Halloween is one of those special times of year. When the nights get darker, the cold creeps in and the ghouls come out. When we were kids, it was all about how to get creative with a black plastic bag and how much of your Mum’s makeup you could steal for one night only. It would give me the excuse to see if I could raid my older sisters wardrobe (I was rarely successful) and to see what weird andwonderful outfit my Mum and Dad would come up with. My parents were so imaginative when it came to Halloween and decorating our house. One year, the entire sitting room was made into a creepy bat cave. Dad also made a giant witch who adorned our front window. I’ll never forget these memories and hope that I will be able to recreate some of my parents’ imagination for A. She is still a bit too young to go trick or treating and is only getting used to the idea of ghouls and ghosts and skeletons. The Wooly Ward’s Halloween Experience was the perfect way to ease her in to the world of All Hallows Eve.
Any Excuse to Dress Up
It’s not Halloween without dressing up, and my Mum and myself obliged with a bit of a costume, which, to be fair, could not rival the amazing costumes of the kids! There was some serious costume envy running around Wooly Ward’s Farm on Saturday. My Mum, managed to shed some of her costume as the day wore on and was transformed back to herself while I struggled with a red underskirt and a too tight dress! A was adament that she was dressing up as Cinderella and since I’m not the best yet with home made costumes, I zipped into Dunnes and picked her up, yet another, fancy dress. F was disguised as Batman, cape and all. His Batman mask was shimmied into his big brothers bag almost as soon as we got out of the car. My aim was to dress as a Witch but I fell a bit short of being in any way scary and I’m not too sure what I ended up as… pretty much like every Halloween outfit I’ve ever worn
Me and the troop with Nanny, my Mum, behind the camera. My skeleton tights were the bees knees but completely hidden!
Saturday morning was a rotten, wet, cold October day but we were blessed that by early midday, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. As it was C’s first time at Wooly Ward’s, A and F promised to show him around. They are now Wooly Ward’s veterans and loyal attendees There was plenty of talk of Bouncy Castles in the car ride up to Oldtown and as we pulled in through the gates of the farm, A and F were giddy with excitement. There were ghouls and goblins decorating every fence post with pumpkins scattered around. Wooly Ward’s was once again decked out to the nines for this special day.
Where to go first?
This was a rhetorical question I asked the kids, as they jumped out of the car. Technically, the first place to go was to get our map and tokens for the Pumpkin Carving and Chocolate Apples. But, for the little ones, the first spot is of course the Bouncy Castles. This time, there were also giant games beside the bouncy castles and they all had a go at basketball.
After much (much, much, much) coaxing away from the bounce madness, I managed to get the kids scrambled into the packed out barn for the first showing of the Not So Scary Boo Show. The staff at the farm had been practising for weeks and wrote their own script for this special Halloween Event. Unfortunately, I only managed to stay for a couple of minutes as my three year old got a little spooked. Where A goes, F goes, so I took the two little ones out while C and my Mum stayed to revel in the comedy.
Pumpkin Punching… I mean Carving
We headed across to gut our pumpkins and poke their eyes out. A was distracted with a Time Out bar so I ended up with the gloop and gunk of her pumpkin while F happily smashed the eyes and mouth out of his own. The features were pre-carved so a couple of good punches from a four year old saw them pop right out. They were well pleased with their pumpkins in the end. I had visions of me carrying the spooky faces around for the rest of the day but you could leave them in the barn and collect them when you were heading home for the day.
Towards the end of the day, while the two little ones and their Nanny were brought on a trip around the farm on the popular Thomas the Tank Engine Train, myself and C went to gut his pumpkin. He went all out and had that pumpkin gutted in no time!
We found our way to the Fairy Field where we were met by a Giant Drum. For me, this was the best part of the day with Fuinneamh Drum, or pretty massive, loud drum to you and me. Made from mostly recycled/repurposed material, the drum is 14ft in diameter and so much fun. We all gathered around a few times after picking up our sticks and gave it a belt. Fuinneamh Drum nestled itself in the middle of the popular Fairy Field which is one of our favourite places in Wooly Ward’s. Knocking on fairy doors and seeing who is home is a must at every Wooly Ward’s visit.
