannot eat the bags of food, just watch out for greedy goats who like to pinch the whole lot, and bring plenty of hand sanitiser too (although there are plenty of hand wash stations!)…
Afterwards we sat outside for a birthday picnic and a slice of the all important cake before spending an hour or so on the outdoors play equipment. You could easily spend the whole day here, and for under £40 for a family of five, I think it’s pretty reasonably priced too. It’s open all year around, apart from Christmas Day I should imagine… Finkley has also recently opened a nursery, which has to be great fun for all involved.
A little note to my tiny one, as has been the birthday tradition on my blog over the years… Although my memories of our first introduction are perhaps not as either of us might have hoped initially, I would go through it all again in a heartbeat for you. Thank you for making me laugh almost every single day, in a year that has been “interesting” (to say the least!) as we all adjust to being back in the UK (for however long that might be)… Although there’s obviously still time, part of me worries that you won’t have that same international start in life that your siblings did and all the amazing experiences that came with it. There is however that very definite plus side that it’s really special to be “at home” to be able to celebrate birthdays and the like properly with friends and family, something we definitely missed out on living abroad. You even got two cakes and two celebrations this year as we had another celebration with Grandad, and my other sister and family the following day. It’s not every year you are two after all… We have plenty more adventures planned over the coming weeks and months, and I look forward to what your next year will bring. xx
precious vegan says
Aww I am so happy he had a great birthday. Great read
Thank you, it’s such a sweet place and he had brilliant fun! :)
Trish @ Mum's Gone To says
He really is a sweetie – and that photo on the tractor! Fantastic. xxx
Thank you… I think he would have been happy if we pulled him all the way to Cambridge on that tractor! :D xxx
Great place to spend a birthday! Those goats looked so excited for some food.
He had such a fun time! Thanks Marina! (:
Lucy Melissa Smith says
Oh wow, this place looks fabulous! Lily would go totally wild here, she loves this sort of thing! x
Thanks Lucy! (:
It was a lovely day and added bonus that we could all celebrate with him this year. Thanks for the cake compliments – I just love doing them. x
We are lucky that you do! Xx
five little doves says
Ahh happy birthday gorgeous boy! That looks like the most perfect birthday party, what a great location! I love when farms have an indoor play area too incase of poor weather. And wow – that cake!
Thanks so much! (: x
Becky, Cuddle Fairy says
Oh my there are so many activities to do! And seeing real animals is a big bonus. That photo on the tractor is priceless – definitely the mark of a fabulous day out!!
He was definitely exhausted at the end of it all!
Mudpie Fridays says
You can not beat a farm for a birthday. This one looks great and its so lovely that you use to visit as a child. Makes it even more special somehow. I am loving the two birthday cakes. We are a little paw patrol mad in this house too! x
The Paw Patrol theme tune is a big ear worm for me very annoyingly!! :D Thanks so much x
I hope he had a wonderful birthday. I think we all feel like telling people to “goway” at times! I know I do!
Thank you! I do too! :D
Happy birthday! What a great way to spend a birthday too and I will keep this in mind for my daughters 2nd birthday.
I think she would enjoy it Dannii! Thank you! :)
Baby Isabella says
We live near Finkley, so visit often and love the seasonal activities that they put on, especially over Halloween x
You must know it well then! :) Thank you! x
I know it’s been a tough start in the UK and there’s still much to do before you settle into your happy ‘place’. I am still looking forward to meeting up. I now have school holidays available as of Christmas so I’m going to make it one of my 2018 goals!
Happy birthday little one – love mum’s message to you xx
Thank you Mari. I think only those that have lived abroad themselves truly understand. I am looking forward to meeting up too xx
Happy Birthday B, we loved spending it with you this year!! You’re birthday cake was amazing!!xx
Thank you. It was so lovely to spend it with you all. xxx
What a lovely place for a birthday celebration. The cake is so cute – Granny’s cake decorating is top notch!
She’s a bit of a pro, puts us all to shame! Thanks Yaya! :)
Looks like a fab farm birthday was had. Great idea for a party place :) x
Thank you Melanie! (: x
Rhian Westbury says
Looks like such a fun day out, I used to go to farms and places like this loads as a kid x
Thanks Rhian x
Midlife Singlemum says
He sounds hilarious your little one. What a great birthday outing with all that family and so much to do. Absolutely perfect.
It’s definitely nice being back for things like this! Thanks Rachel! :)
Lucy Howard says
What a lovely post. Happy birthday to your little man. Finkley Down Farm sounds like the perfect location to spend a birthday. And I love the fact your little man said “hello cat” to the owl. Brilliant! Hugs Lucy xxxx
He does make me laugh! Thanks Lucy! xxx
Michelle Twin Mum says
It sounds like a great fun day out and really nice to share it with your family too. I also thin you’ve said its the best UK farm park you’ve been to is a bit of an accolade, you must let them know! Mich x
I should drop them a line really! Thanks Mich x
Samantha Mayers says
Happy birthday to your little boy. What a fantastic way to celebrate. It sounds like you all had a lovely time. Your photos are lovely too x
Thanks Samantha! x
I am loving that marshall cake! Looks like you all had a lovely time at the farm and riding the tractor looks like so much fun. Happy second birthday!
Thanks so much Kirsty! :)
Sinead (shinnersandthebrood.com) says
Ah. Sounds like lovely birthday celebrations were had. Gorgeous photos too.
Thanks so much Sinead! :)
melissa major says
Looks like an amazing place to visit with kids, will have to take my kids one day
It’s really worth a detour! :)
Eat Explore Etc says
The “Hello… Cat?!?” had me giggling. It sounds like a fun day, much enjoyed by the birthday toddler!
It kind of did look like a giant upright cat. I wish I had taken a picture of it now! :D Thank you! :)
Oh it sounds like he had an amazing birthday! I love how he says hello to all of the birds too. So cute x
We have to say hello to everything at the moment, including inanimate objects! :D
lisa prince says
aw we love days out like this and my son also had a paw patrol party this week xx
Hope he had a brilliant birthday too! Thank you! :) xx
Looks like great adventures there Emma….especially the cow milking. :)
Thanks so much Lorelle! (:
Happy birthday to your little boy and when he gets older and more self-aware,he’ll look back to your blog and see just how you loved him.
Thank you Patrick!
Nancy Laws says
Happy Birthday to the little one…I think that when it comes to birthdays when they are that young is really just having friends and family close to them.
Thanks Nancy! (:
Looks like you had a lovely day – we love the farm. The ‘cow milking’ looks brilliant! What a great prop to encourage kids to get stuck in :)
It’s full of stuff like this! Thanks Kira! (:
Happy Birthday to the Toddler! That looks like a perfect day for a two year old, I have a two and a half year old who would be in his element there! Animals, tractors and soft play! The ‘Gowaynanny’ made me laugh!!!
Thanks Rebecca, it’s worth a trek I think! He did it again this morning. Had to explain he wasn’t a morning person! :D
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says
What a lovely place to visit for a second birthday especially with all the family!
Thanks Bintu! :)
MELANIE EDJOURIAN says
The big play barn sounds like a fantastic addition to the farm and a great place for children to burn off excess energy. It sounds like it’s reasonably priced too.
Thanks Melanie! We went to a London softplay the following day which was the same price and we spent about an hour and a half there! :D
Christie | A Sausage Has Two says
Happy birthday little chap – how the time has flown?! Lovely little fuzzy goat faces those, I love them. Thank you for linking to me! :D
Thank you, for reminding me… :D x