First stop was the barn area. We saw little ponies and an enormous horse, a good variety of goats (variety or range? or neither??) a very fat pig indeed, lambs, rats, rabbits and some exotic chicken-type things... (you wouldn't think I was raised in the deep countryside from my animal knowledge). In the middle of the barn was a coop for the baby chicks, which Little P later claimed were her favourite of the animals we saw (after originally favouring the cows - we saw no cows). Behind the coop was a little shed which housed the eggs which were waiting to hatch. This is where Little P found someone else's dad to engage in serious chick conversation. I chatted to his wife who said he always attracted stray children while I explained Little P always latched onto others' dads. Their meeting was inevitable. After Little P and her 'new dad' (and his own children) had thoroughly examined the eggs I convinced her to come and have a stroke of the goat and shortly afterwards the rabbit (whose name I think was Beau, but I'm sure Little P was calling 'Boat'). Ever the social butterfly (or blutterfly), Little P had an enthusiastic chat with the lady holding the animals. Some of it was about the animals and some about her nails varnish and her dress (she was responsible for putting this ensemble together, by the way)
|Beau/Boat the rabbit|
|Little N chilling in the barn|
Next we had a little go on the games and play areas dotted around the barn. Little N all the while was leisurely kicking back in her pushchair, presumably wondering what all the fuss was about.
As it was nearing midday and, as those of you who check in regularly know, my girls like their food (learn more here), we decided to stop for our picnic lunch. This was arguably Little P's favourite part of the day and not even because of the food. Nana tasked her with shooing away a particularly bold (and he really was) seagull. She spent the best part of an hour tearing round our picnic area, weaving between the tables crying 'shoo! Go on, shoo!' to the cheeky bird much to her own amusement as well as that of our fellow picnic-ers. (It was great that she was enjoying herself but seriously, we have plenty of seagulls in Barry, where I have yet to spot a giraffe!) I should probably say at this point that the seagulls were no reflection on Folly Farm which was beautifully maintained.
After lunch we moved on to the zoo area. What fascinated me was Little P's reaction to seeing the lions and the giraffes was no greater than when she saw the goat or the chicks. I guess when you are that young, a fat pig is as awe-inspiring as a lion. She just wouldn't understand what a privilege it was to see!
|Little N finally showing some interest in the animals. Only the wild ones, though.|
One of my favourite moments of the day came at the meerkat enclosure. They were so cute and appeared to be really playing up to the cameras. I was happily snapping away when the lady next to me squealed 'ooh!! he's brought the baby out!' I craned my neck to see a tiny meerkat baby being held by, what I can now only imagine was his dad (although may have been its mum, but once that seed was planted by squealing lady there was no going back). Immediately about 5 other meerkats gathered around and huddled to protect the baby and I wasn't quick enough to catch a photo. In my head I imagined the conversation between the meerkat mum and dad, who had clearly got carried away with the excitement of the arrival of the royal baby.
Meerkat Mum: Pete! What the hell are you doing bringing the baby out here??
Meerkat Dad: Oh, he's alright, Ann. Look! Everyone has come out to see him. Go on, give them a wave.
(Meerkat Mum gives Meerkat Dad 'the look')
Meerkat Dad: Er, fellas, come and help me hide the baby, would you?
After seeing the zoo animals Little P had a little play in the softplay area where she made friends with some little boys while Little N took her afternoon nap. Before we knew it the afternoon had nearly gone. We made it in time for the last tractor train ride which was a nice chance to have a relaxing sit down and a look at the animals (well it would have been if Little N hadn't found a second wind after her nap and was bouncing all over the place as I tried to contain her on my lap).
We thought we'd visit the vintage fairground before leaving. Little P had been asking before we even arrived if we could go on the horsey-roundabout, which we deduced was the carousel. She and I went on while Nana and Little N watched from the side. Apparently it wasn't quite dare-devil enough for her and she wanted to seek thrills on one of the bigger rides. She couldn't go on most of them as she's not yet a metre high but we found a waltzer-type ride which only required you to be 90cm - we were in luck! Nana had her reservations and thought Little P would get scared as it was quite fast. In fact she absolutely loved it! After that, and with her eyes barely open she was so tired, we trundled off to the gift shop for them each to choose a treat. Little N got a lovely wooden farm animal puzzle and (after some initial bad choices) Little P chose a pink flamingo puppet. Or as she calls it 'my 'mingo'.
We had a fantastic day and both littles had a good night's sleep afterwards!