“ A converted farm in Lincolnshire with soft play area, animal feeding, tractor rides and outdoor play. „
-- Getting there --
Wanting to travel around the world and visit every attraction the world has to offer I decided I wanted to re live my childhood memories and visit a petting farm. Doing some research we found Randfarm park to be the closest to where I live in Grimsby. We planned that we would go to Lincoln do a few things and then find our way from their to RandFarm Park. So we left sunny Laceby Acres, Grimsby with our phone sat nav and the darkness blasting out on the car sterio. First tip. Never use a phone sat nav, if you don't know where something is get a real one because this caused a lot of hassle for us. We had randfarms address and postcode but we couldn't find the right route out of Lincoln, we was driving around Lincoln city centre for an hour before the phone finally showed us the right route to go and then we realised it was straight forward on road 20 minutes from Lincoln city centre.
-- Parking and a warm welcome --
The car park is in front of the entrance building, it has coach spaces and disabled spaces but over all the car park can only fit in around 20 cars but luckily there was an overflow car park which we managed to get a space in located next to the main car park. Because of the recent rains the fields surrounding were quite boggy so luckily the overflow car park is on stones! Walking through the entrance you find yourself standing at a till with a happy smiling staff member behind it. We paid for two adults which came to just over £16. She gave us a map which showed the layout and where all the animals were and she also gave us two free bags of feed and told us we can feed any animal except chickens, rabbits and pigs because they ahve their own special diets that they have to stick too.
-- Layout and animal houses --
RandFarm isn't a large place so ti isn't that hard to find your way around anyway. walking through the entrance you walk through a wacky wearhouse area for children which you are informed you acn play on but mind the children. You then walkoutside past lots of tables for mini golf. We were too excited so we skipped these. the animals are all hosued in seperate arease. first are all the birds and some pigs. Then a large barn filled with the bigger animals and another house for smaller caged animals. There is also a large deep pond which is opene planned for the ducks.
-- Mooo, oink, baa.. meow? --
We rushed straight into the first house with excitment to find chickens, they each had their own names, own egg laying boxes, lots of food and bedding along with a sign on the side telling you interesting information about the animals. This is very simply and great for children to learn. You coudl put your fingers through the mesh and stroke them as you are told that the animals are around people a lot and love being petted. Moving on there are turkeys and cockrels. I've neevr seena turkey in person before and they are massive! No wonder we have them for Christmas dinner. These look like they could fed 30 children! After that there are incubators housing baby chicks and a egg shelving unit where the staff and hand hatching eggs.This is fasinating and I loved reading all the information, I have pet chickens myself so it's good to know more information on them. I got extremely excited when I heard the noise of oinking. Moving on and there housed with the birds where 3 pig families! the mummy bigs were huge in size I've never seen something to large before(a pig anyway)one mummy has tiny piglets and was laid snoring her beautiful head off which they all fed. They were so small and looked extremely delicate. there was a mummy with bigger babies that were all snorting and running around and another with slightly older piglets again. There were alot of children around too but when I put my hand in and they saw the piggies were friendly they all had their little hands in having a stroke of them.
We then move dont o see a pen of HUGE cows, and they were huge! a mix of cows and their calves they were beautiful and extremely fussy, we couldn't believe how much they actually love to be touched, as we moved on to the pen next to them to stroke a donkey and her baby the cows got jealous so we have to pet both at the same time. It was wonderful. We then moved onto the big barn, at first this held guinipigs, all different kinds which were really funny and cute, then came the rabbits, from tiny babies to massive ones which were the size od small dogs, I couldn't believe how big they were. In the same large rabbit cages in the rafters were birds which were lovely and beautifully coloured. Again on every pen there was an information card which showed the animals name, breed and a bit about him/her. Going around the corner we came to the biggest creature housed in RandFarm. The bull. He was very very large and people wasn't letting their small children go near him due to his size and scaryness. We did approach with caution not realising.. he's extremely ticklish! was he massive? yes did he has a massive ring in his nose? yes was he scary? yes! But he was the friendlist creature ever, he was so soppy and soft who loved his ears scratched and was ticklish down his sides. Once person saw he was friendly enough, others started petting him too which I was pleased about.
