Adventure Valley Review & Offers

 Adventure Valley Review & Offers

We visited Adventure Valley in Durham a few times when the kids were little, you're probably looking at around 8 years since our last visit. It's an expensive day out and we have Whitehouse Farm on our doorstep which is why we didn't seem to return. 

But then in May Half Term I was working with This is Durham and part of that involved a half day visit to Adventure Valley. Wow we loved it and the kids begged to go back for a full day. So for my mam's birthday in August we booked for a big family day out with Evan (then 5), Jack (then 10), Dee (12) and Harry (then 14) plus four adults.

I will say this again, Adventure Valley is an expensive day out and for us, is something we would save for a special treat day out like this. It was 100% worth it though as it is the kind of place you can spend a full day and never get bored. 

Now if I just had Harry and Dee, I probably wouldn't visit Adventure Valley as I would say they are at the upper end of the recommend age to visit. However if we visit these kinds of places with their younger cousin, they love getting involved and playing with him and Adventure Valley is perfect for a day like this where you have kids of different ages. 

Generally speaking, I would say Adventure Valley is brilliant for kids aged 0-12 years. If you are looking for visit somewhere purely for animals, I would say there are better places (Northumberland Country Zoo for example). However if you are looking for a full day out with animals, activities and lots to do both indoors and outside, Adventure Valley is a fantastic option. 

This post is based on our two visits in 2021, both of which were in school holidays. It was busy and there were plenty of people there but as the site is so vast, we barely queued for anything. This post may include some seasonal activities so please check ahead to see what's on before you visit as it may be slightly different. They usually publish what's on online. Below is an example of the activities you can expect. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - what's on timetable

Adventure Valley Location 

Adventure Valley is really easy to get to by car, it's not far from the A1. There is ample free onsite parking. 

There is also a direct bus to Adventure Valley from Durham (the 62 to Brasside). Make sure you double check timetables when making plans. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - bus route

Adventure Valley Accessibility & Facilities 

Adventure Valley is a huge site. The indoor areas and bouncing pillows / some of the outdoor play areas are all on one level at the top of the site. This seems to be fully accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. 

Then the site starts to slope downwards towards the castle play area / birds of prey area / go karts etc...... The paths in these sections are tarmarced but they are hilly which is something to be aware of. 

Facilities include: 
  • Free parking
  • Baby change 
  • High chairs 
  • Baby food warming facilities 
  • Toilets and baby change 
  • Indoor and outdoor picnic areas (you can bring your own food)
  • Cafe Italia
  • Coffee kiosk 
No smoking, pet dogs or alcohol is permitted on site. There is a designated smoking area in the car park. 

Adventure Valley Cafe Italia & Soft Play 

Cafe Italia is a cheap and cheerful cafe on site. It also has a huge play frame attached which is included with admission. You are not permitted to eat your own food in this area. We always dine here rather than bringing our own as it's cheap, hot and does the job without any hassle. You could just stop here for a coffee while the kids play or even just sit at a table and not purchase anything while you watch the kids. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - indoor play area

Adventure Valley Review & Offers - cafe menu

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - cafe pizza

Adventure Valley Indoor Areas 

As well as Cafe Italia and the main indoor play area above, there are several indoor areas at Adventure Valley which are perfect if the weather isn't the best. 

First up is the petting barn where you can visit and feed some of the animals at any point and there are regular petting sessions throughout the day (see the timetable you are given on arrival for timings that day). 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers - indoor petting barns

Then next to the main Cafe Italia there is a reptile area which is filled with snakes, spiders and exotic animals. This is next to the main events barn where some of the special events such as magic shows take place (if applicable). 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - reptile house

Beyond the reptile area is the Wild West themed play area. We visited Adventure Valley on sunny days but it was the school holidays and busy. However on both occasions we have had this area to ourselves. We actually preferred it the the Cafe Italia play frame. 

One big plus point of this indoor area is that you can bring your own picnic to eat in this area too - there are tables and chairs available. 

The best part of the Wild West Saloon is the cannon shooting area, the kids love this. Again, it is all included in admission and you can come and go as you please. I imagine on a rainy day this area may be a little more popular. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers - wild west soft play

Adventure Valley Tyre Slide 

The tyre slide is a real highlight. Check the info sheet you are given at the admissions kiosk for it's opening times. You can ride as many times as you like. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers - tyre slide

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - tyre slide

Adventure Valley Birds of Prey Show 

The Birds of Prey Show takes place on selected dates at the lower part of the site (you will be given a map on arrival). It is fantastic and one of the best we've seen. Lots of audience participation and knowledge shared. If available on the day of your visit, I'd recommend making time to watch it. It's included with admission. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - birds of prey show

Adventure Valley Goat Race 

The goat race is so much fun! Everyone gets to pick a goat at random and you cheer your goat on with commentary. If your goat wins, you receive a small prize (sweets). 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - goat race

Adventure Valley Outdoor Play Areas & Animals 

The outdoor areas of Adventure Valley are vast. They cover so much space that it's not possible to base yourself somewhere and let your kids explore. What you need to do is move between zones so sit on one set of picnic tables, let the kids play on the equipment around there for a bit then move on to the next tables and let your kids play around there etc...... 

One real highlight is the bouncing pillows which are brilliant fun. 

A couple of rides are included at various points throughout the day including a mini train ride and swan lake. 

Make sure you bring 20p coins for the goat and fish feeders which are dotted about the site. We love feeding the goats on goat mountain. They are so greedy! 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - goat mountain

We didn't take part in this but there is an Aqua Blaster which is where you can basically fire water balloons at each other. Beware though, some kids (and grown ups) were absolutely drenched so if you fancy it, a change of clothes might be a wise idea. 

All of the equipment is in excellent condition. Expect pirate ship themed play areas, a giant adventure play castle, climbing nets, slides, swings, Go Karts, sports much fun to choose from. As mentioned above, there is seating and picnic tables throughout too. 

The animals almost come second to the fantastic play facilities but outside you can meet several farmyard animals and there is an aviary, duck ponds & chicken house too. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers - Go Karts

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - jumping pillows

As well as uncovered seating, there is a covered picnic barn in the outdoor area as well as a coffee/drinks hut open in peak times too. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - covered picnic areas

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - Zip Wire

Adventure Valley Tractor Ride 

We ended our visit with a tractor ride, simply queue up at the meeting point during operational periods (see info sheet on arrival for timings). It takes you right down to the River Wear and the scenery is beautiful. Beware though it is super bumpy but this just adds to the fun. Tractor rides are included with admission. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - Tractor Rides

Adventure Valley Golf 

There is an 18 hole adventure golf course between the entrance and the car park available for an additional charge. This course is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. If you'd like to have a go, simply ask at reception. 

Adventure Valley Review & Offers  - Crazy Golf Course

Adventure Valley is a premium day out and I would recommend planning to spend a full day here. There is plenty to do and you won't get bored. You might as well get your money's worth. On arrival, check out the timetable you are given and make a note of a few activities you don't want to miss and their start times (often they are repeated throughout the day) and then plan the rest of your day around these. 

Have fun! 

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