Yesterday myself and the younger two decided to visit Folly Farm. So after breakfast we made our way there, it’s about a 40 minute drive from us which means visits there can be spontaneous at times. Despite the weather being overcast and showery we were determined to go and spend some quality time together.
We arrived about 10.15am and quickly managed to park and make our way to the entrance. I showed our annual passes and also the print off of my order for fairground tokens which I had ordered on their website the night before (you get 10% off the cost of either 20 or 40 tokens when you buy online) its the first time I’ve done this and it was so easy to do. I showed the assistant on the entrance and they found my order and gave me the tokens.
There were lots of other people arriving for the day and as it was only raining lightly I suggested we headed out to see the animals before it got really busy as most people were headed undercover. We decided to head to see one of our favouite animals the Meerkats first. There was one or two on lookout but the majority of the meerkats where inside the nesting area. The children were delighted to see them playing through the window and two of the meerkats even jumped up on the ledge to see what was going on! We then made our way around the other animals towards the new area the Asian Adventure which was opened a couple of days before the hoidays started. It’s in an area of the zoo we haven’t been too before and we discovered another area Kifaru Reserve next too it which is home to the Rhino.
The Asian Adventure area is really nicely done, there is a new playarea there too but it was closed for maintence yesterday. We spent a while watching the Red Panda climbing the ropes in the enclosure and then the Asian Wild Dogs which Rowan said looked abit like foxes. It’s clear alot of work has gone into both Asian Adventure and Kifaru Reserve. The area’s are decorated within the theme of the area’s the enclosures for the animals are large with lots of stimulation for the animals. There was music being played as you walked around Asian Adventure which was very atmospheric.
It was really nice being able to walk around the animals and spend time watching them without feeling you had to move out the way to allow others a chance. We spent about an hour with the animals before the children wanted to play on some of the adventure playground. So we made our way over to the pirate ship where they played for twenty minutes before the rain got a little heavier.
We headed into the Jolly Barn to see the animals. It was really busy in the barn with long queues for the petting area so after a quick look around we headed into the vintage fairground and indoor playarea. The rides the children wanted to go on didn’t open until 12.30pm so with an hour to go we went and found a table in the packed indoor play area where I sat while the two children played for half an hour.
By that time it was midday and as it was busy I decided it would be a good idea to try and find somewhere to eat so we headed over to the Hungry Farmer to see if we could get a table. It was our first time eating in there and we were impressed with the decor and the menu. With a table found I told the children to stay at the table while I queued to order food and drinks. It took about 15 minutes until I was served but I could see the children at all times and vice versa. With the drinks I headed back to the table to wait for food, I have to say I was impressed with the prices, £4.50 for a child’s sausage, chips and beans, £5.50 for a childs pizza, vegetable sticks and fries and £6.50 for a hot ham and mozerella bagette with salad. Very reasonable I thought and when the food arrived a short while later the portions were good too. Everyone enjoyed the meal and after we headed back out to the vintage fair to go on some rides.
Erin wanted us to go on the ghost train so we queued up for our turn, we managed to fit all three of us in one cart which was good and we headed into the ghost train! It was fun and Rowan wanted to go back on it as soon as we came out! Next was the Golden Gallapers, each ride has height restrictions clearly visable at the entrance with two heights, one that says under a certain height they have to ride with an adult and another that says they can ride alone if above another height. As Erin was below the height to ride alone we rode a horse together. We decided then to go and have a look to see if the rides outside were operating before we headed home.
At first it didn’t look like they were so we headed into the shop for a browse, but then we spotted the giant wheel working so we headed over. Rowan wanted to go on the Paratrooper, not being a fan of heights I wasn’t sure but decided it give it ago. Again Erin had to sit with me while Rowan rode alone. It was quite an experience, both Erin and I may have screamed abit! but it was fun. I was determined to go on the Big Wheel so that was our next stop. We had to wait a while as they were only operating two carriages at a time but as the rain had stopped about forty minutes earlier we didn’t mind. Soon enough it was our turn and we made our way into the carriage. At first Erin and I were’nt too keen on the height we were at but we quickly overcame it and took in the views of Folly Farm below us. It was quite an experience and I think I would happily go on it again. I managed to take this panoramic photo of the view below.
Rowan and Erin then had a play in the sand with the diggers before we headed for home. By this time we had been enjoying Folly Farm for over four hours and yes there was still more we could have done especially with the weather improving but one thing having an annual pass enables you to do is come back again! Which is what we will be doing, our next visit will probably not be until half term but we’re already looking forward to it. Plus we proved there is so much to do even when it’s raining at Folly Farm!
Disclosure: We were kindly given a family annual pass for the purpose of this post however the content of the post is 100% my own.