It seems like an age since we last visited Folly Farm. It is a firm family favourite day out and we have been visiting very year since Isaac was born. Of course 2020 was a bit of a write off so we didn’t visit but we sure did miss it! We couldn’t wait to get back and see some of the firm favourites and what was new at Folly Farm.
So just to note upfront, at the moment, if you are planning to visit you need to book a timeslot in advance. You can then either pay online or at the gate on the day. If you have an annual pass there is no need to book a timeslot. It is all very organised when you arrive to manage social distancing. Throughout the park regulations are in place that you would expect at this time and it was all very sensible, safe and well organised. Previously we had used Tesco clubcard to pay for our day out but sadly Folly Farm is no longer an option in their days out. We opted to buy the family annual pass this time because it was just over double the price of a day out. We live just over an hour from Folly Farm and would easily visit several times per year with a pass. There are 120 acres to explore so it easily fills a whole day. You can download and print a pdf map from their site here
I was extra excited for this visit because it would be the first time Ezra would be old enough to really appreciate the visit. He would recognise the animals and really have fun in all the different parks. We always pack a picnic as feeding a family on a day out can add up to be quite expensive but also there is always food on hand if anyone is getting cranky (me not the children!).
We never really plan which order we are going to visit anything we just go with the flow and see what the children want to do. We made our start in the Jolly barn. Ezra couldn’t contain his excitement and I think he’d have been happy to stay there all day! We all love the goats in particular. We finally managed to persuade him out to go and explore the tropical trails area. They have crocodiles now which I (I mean Ezra) was very excited to see. We did see a crocodile but it was so very still we weren’t sure if that was the actual crocodile or if it was a statue. We still don’t know!
The Lions were busy lazing in the sun. We could spot them in the shade just chilling. Such beautiful animals. These Lions weren’t born in the wild. There has been a massive decline in the number of lions living in the wild. I learned that Folly farm works with the Safina Lion Conservation Fund to raise awareness of, and funds for lion conservation.
Next we visited the penguins. I just love watching them gliding through the water. It’s mesmerising. There were some penguins nesting too. We said hello to the flamingos as we went by and decided it was time for a spot of lunch. Now the parks at Folly farm are outstanding. Like a whole other level of fun. Now that we have the family pass I can see us sometimes going there of an afternoon just for the parks.
There are over 100 different types of animal at the Folly Farm zoo. Too many to mention individually in this blog but some of our favourites are the rhino, giraffes, meerkat, giant tortoises and our new absolute favourites the Sloths. In fact Isaac was so taken with them he bought a soft toy Sloth at the shop and a few days after we came home he adopted a Folly Farm Sloth with his own saving money. He takes them everywhere now it’s so adorable.
Here are some interesting Sloth facts
• Sloths are a medium-sized mammal. There are two types of sloth the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth, they are classified into six different species.
• All sloths actually have three toes, but the two-toed sloth has only two fingers.
• Sloths are part of the order Pilosa so they are related to anteaters and armadillos.
• Sloths can extend their tongues 10 to 12 inches out of their mouths.
• The sloth has very long, sharp, and strong claws that they use to hold on to tree branches. The claws are also their only natural defense against predators.
• Sloths usually only leave the tree they live in to go to the toilet once a week on the ground. This is when they are most vulnerable to being attacked by their main predators such as jaguars, the harpy eagle and snakes.
After a leisurely stroll around the zoo we thought it was time to go to the funfair. A tip is to take some cash with you. They have token machines to change your money and I think the rides are very reasonable at 1 or 2 tokens. We made a bit of an error this time as previously we had used a cash point located at the fair bit was told this had been removed and there was only a cash point at the shop. We managed a couple of rides though with the money we had on us.
The indoor area is fantastic. If your child is older there is an amazing adventure playground section. If you do let your younger children on there keep your eyes on them as I imagine they could easily get lost. It’s huge!
If the children have been well behaved we finish off the day with a ride on the big wheel or a turn of the diggers. This time they chose the diggers. They are actual diggers too! I’ve always loved having a turn on them. We also have ice-cream at the end of the day too. Part reward and part filling the children with sugar so that they don’t fall asleep on the way home!
Folly Farm is a fantastic family day out in West Wales. If you are visiting for holiday I highly recommend it. If you live more local and plan on visiting at least twice in a year then the annual pass is great value for money. Let me know if you have any questions or if you have visited.
I have put more picture spam at the bottom in case you want to see more. Love and peace xoxo