Our nephew turned 3 last month, and what better place to celebrate than in Folly Farm with G and of course my nephews parents! Mr H was unable to get away from work…we’ll just have to arrange another trip soon!
The Herniman House loves visiting Folly Farm, so we were really sad to miss out on meeting the rhinos when they arrived last year, as I was unwell at the time.
This trip we were all looking forward to seeing the rhinos for the first time, and also the newly arrived sloth and fruit bats. Of course this was on top of the excitement of seeing all of our favourite animals.
I was pretty tempted to leave G with my brother in law, sister in law and nephew and could have stayed at penguin coast all day long! We visited them twice and for ages but I am yet to fulfil my dream of sitting inside the pen all day long. Ah well maybe one day!
There was no doubt which animals the boys were waiting to see. At least three and a half viewings of the Lion King in the caravan before hand, and lots of (very loud) practising of their best ROARS on the way meant visiting Hugo and the rest of the pride was very high up on the list.
But first we had to go through the Jolly Barn! As a long time visitor (4 years old feeding lambs and taking hay filled tractor rides) means I always want to visit the ‘traditional’ side of the farm first. Despite the amazing new additions in the zoo, and the fantastic play areas AND the vintage funfair, the Jolly Barn is still just as interesting and exciting. There’s a great program of meet and greets scheduled throughout the day meaning everyone can get up close and personal with lots of the animals, lots of chances to cuddle or learn to milk them. It’s a fantastic chance to for children (and adults!) to see and touch animals that you may not get a chance to usually, especially in city life. It was also a good chance for G to yell out all the animal noises he knows.
The lions were next, but after a visit to them we made our way to the new attraction we were keen to check out. The rhinos!
It was fantastic to see them, especially when you remember that you’re in west Wales too. They’re so big but gentle, and it really made G giggle to know that carrots were like a chocolate treat to them.
It was really sad to find out that the major cause in the near extinction of the rhinos is the human race. They’re not hunted by any other animals as you may think, such as lions or other big cats, but it’s the human hunters and poachers that are constantly depleting the rhino population.
It’s another fantastic reason that the rhinos are being looked after in Folly Farm and they are able to contribute the conservation and possible breeding to help the species.
A birthday day out wouldn’t be complete without a special lunch and the chance to run wild! We were treated to lunch at the Carousel Burger Bar, though the boys were much more interested in trying out all the soft play areas. Speaking to the farm in advance let us know that they could have left a birthday cake with one of the restaurants who would store it until needed and even till we’d be ready to take it home! It was decided not to bring the cake in the end but it’s great to know that they’d be able to do this for you. It’s a popular day out and I can see even more family birthday trips being planned for the future so it’s lovely to know you can take a cake if wanted.
Even though we’ve been before, there always seems to be something new we haven’t seen or done before. The rhinos were of course the main new attraction, but there was also a new friend in the discovery centre, a beautiful sloth. The boys were slightly less impressed, after all it doesn’t roar or race around, but I could’ve watched it slowly wander about its new home all day. I feel that I currently have a lot in common at the moment. Or at least I’d like to have more in common but that lovely sloth doesn’t have an energetic toddler bouncing off the walls! Just as well really.
G hasn’t been big enough on previous visits to check out any of the fairground rides, but this time got to drive around on the vintage car ride. Even though it’s a very quiet time in the season, almost all of the rides were working, just in rotation, so if there was a particular ride you wanted to go on you just had to ask a staff member and they came to man the ride.
But the little car ride wasn’t a patch on G’s first go on a go kart! Mummy wasn’t able to go (not best advised to go-kart whilst pregnant!) so he got to drive round with his Aunty Lu whilst big cousin M got to race around with his Dad.
We’d checked G was tall enough, and they queued for a while, but it wasn’t until they’d sat down and buckled in that I suddenly had a mini panic. He was tall enough, but was he old enough!? But one look at his beaming face going round the track was enough to tell me he was more than ok with it! I was sorry to miss have a race too but it was great to watch the boys smiling and waving as they went passed.
With so many animals and a ton of different play areas I don’t think our family will ever tire of trips to folly farm! We’re already thinking about our next visit in September, and I think maybe season tickets might be an idea for next year.
Mrs H xxx
Disclosure: we were given entrance tickets in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own