In a nutshell

A family-run ice cream parlour and adventure park with a range of play zones including soft play, sand and water play, themed mini golf, go-carts and bouncy pillows.

What we tested

  • Fun for kids
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Fun for parents
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Worth the money
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Facilities
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Family friendliness
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
Overall Rating
A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.


  • Open space – mostly outdoors, range of activities giving children lots of choice, beautifully landscaped, good value for money, play pass credits can be shared between multiple children and don’t all have to be used in same day


  • Staffing issues lead to some slow service, long waits for food

COVID-19 safety update

Some facilities and attractions may be closed or restricted this year, due to COVID-19 – and there may be extra safety rules, pre-booking requirements or one-way systems in place. Please check The Ice Cream Farm's website before travelling or booking.

About us

I visited with my partner and our 5-year-old daughter.


When we visited:

A cloudy, warm Monday outside school holidays. However, we chose this day as it was an inset day at my daughter’s school and, as it turned out, several others in the area too. It was therefore more like a weekday during school holidays. It was busy enough that the main car park was full, but there was plenty of space in the overflow car park.

What age is The Ice Cream Farm suitable for?

Best for: This place is a pre-schooler paradise – it’s set up so that you can almost always see your child even if they wander away from you, which is very reassuring for parents of young children. Suitable play areas are free for babies under 12 months and the only ride with a height restriction are the Rocky Road trucks (1.2m).

Still good fun for: Any child of primary school age will love the activities. The soft play is next level and the crazy golf is fun for all ages, adults included. The attraction is mostly flat too so visitors with mobility issues shouldn’t struggle too much.

Not great for: The play zones are definitely aimed at younger children so pre-teens and teenagers will unlikely be impressed. There is a designated gaming area for over 7s, called The Loft, but this is only open at weekends and during school holidays. However, you can just visit for an ice cream – there are no age limits to enjoying that!

Reviewer's child at Ice Cream Farm

How much does The Ice Cream Farm cost in 2022?

An access pass for adults and children is £2.50, making it one of the lowest-priced paid attractions in the UK. This includes entry to Daisy’s Garden which is the central playground that leads to all the other attractions. The price is the same if you book online or pay on the door. However, the Farm does recommend booking in advance to make sure you aren’t disappointed.

Car parking is free. And if you just want to order ice cream, they have a drive-in service that doesn’t require you to pay for entry.

Babies under 12 months enter and play for free.

Any extra charges once I’m there?

Yes, you have to pay to go on the attractions. Play passes are £15 and give children access to up to 5 attractions at the reduced cost of £3 per play. You can pay as you go for £4.50 per play. We visited for one day and used up all 5 plays but it was a full day of fun. The Silver Cone attraction is coin-operated.

What’s good about the play passes is they can be shared between multiple children and are valid for 24 months. So, if you are local and just want to pop in after school for an hour, you don’t need to pay £15 for a new one if you have credits left from your last visit. They also do discounted access after 3.30pm which is £1.50 and after school play and eat packages during term time. You can find full details on the website.

I loved that the parents only had to pay £2.50 for entry – the majority of similar attractions charge full price for adults despite the fact you can’t really go on any of the rides yourself. To me, this was really good value. You can’t leave without buying an ice cream though, and these start at £3.25 for a single scoop tub/cone so you need to factor that cost in per person.

The main exit is via the gift shop, The Impulse Emporium, which usually annoys me. However, there is a library-themed book section in the shop that is so beautifully decorated it is a destination in itself. There are comfy chairs too in case you want to stop and leaf through a book before you go.

Ice Cream Farm Gift Shop

Are there discounts or cheap tickets available for The Ice Cream Farm?

Unfortunately not, other than the play pass which gives discounted entry to each attraction.

You can’t use Tesco Clubcard vouchers or any other kind of coupons to get a discount. However, it’s worth keeping an eye out for offers on sites such as Kidspass and Picniq. If you’re thinking of making a mini break out of your visit, look out for accommodation and ticket offers on website such as Holiday Extras.

How long will we spend at The Ice Cream Farm?

Having never visited before, this was easily a full day out for us. If you want to use up all the credits on your Play Pass in one go, you will need a whole day to do it. A lot of the activities are not timed, so you might find your child wants to spend an hour in the soft play or sand and water zone alone.

On the flip side, we noticed a lot of families with slightly older children who arrived later in the day – they obviously lived locally and were just popping in for an hour after school for a quick play.

We live around an hour away so it was an ideal day trip destination for us. But if you lived further away, you could easily make a 2-day break of it, visiting some of the play zones one day, and different ones the next.

What’s it like for families?

The Ice Cream Farm is made up of 7 themed play zones – Honeycomb Canyon; Europe’s largest indoor sand and water play, the Fun Factory; a huge indoor soft play, Strawberry Falls; a crazy golf course set around a pink, Strawberry-scented waterfall; Gemstone Cove; a panning for treasure water play, Silver Cone; a quad bike track, Rocky Road; a mini-Land Rover driving zone and Marshmallow Mound; two huge outdoor bouncy pillows.

