With the summer holidays now firmly upon us, I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there to be hunting down exciting things to do with our kids, or on the lookout for wonderful new places to take them for a lovely day out.
So this is where I would like to introduce you to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.
I must say, I’d never really heard of it before, but I’m so pleased to have received the invite to visit with my family, as we’ve now firmly got it on our radar as another brilliant place to take the kids where we know they’ll just have oodles of fun.
Also, the idea of a zoo farm was slightly confusing too, as I just assumed it would have farm animals as well as the more exotic ones, but in actual fact it is a zoo, based on an real life working farm. How cool and different is that!
Set in over 100 acres, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is located just outside of Bristol, so was super easy to get to with great access roads leading to it and pretty good signage along the way as you get closer to the park.
From the moment we stepped out of the car, the kids ran about wildly until the moment we got back in the car again for our return journey home.
That was one of the wonderful things we loved most about the park. The huge green spaces where you could sit for picnics though still see the animals, or simply let the kids run free. It never seemed crowded too.
Both ourselves and the children loved walking around and taking time to see the animals, all of which you could see really close up. We were in absolute awe at the beautiful rhinoceros just the other side of the fence, as we’d never seen one at such close proximity before. It was huge and truly magnificent.
It was also lovely to let the girls see them so close too, as sometimes if things are too far in the distance, I’ve certainly found mine can lose interest quite quickly, but here we stood for a long while just mesmerised at the sight just in front of us.
We also loved seeing all the gorgeous baby animals. The little giraffe was just adorable and the baby meerkat was super cute. Again you could get up close here too, with the meerkats using a tunnel which passes under your feet. Holly and Ella both found this a brilliant experience. And they weren’t the only ones, as the path was littered with children led on the ground just watching the animals running around underneath them. Such a brilliant idea for a one of a kind type of experience.
We also really liked the way the animal enclosures had been designed, in that some had great raised viewing platforms, which again were just fabulous for the kids.
The zoo is not vast, and it didn’t take us all day to look around the animals. But because of this, you don’t feel the need to rush about manically trying to squeeze everything into your day, which allowed us the perfect amount of time to enjoy the other things the park had to offer.
Because along with the lovely animals, there are absolutely loads of play things and adventure opportunities for the children to enjoy. And trust me, they could easily have spent hours on these!
Dotted throughout the park are little adventure playgrounds, scattered on the lovely green spaces which we really did love. In many zoos or parks there is only one large designated area for a children’s playground, and these can get very busy, but here it was lovely as it never felt overcrowded, plus the children could spot some animals, then play, then spot animals again. It interspersed the day perfectly.
Then, after a jam packed morning in the glorious sunshine, we headed to the main restaurant for lunch.
There are loads of options to choose from. You can select from the cooked menu and eat in the main cafe area, or you can choose to just have a quick sandwich and take it to one of the many picnic tables outside in the park. we chose a sandwich each for Mikey and I, and the children’s meal deal for the girls, but still chose to sit indoors to have a well needed break in the shade. This was the only place within the grounds where we really saw a lot more people, and the inside eating area isn’t huge, so soon got busy. Next time if we visit I think we’ll take our sandwiches and find a nice shady spot outside somewhere, although saying that, I did have a little bit of food envy when I saw the man next to me eating the most amazing looking pizza!
Then after lunch, we hurried over to the tractor ride as we’d just heard the announcement that it was ready for the next ride on the tannoy.
This was brilliant, and certainly something to remember. The kids just giggled the entire way. And then lastly, we just had to give the Mega Maze a go! Again, hilarious and just so much fun. It really is massive but with the help from the clues along the way, it only took us half an hour to complete. And again the kids just loved it. As did we. Hurrying along trying to keep up with excited kids, while being smacked in the face by the odd yew branches was just comical. We’d go back just for that again!
So all in all we really did have an amazing family day out. We didn’t get to do everything, as we missed the animal talks and bird displays etc, but this just means we need to pay a return visit one day don’t you think?
Now for a bit more info…..
What is there to see and do?
First up of course should be the animals. Lots of opportunities to see the animals in their enclosures, plus the chance to get a little closer or learn more about them with the following: (these change daily, so please check the website for more information)
- Animal Experiences
- Special Events with Speakers
- Animal Handling
- Keeper Talks
- Animal Shows
- Birds of Prey Display
Adventure & Play:
There really is a wealth of choice when it comes to the adventure and play facilities at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, with indoor and outdoor options both catered for perfectly. I really did like how large the indoor play area was, (you almost have to see it to believe it), because as we know the good old UK weather can be a bit hit and miss.
The gigantic indoor play barn is home to:
- the Jungle Den, with trampolines, rope ladders, ball pits plus smaller play equipment like ride ons for the little ones
- Beehive Maze
- Rainbow slide
- The Straw Barn – with straw bales and rope swings. So much fun.
And outdoors, if the weather treats you kindly (if not though, don your raincoats, as this can’t be missed!) there are yet more play areas including:
- Mini Diggers
- Bounce Park
- Elephant Play Zone
- Welly Splash Pool
- Termite Mound
- Wallaby Hill
But by far the best for us was the Tractor Ride which took us on a very bumpy tour of the working farm, where the kids were just in stitches for the entire journey, and the huge outdoor maze, which was just brilliant!
Yes, it was massive, and I suppose could be a little daunting, but along the way you can answer clues to keep you on the right track. We got a few right, but we got a fair few wrong too, but even if this happens, you just end up back at the same clue again, so try one of the other multiple choice answers instead!
There was also a tiny maze for the kids to play in. I did love it when Ella and Holly both went in on their own, but Ella came out five minutes later to tell me she didn’t know the way out!! I couldn’t help but chuckle. Along with the other couple who found her comment pretty entertaining too! Oh they do make me laugh!
Food & Drink:
There were lots of places to find somewhere to sit and have a quick bite to eat or a refreshing drink along the way:
- The Main Food Barn – serving a selection of hot and cold meals, light lunch options, kids’ meal deals, and fabulous looking freshly baked pizzas. Yum!
- Ice Cream Parlour – with loads of fab flavours
- Rainbow Cafe – located within the main play barn, which means a lovely coffee and a snack while you can still keep an eye on the kids
- The Elephant Snack Shack – next to the Elephant Eden
- The Bear Necessities – situated alongside the Andean Bear Adventure Enclosure
- Plus loads of picnic areas!
Other Important Info
January opening times Monday – Saturday, 10.30am- 4pm.
February – November opening times, Monday – Saturday, 10.30am- 5pm.
Please note it is closed on Sundays – I will admit we thought this was quite a shame, as there are many families who only have weekends at their disposal, so I can imagine in peak season Saturdays could become very busy indeed.
Please check the website for up to date information.
- Adults – £18.00
- Children (aged 2-16) – £12.60
- Concessions (17-19 yrs, Students, OAPs 65+) – £17.10
- Children under 2 – Free £0.00
It’s worth noting that tickets bought from the kiosk on the day are 10% higher than if bought online, so it may be wise to plan ahead if you can.
NB: Steph and her family received complimentary entrance to Noah’s Farm Park in exchange for this review but all views and opinions are her own.
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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.