It's the start of the half-term holidays and you guessed it - it's raining. 

As if destined in the stars by the weather gods, any break from school is almost guaranteed to feature bad weather. 

Undeterred by the grey clouds and showers, we put on our waterproofs and set off on an adventure. 

Most Hampshire residents will have seen the brown signs. The intriguingly named Birdworld and a teasing picture of a bird are enough to distract anyone from the monotony of a long car journey. We have seen them countless times, but always on the way to somewhere without time to stop, or on the way back and too desperate to get home. 

Today is different, we are heading there purposefully. Being near Farnham, it's a short enough drive away to make it reachable for a family in a car without too much stress - and close enough to ensure we can make the most of it on a free afternoon.

Basingstoke Gazette: BirdworldBirdworld (Image: Birdworld Farnham)

My two young kids - aged four and six - and I are looking forward to seeing the Halloween decorations, with the promise of a pumpkin patch as well as not one, but two waddles (who knew the collective term?!) of penguins. 

And Birdworld did not disappoint on either, and over-delivered in terms of fun. Once we had got past the temptation to splash in puddles, my kids enjoyed the farmyard section - the Jenny Wren Farm - and didn't even mind playing on the wet playgrounds and abandoned tractors.  

They really enjoyed picking out their pumpkin (£2 each) from the patch and then taking them into the barn to decorate where two mice welcomed us and entertained us with stories and songs.  

Basingstoke Gazette: Pumpkin patch Pumpkin patch (Image: Birdworld Farnham)

We also spotted a whole range of different birds - from flamingos to hornbills - and marvelled at the majestic owls in the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament. 

The Temperate house was a treat for the senses, with loud birds swooping past, while the cockatiels and parrots put on a good show. 

And it turns out penguins don't mind the odd rain shower, our highlight was watching them being fed - and the naughty wild herons that decided to gatecrash in the hope of scoring a fish or two. 

An interesting and educational day out was had by all, it's worth the trip for any family looking to do something a bit different this October half-term. 

Basingstoke Gazette: Penguins and a heronPenguins and a heron (Image: Kimberley Barber)

Birdworld is open from 10am until 5pm every day, with its Halloween event running until October 29. 

Tickets cost £19.95 for adults, £15.95 for children aged three to 15, and under threes are free. 

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