This is our first visit to Sprouts play barn because I have only recently discovered my love for soft play (mainly because I can sit down and do some work not worrying that Ay will hurt himself). It is slightly pricey as compared to other soft plays in Oxfordshire, especially as they charge adults as well (which I don’t like- I mean I can’t really leave my toddler there and go away, but most places do these days so I know I am just over-reacting) but that aside, it is a brilliant place and definitely one of the best in Oxford.
Prebooking is not essential, but If you plan to visit, I highly recommend considering pre-booking, especially during peak times and holidays. It tends to get sold out quickly due to its immense popularity. The play barn maintains strict timekeeping, with dedicated sessions, and in-between these sessions, the play area is temporarily closed, possibly for cleaning. So, even if you arrive early, you might have to wait outside until the next session starts.
The main play frame is a four-tiered wonderland, offering endless opportunities for climbing, sliding, crawling, and jumping. Every element is themed around animals, barns, or Millet Farm, with interesting facts peppered throughout the structure – a sneaky way to make playtime educational if kids pay attention, though they’re likely having too much fun to notice! The slides, including the impressive four-lane wavy cow slide from the third floor, thrilled many children, but for some reason, I found it slightly hard to slide down. It might have something to do with the material of my clothes – oh well, kids seem to have no trouble flying down it!
Another section worth exploring is the farmers market themed role play area with soft play props. Although I’ve seen even more impressive role play areas at other places like MK Safari and Riverside Hub, this one is still quite decent. Perhaps if we had visited here before experiencing those others, I would have been more impressed; its just that the other places have just set the bar quite high. Nevertheless, it offers a fun experience for little ones to explore their imaginations.
Among the noteworthy features, the under 5s area boasts a jumping piano, allowing kids to record their tunes and play them back – a delightful musical treat for young musicians. Additionally, there’s a thrilling tunnel with thunder and lightning effects, a blackout tunnel with changing lights, and a rocking ball on a zip line – all of which captivated the kids’ attention.
Outside, there’s a charming small play area with ride-ons, mini roads, and a tiny barn with soft cows and duckies on astroturf. It provided my little one with endless entertainment as he pretended the cows had escaped, and he embarked on a mission to round them up.
Once finished here, move across to Millets farm as there is plenty to do there as well. They have recently opened Millet Farmyard Golf, which I have reviewed separately HERE. Millets Maize Maze runs during summer holidays and is a good day out. My post about it can be found HERE. They organise different types of activities in half term and other holidays, so it is worth checking. There is also Millets Wildside Falconry & Wildlife Centre, which is home to over 100 birds of prey and has to be booked separately. You can also take part in seasonal pick your own, where you have to pay for entrance as well as what you pick.
There is plenty to do for free too. The play area is ok. It has swings, sand pit, climbing frame and slides. There are also coin-operated tractors and diggers but we didn’t go on them. There is a traditional fairground Carousel (£2 per ride) and trampolines (£4 for five minutes) by the sprouts play barn.
There is a farm animal walkway which included alpacas, donkeys (on loan from Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary), ponies, goats (and a billy goat gruff bridge), cows , pigs and bunnies. This is not a massive collection by any means and you don’t get to have petting/ feeding sessions but it is free. During the winter months, most of the animals are moved into winter accommodation, so will not be in their usual enclosures.
Towards the bottom of the walkway, there is a dedicated area where duck food can be thrown for the water fowl to enjoy. Special duck food is available to purchase in the Farm Shop. As per the website, “Please try and avoid feeding our lake residents bread, as this is like fast food for them and not great for their health”.
If you continue down the walkway, it leads to Phoebe Woods. Phoebe Wood is a ten-acre site comprising woodland and wetland walks along the banks of the River Ock. You can stroll along the lake and the river.
🗺 Address: Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Rd, Abingdon OX13 5HB
🎟 Entrance charges apply (Please see website for Sprouts play Barn for up-to-date prices HERE)
⏰ Timed entry: In between sessions, the area is closed for cleaning, so you can only enter at the start of your specified session and no matter what time you arrive, you will have to leave by the end of the session (so don’t get late/ or arrive early for that matter)
🚻 Toilets on site
🍕 refreshments available (not allowed to take your own food/picnic)
🚘 Free parking
🐕Dogs not allowed within the play area
If I had not gone to MK Safari and Riverside Hub before visiting here, then I would have been all gaga about it. It is definitely one of the best soft plays in Oxford and is brilliant. However, I do think it is slightly overpriced when compared to the places I mentioned purely because they offer so much more for that price.
Compared to the nearby Snakes and Ladders in Abingdon, the pricing is slightly cheaper at the time of writing this reviews (Sprouts will cost £11.95 for child 2-4 years with one adult, while S&L will cost £12.95 for the same). The frames for both are pretty good, may be sprouts slightly better but the discovery zone gives S&L an advantage for me- it was just unfortunate that a fair bit of the equipment was not working. Sprouts play barn has the advantage of having Millet Farm on site, so you could walk around the garden centre and enjoy the animals and outdoor play area in addition to the soft play. You can however go to Abbey Meadows from S&L which is about five minutes drive away and is pretty amazing too.
Other soft plays in and around Oxford:
If you think something needs updating on this post, please contact us HERE