They are all set around a central playground, Daisy’s Garden, which is included in the admission price – all of the other zones are pay to play or part of the Play Pass, excluding Silver Cone which is coin-operated.

As the parents of a 5-year-old, we are always on the look-out for fun, fuss-free days out that will keep our non-stop, adrenalin-junkie of a daughter busy and stimulated without completely wiping out the grown-ups in the process. The Ice Cream Farm did exactly that. The lay-out of Daisy’s Garden – the central play park – is such that you can pretty much see your child from any one of the benches that line the edges so we were able to sit and relax with a coffee while she played. The set-up within the sand and water zone and the indoor soft play was also similar. We were able to keep an eye on her and know that she was safe, without having to intervene every few seconds or follow her around.

Watch out for the climbing frame in Honeycomb Canyon though. While she could climb the wall no bother, the pole to get down the other side was much trickier to navigate, especially once she was wet! So, we made sure to stay close whenever she played on this.

Attractions at the Ice Cream Farm

What shouldn’t be missed?

Highlights for us were:

  • Gemstone Cove: Our daughter absolutely loved panning for sparkly treasures and would have stayed here all day if we’d let her – she actually asked the girl on the entrance desk if she could break for lunch then go back in afterwards. The gems are tiny so it was actually quite hard work to collect them but she was obsessed with the little pink bag they gave her to collect them in and was determined to fill it up. So much so she was still picking up lost tiny treasures on the car park on the way out.
  • Honeycomb Canyon: Billed as the biggest indoor sand and water play in Europe, our daughter had an absolute blast climbing, running, splashing and navigating her way around this. It’s sort of warm and damp inside which gives it a real “holiday” feel. It was surprisingly relaxing for the parents too.
  • The ice cream of course! It was truly delicious. With over 50 flavours to choose from, we had some hard decisions to make but all four that we sampled; Banoffi, Peanut Choc Caramel, Unicorn (who knows exactly what was in this!) and Bakewell tart, were divine. The flavours are really fresh and creamy without being too sweet or artificial tasting. We kept it simple with single scoop cones/tubs but I can only imagine how mind-blowing the Sundaes, milkshakes and sharing platters are.
  • The Bubble Tree: Located in the centre of Daisy’s Garden, the ice cream-themed tree spits out bubbles every half an hour. The time until the next bubbles is counted down on a digital clock on the side of the tree meaning a crowd of kids gather for the countdown from 10 to 1, creating a real party atmosphere.

Is The Ice Cream Farm suitable to visit in all weather conditions?

Most of the attractions – Daisy’s Garden, Silver Cone, Strawberry Falls, Gemstone Cove, Rocky Road and the Marshmallow Mounds – are outdoors, so ideally you don’t want to visit on a very wet or freezing cold day.

Honeycomb Canyon and The Fun Factory are indoors but I suspect would become crowded very quickly during a sudden downpour.

Because of this, The Ice Cream Factory does offer a Rainy-Day Promise – guests who experience 3 hours or more of non-stop rain during their visit will receive a free return visit to be used within 6 weeks of the original one. This is only valid on pre-booked tickets so it’s best to book your slot online in advance if you want to ensure you qualify for it.

Attractions at Ice Cream Farm

What to bring:

Parents in the know came armed with swim clothes and towels for the water play – something we didn’t know about in advance. As a result, my daughter was soon running around in nothing but her pants after slipping into a large bucket of water and soaking her outfit completely.

She had to travel home in damp pants and a cardigan as we hadn’t even packed a change of leggings so don’t get caught out like we did. If you don’t want to go full swimmers, a small towel and a change of clothes at least is a real must-bring.

So, it’s definitely worth looking at the Good to Know page on the website before you visit.

What to watch out for

The site is full of signs apologising for any service delays which they say is due to problems with recruiting enough employees amid the national staffing crisis within the hospitality industry. We definitely felt this when it came to food. There was a 40-minute wait for meals in the on-site restaurant, Sticky Paws, so we decided to hit the Pit Stop snack stand instead.

However, upon arrival we were told they hadn’t got any ham sandwiches, only cheese. My daughter refuses to eat cheese sandwiches so we then headed to the pizza stand (yes, I know that is also cheese but pizza is, apparently “good cheese”) where we ordered a pepperoni pizza and a garlic bread (£22 in total, but it was enough for the 3 of us for lunch). We then waited at least 30 minutes for the food to be ready – making me think we should have stuck it out at the restaurant after all.

Had it not been for the delays and shortages of food, I would have easily given this attraction 5 out of 5 in every category.

What are the queues like at The Ice Cream Farm?

Other than the restaurant delays, we didn’t encounter any queues. The soft play was busy (we headed there straight after lunch and it looked like everyone else had done the same) so they asked us to limit our visit to 30 minutes – however, after about 20 it cleared out completely.

