A guide to Folly Farm … without seeing any animals!

WE’VE taken Santi to Folly Farm twice now. Once on his birthday, and once a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a great place, and definitely worthy of its status as Wales’ best day out. There are 50 different species – from lemurs to lovebirds, and meerkats to monkeys – and in two visits we’ve seen approximately 10 of them.

Yep, that’s right. 10. Out of 50. While certain animals have caught Santi’s eye – the penguins were a particular hit, but I’ll come back to that – our busy little bee evidently thought there were far more entertaining ways to fill the day than looking at animals.

So here’s my alternative guide to enjoying Folly Farm.

1. Find a hill:

We spent a good 10 minutes helping Santi up and down this hill. It’s within reach of the gorilla enclosure, but why would we want to look at them when we can work our quads? Oh, and when it rained we found an indoor hill so we could continue the madness.

Folly Farm's hill
2.  Watch the wildlife:
But I thought you didn’t see any animals, I hear you cry. Never fear, it was a seagull that captured Santi’s attention. There was a bit of a stand-off at one point … Until one of the two flapped excitedly over to the other and scared it. That’s my boy, we won’t be bullied by birds.

The stand-off
The stand-off
3. The park:

At least this is actually something you’re supposed to do at Folly Farm! After many failed attempts at getting Santi away from the slide and towards the rhinos, we gave up. He was happy, so we were happy. It is a pretty good park to be fair – log ladders, tube slides and a rope bridge, all with protective wood chippings underneath. What’s not to like?! There’s also a great pirate ship that we didn’t make it to … We’ll get to that next time!

No holding him back
No holding him back
Intense concentration
Intense concentration
A challenging ladder
A challenging ladder
Fun for dads too
Fun for dads too
Until it all goes wrong
Until it all goes wrong
4. The land train:

At last, some animals! We saw llamas, sheep and goats from the land train, which drops you off at the piggery. Well, me and Stew saw them. Santi was too busy tapping the little girl in front on the shoulder and stuffing bits of cheese roll into his mouth to notice them. He did enjoy looking at the pigs though, and insisted on going back to the piggery three times just for one more look. There were piglets when we visited, which were super cute!

So keen to get the land train
So keen to get the land train that he pushed in the front of the queue
Stew desperately trying to point out the llamas
Stew desperately trying to point out the llamas
Uh oh, he's spotted the little girl
Uh oh, he’s spotted the little girl
Let the tapping commence
Let the tapping commence
5. Excavating:

Where else can you spend the morning looking at animals (or climbing hills) and the afternoon honing your archaeology skills?! Santi loved sweeping the sand around with little brushes and we spent a fair amount of time in the dinosaur pit. It’s in the same building as snakes, fish and some little monkeys, so if you can drag your little one away from the sand it’s a good place to spend some time indoors.

A future architect?
A future archaeologist?
6. Slide:

After the Bluestone incident you’d think I’d be a bit more wary of slides, but this was a particular highlight for one of us … I won’t mention who, but it definitely wasn’t me (ahem). There’s a huge indoor play area at Folly Farm, as well as a penny arcade with rides and games, so if the weather turns grim you still have plenty to do. The giant slide is a-maz-ing. We might have gone on once or twice, or 15 times. Well, it was raining by then!

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This just doesn’t do it justice
And finally, to the animals. Santi was very taken by the penguins and loved watching them underwater through the glass. He got so excited when they swam past – and when it started raining they just got faster! Older children can try the zookeeper experience and help to feed the penguins, which I think Santi would love in a few years’ time.

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We also spent quite a lot of time watching the giraffes and zebras, which were my favourites. Santi has a thing for horses at the moment, so I think he was amused to see stripey horses wandering around. What’s great about the giraffe enclosure is that there’s a wooden platform you can walk up so you’re up at their level to see them close up.

It's behind you!
It’s behind you!
IMG_5652
It’s not a day out without an enforced family selfie
And not forgetting the more traditional animals … we saw a huge horse, donkeys (another of Santi’s highlights) , chickens, and Stew milked a goat. As you do.

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Checking out the goats
And that’s how you can spend a whole day at the zoo without really seeing any animals! It just goes to show there’s so much more to do at Folly Farm!

Linking up with:

We're going on an adventure
Life Unexpected
Friday Frolics

34 thoughts on “A guide to Folly Farm … without seeing any animals!

  1. Jenny says:

    Ha ha, glad you got to see some animals at the end then! It’s hard with little ones, the thing we think are exciting aren’t necessarily as exciting for them! πŸ™‚
    Looks like you still had lots of fun and that slide certainly does look fun!
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather πŸ™‚ x

  2. Colette B says:

    Isn’t it great the pleasure kids can get from the most random things – you take them somewhere expecting them to get one thing out of it and it turns out to be something entirely different!
    Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

  3. foxxie52 says:

    I thought I’d already commented but I can’t find it.

    I love this post, Alana. I live miles from Folly Farm and will probably never get the chance to visit. However, I read the entire review with interest. You make it so readable. Well done.

  4. indreamworld says:

    Ha, sounds exactly like my two at that age! πŸ™‚ (Heck, they still are now! πŸ˜€ ) Great how they get so much amusement out of the most random thing, isn’t it? Can’t beat a bit of hill rolling.

  5. Mummy on a Budget says:

    Farms etc have changed a lot over the years and now they do have so much more on offer than just animals! Looks like you all had a great day! Good that there’s indoor activities too for the inevitable rain!

  6. Alice young says:

    Love this blog post. Looks like you had a great day, it’s really tough to get it all done with them at this age. We went to folly farm back in March when we stayed at bluestone and had a great day!! Would love to go back as Amelia really loves animals now. Lovely photos xx

  7. chloelifeunexpected says:

    Haha this made me giggle. Our first time at a farm Evie just wanted to play in a park. Who needs to visit animals when you have hills and slides and other children to see. πŸ™‚ I love your enforced family selfie. At least you still had a fun day and you have a great excuse to go again. Thank you so much for linking this with #whateverthewweather x

  8. Cardiff Mummy Says says:

    We love Folly Farm, such an amazing place! I love how few of the animals you saw – like you say, there is really so much to do there. We love the traditional fun fair in particular. It’s such great value there too. x

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