Milton: Rectory Farm Shop
MILTON — Summer days are lazy days, but if you’re not creative with the lads and lasses, laziness can mount and turn to boredom. And then there’s trouble.
But with a short drive along the motorway into the bucolic Cambridgeshire countryside, parents can beat the boredom blues with a reasonably priced destination boasting a diverse array of attractions sure to please tots and adolescents alike.
The Rectory Farm Shop is a few miles north of the A14 near the village of Milton and boasts several acres of fun, including a bouncy castle, a go-kart track, a mini-parking lot chock-full of little people tractors, an hourly full-size tractor ride and a maize maze with an intellectual spin.
There’s even a pet’s paddock with a handful of farm animals and a fish-feeding pond stocked with madly aggressive trout and carp that will nearly climb out of the murky water to swallow slimy mouthfuls of pellet grub.
It’s sort of like those primates on the Rock of Gibraltar that eat potato chips out of visitors’ hands, but less cute, with more gills and a less commanding view.
And there’s the Old Dairy Cafe, where you can beat the summer heat with a cool drink, frozen treat or fresh fruit.
What makes the Rectory Farm such a worthwhile day out is the convenience factor.
All of the activities mentioned above are within a few minutes’ walk of each other, allowing parents to spread out a picnic blanket and simultaneously keep an eye on toddlers bouncing about the castle and adolescents making their best Richard Petty impersonation on the go-kart track.
While the go-karts are self-powered and lack the thrill factor a side-mounted Briggs and Stratton 10 horsepower engine provides, it’s still fun enough to merit a few spins around the dirt track.
And then there’s the maize maze with a hint of quiz night.
Visitors wind their way through the maze collecting questions and, hopefully, answers, on English history and culture, before turning them into the farm’s management for a chance to win a day punting on the River Cam.
It’s the unique kind of take on a traditional diversion destined to satisfy kids and parents alike.