Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Out, About and Things to Do - Hoar Park Children’s Farm

Address: Hoar Park Farm, Ansley, Nuneaton. Warwickshire. CV10 OQU

Entry Fee: £2.50  (adults) £2.00 (children, under 3’s free, I think) plus 50p per feedbag.  Parking is free

Opening hours: March – October: 10am-5pm every day, November –February 10am-4pm every day

Suitable For: Everyone

My Visit:  It was a beautiful sunny half term morning and there were already a lot of children and their carers/parents around the farm.  My son is 16 months old and just walking, so I wasn’t sure whether it would be a waste of time bringing him to an animal park, so young.  It is not a very big park, and it is family run by some very friendly people who explained kindly some basic health and safety issues to be aware of such as the importance of hand washing after feeding the animals.  

 I pushed my son in his buggy around the section with our feathered friends and he looked on, vaguely interested, as I tossed some feed to a variety of usual and unusual-looking ducks and hens.  By the time we reached the furry section though, he was itching to get out of the buggy and to help me push the little pellets through the fence to the little goats, and particularly seemed to bond with a small deer.  I was apprehensive at first letting him near the animals, especially to feed them, imagining bitten finger and tears, but the animals are well used to children and are very gentle.  I did scoot fast a rather large and funny-looking pig though! (sorry, piggy!).  The farm also has a pets and new animals corner, and we had the opportunity to stroke some baby rabbits and fluffy chicks and ducks.

The farm also has a craft village attached, so there is somewhere to indulge in a little retail therapy too, if you so desire.  A tea room and restaurant provides refreshment, but I didn’t sample it because we’d had an early start and lots of fun with the animals and he was a little tired.

There is a good play area with some climbing frames and swings more suited to slightly bigger children than mine, and a picnic area that many mums were taking advantage of.

Pros:  It’s extremely reasonably priced, not too big or overwhelming for the little ones and just a perfect day out.  It’s very relaxed, easy to find and although it seemed busy at first, I didn’t feel at all crowded, conversely, I felt we had a good amount of private time bonding with the animals.

Cons: I can’t think of a single con.

Value for Money? Definitely

Overall Reaction: I love this place now and will be going back for many years.  It is more interactive than a zoo for younger kids, and next time I will take a nice picnic I think.  A great multi-sensory experience.

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