The bouncy pillows were also busy but not to the point that our daughter wasn’t allowed on so again, there was no waiting involved.

The crazy golf is the most prone to snarl ups as obviously some younger children or larger groups take a bit longer to clear each hole. However, the surroundings are stimulating and the water smells of strawberries so I don’t think anyone minds being held up there for a while.

We had to queue briefly for the ice cream parlour but service is efficient. And waiting a few minutes gives you more time to decide which flavour you’re having.

Help Wanted sign and Ice Cream Menu sign at The Ice Cream Farm

What are the food and drink facilities like at Ice Cream Farm?

There is an on-site restaurant, Sticky Paws which sells a range of food and drinks. There’s also Pizza Piazza selling a variety of pizzas which are £11 each for 12 inches.

There’s also the Pit Stop café which sells snacks, sandwiches, salads and kids lunchboxes which are £5.50 each.

Can you take a picnic?

There are no restrictions about taking your own food on site so taking a picnic in is no problem. There are lots of benches and some very cute covered picnic zones and mini covered bandstands. If we were to go again, I would definitely do this. We sat in one of the covered areas to eat our pizza and I’m glad we did as it was spitting on and off throughout.

All the benches are within easy walking distance of the attractions with easy access to toilets.

What are the toilets like at The Ice Cream Parlour?

Toilets were clean and plentiful. If you’re looking for baby changing facilities, there was a mix of disabled access toilets with fold-down changing tables or changing tables in the open areas of the main toilet blocks.

How well does it cater for disabled visitors?

  • The site is essentially flat so you can easily navigate it with a wheelchair.
  • The site is fairly small so it’s simple to get around and there is ramp access to the indoor play areas.
  • The doors to the ice cream parlour are wide enough for wheelchairs.
  • Some of the bookable party rooms are upstairs with no lift access.
  • There are some disabled parking bays in the main car park and a limited number of wheelchairs are available to hire on site too.
  • Plenty of quiet spots to retreat to for children who don’t like noise or are easily overwhelmed.
  • See the website site for full accessibility details.

Is The Ice Cream Farm pushchair friendly?

Yes. The site is mainly flat and any uneven surfaces are only a short distance.

Opening dates and times

The Ice Cream Farm is open 7 days a week from 9am-6pm, excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The Ice Cream Drive-In is open Monday-Sunday 12-6pm.

Worth a long car journey?

Absolutely. You’ll have so much fun as a family and this truly is a unique attraction. It’s also close to the village of Tattenhall which is very picturesque and has a huge, free playground that’s also worth a visit.

How to get to The Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm is near Tattenhall, Chester.

  • Located about a 20-minute drive from the city of Chester, off the A41.
  • Buses from Chester travel to Tattenhall which is about a 15-minute walk to the Ice Cream Farm.
  • A more novel way to travel to the site is by barge – it’s located right opposite Tattenhall Marina.
  • Bike: 45 minute cycle from Chester along the canal path.

Which hotels or holiday accommodation are near Ice Cream Farm?

We spotted the very charming-looking Cheshire Farm Yurts in Tattenhall village and within walking distance from The Ice Cream Farm which would make an ideal base for an overnight stay.

The Ice Cream Farm is about 25 minutes by car from Chester which has a wide range of accommodation options including:

  • Town House within walking distance of Chester city centre which has 3 bedrooms with onsite parking and a garden.
  • The Roman Gathering is the perfect option if you’ve got a big family or travelling with friends. It has 5 bedrooms and is located in the heart of the city and near the ring road for easy access by car.
  • There are lots of family-friendly deals for accommodation in and around Chester on
  • If you fancy a beautiful cottage within striking distance on Chester, Holiday Cottages have some great deals.

Nearby attractions for a long day out

There’s a lot to see in the immediate area, as well as a bit further afield in Chester. Tattenhall Marina is a 5 minute drive from the village. If you’re English Heritage members, Beeston Castle and Woodland Park is within easy reach too, as is Chester Zoo. You can also take a look at our round up of the best days out for families in the North West.

MFM verdict:

The Ice Cream Farm is a truly enjoyable day out for the whole family – it’s not just about the adults tolerating the experience in order to please the kids. For young families, we cannot recommend it enough. The lay out is safe, fun and inventive – the theming is unique and imaginative without being tacky or overwhelming. There is a genuinely great range of creative play options that will both challenge and amuse your child. The fact that you can also get a delicious ice cream while there is truly the cherry on the cake (or should that be sundae?).

Visit The Ice Cream Farm website.


See more reviews of The Ice Cream Farm on Tripadvisor.


Amy Burns is a senior journalist with more than 15 years’ experience in writing and editing lifestyle content including travel features. She is a mum of 1 and writes regular family travel reviews, days out guides and destination features for the national newspaper The i.