After a good work out with Fuinneamh Drum, we skipped across the farm to see the Birds of Prey. I was educated by F when I said,
“Oh wow, look at the birds!”
“No, they’re eagles” he rightly told me.
I loved the Birds of Prey and have always found their gentle stoicisim fascinating but I’ll admit I lost the kids to the Photoshoot which was just behind the beautiful birds. Wooly Ward’s set up a fantastic giant photo frame which was a fantastic spot to get snap happy.
Enticed by chocolate, we managed to get the kids to the back of the main farm house to find their chocolate apples. A bit of chocolate is always a great encouragement. They were given sprinkles and jellies to decorate their chocolate apples but of course they were eaten seperately and the chocolate licked off the apple. It’s not Halloween without chocolate apples
We made our way over to the Scary Walk to see what was going on at Scary Mary’s house. There were lots of skeletons and graves to explore on our way to the house. A was shocked when we reached Scary Mary’s house to be met with lots of yellow tape and caution signs. “What did they do to Scary Mary’s house?” she exclaimed running to find and tell F who was on his way, that something happened to the house. Indeed, the house was taken over by ghosts and we had to be very, very careful not to spook them. Of course, A went straight under the Caution Tape to explore.
Equally, it’s not a Halloween party without a House of Horrors which of course, I was enticed into by my 11 year old nephew while the little ones explored some more with Nanny. Wooly Ward’s put a huge amount of effort into everything they do. The House of Horrors was brilliantly set up, dark and spooky and full of ghosts. The ghostbusters were on hand but they needed help from the little ones to get the creepy skulls into jail. While the House of Horrors was not all that scary for myself and C, it was great fun.
We ended our day with a final tour of the animals and a balloon from Tommy Trickster Magician. To say we were exhausted is an understatement. Three full hours of running around the Farm, exploring and banging drums meant we had the best day.
Verdict from us all 10/10
We are huge fans of Wooly Ward’s and give them a Massive A+ for the Halloween Experience. It has really set us up for Halloween and of course now A wants to be a Witch.
We highly recommend all of Wooly Ward’s Farm events. You really won’t be disappointed. A great day out for the family! All of the staff at Wooly Ward’s are always there on hand to help you out and to have a chat with the kids. It’s a beautiful place to go with your children to give them an experience and memory they won’t forget.
A huge thank you to Scary Mary and her crew for all the effort they put into this years Halloween Experience!
Remember, the Halloween Experience is on all over the Halloween weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and is the last Wooly Ward’s Event for the year.
Check out our slideshow for more pics from the day!
A quick round up of things to do at the Halloween Experience:
- Bouncy Castles & Giant Games
- Explore the Farm
- House of Horrors
- The Not So Scary Boo Show
- Pumpkin Carving
- Tommy Trickster Magician
- Fuinneamh Drum
- The Fairy Wood
- Birds of Prey
- Journey on Thomas the Tank Engine
- Wonky Bridge and Scary Mary’s House
- Animal Petting Shed
- Chocolate Apples
- Creepy Creatures
- Picnic Area & Cackling Cafe
- Harvest Shop and more
All activities are included in the ticket price
(€6 adults / €15 children – family tickets available)
Things Momma and Papa Bears might like to know:
- Wooly Ward’s Farm is located a short distance off the Ashbourne/Swords road (approximately a ten minute drive from either town)
- The Activity Farm is currently closed for the season but will reopen in the Spring. Opening Hours can be found here
- They are open for birthday/private parties
- There are toilet facilities at the back of the main house
- Baby Changing Facilities are in the house
- First Aid is located in the Farm House.
- There is plenty of parking
- Staff are very friendly and helpful
- Tickets for events can be bought online
- Tours are available
- Bring wellies and a rain coat (just in case!)