Moving on we saw more cows which were all different breeds as well as ponies and lots more donkies. We saw billy goats but there wasn't any nanny goats that we could see. We decided to feed the goats. There are little holes specifically for you to put your hand in and feed them, having them eat from your hand is such a weird feeling and it's very slavery but it's hilarious I loved every second of it. There were more pigs but biggers ones and one of my favourites.. sheep! they were so bushy and cute they felt so strange to touch but I couldn't help but touch one constantly we also fed them which was just as hilarious as feeding the goats. Going out of the barn to the last house were the "small creatures"are kept. in here were chinchillas, chipmunks and tortoises. The chinchillas are extremely cute and cuddly with each other, tehy actually like to cuddle when they sleep like humans do and it's the cutest thing I have ever seen. The chipmunks sat on their branchesmunching at their nuts. In the tortoies ares they were all sunning themselves and munch on a salad dinner of peppers, lettuce and cucumbers. The ducks were hilarious and loved the rain that ended up pouring down, they were very noisey! and i thought it was strange to see that Randfarm has their own sheep dog which walks around with the staff memers and a kitty cat too!
-- Feeding and Holding animals --
You can purchase bread crumbs and animal feed at the enterance and can feed anything except rabbits, chickens and pigs which is great because it leaves a lot of animals left to feed. Whenw e went a staff member came out with 5 hige warm milk jugs, she was about to feed the baby calfs. Dhe asked the children if they wanted to help feed and in our excitment we decided to have a go too. The calves really do pull and chug on that warm milk of theirs it's really funny and an experience worth having. There are certain times in the day (which we missed but saw on a sign) where a staff member will actually take out the rabbits and other animals and let you hold them.
-- Cleanliness --
Cleanliness in rand farm is important so every now and again there are rows of handwash and sinks which you are recommended to use everytime you pass them and you don't realise but when you do wash your hands the water is black! so make sure you use them every time. There are plenty of bins around and there is no sign of litter anywhere. All the animals are cleaned out regularly so it doens't smell either.
-- Tractor ride, barn theater, gift shop and food. --
At every hour you can go on a tractor ride, we decided while we're here why not. This is a short ride but a fun one anyway, it doesn't go far it just takes you around the sheep fields and back again but it's really interesting and something great for the children toe xperience. There is a gift shop which to my surprise is filled with lego. I would of expected more to do with animals but we ended up buying a badge each which says we've been to randfarm park and an owl keyring because it was really cute. Next to this is a cafe, we never used this but there are plenty of tables to sit down and eat. There is also vending machines located in the barn theater, this has a tv and benches and lots of information on the animals at the site, this is mainly an area for schools to do activities about their day.
-- Attractions. --
There is a large play area with slides and swings with picnic benches for family days out, a wacky wearhouse, this came in handy for everyone when it started rainging you can also play mini gold and go go-karting. We looked too big to go on the go-karts so we gave it a miss but all this is included int eh
price that youpay at the enterance.
-- Locations and Contact details. --
Address: Rand Farm Park rand, lincoln, LN8 5NJ
Phone: 01673 858904
Ever since our little man started his first year of "big school" in September, we've found ourselves fully hooked into the "party" circuit, and especially at this time of year we seem to be picking up birthday party bags and fresh invites virtually every week.
Last Saturday was no exception - a month or so back, we got an invite from two of his pals to a party at Rand Farm Park. When the wife and I clocked the invite the location was a bit of a surprise - being over the other side of Lincoln, about 40 miles from us. But we weren't going to disappoint the little fella and we're always up for finding new days out places. So Saturday morning, we hotfooted it over there straight from his weekly swimming lessons (we just about managed to get him towelled down first!!)
It's actually a few miles North of Lincoln centre, on the A158 , close to the village of Wragby (and only 30 miles or so from Skegness for any holidaymakers looking to escape the delights of "Skegvegas" for the day)
As we were running late, we found a spot in the Overflow car park and skipped right past an impressive looking Outdoor playground, featuring a central rope climb tower, and plenty of interesting looking obstacle course type options. Probably better left for the warmer months, but there's also a Pedal Go-Kart track.
A warm welcome
I just about had chance to cast a glance at the entrance prices as we scrambled inside, and at £6.95 for an adult / child , £5.25 for senior citizens and free for under 2's seemed pretty reasonable. When we got to the desk, I noticed an electronic board up with the latest updates and information (very efficient), and the staff were very quick to get us organized. As party guests we got one adult and child in free and an orange sticker, while muggins here got to cough up the cash and a yellow sticker in return.
Moo, Baaah, Oink, Tweet, LUNCH!
It is a working farm, and our party had already begun with a spot of animal feeding, but we were soon on the trail to catch up with our group. I have to admit being quietly pleased that we'd missed out on the opportunity to have my hands covered in slobbering tongues as little man generally delegates the feeding task to my good self. They offer lamb and calf feeding as well as opportunities to hold and touch the animals.
They certainly seemed a very contented and well looked after bunch with their pens equipped with stereos playing soothing classical music and the like.
But it was the tearoom equipped with 120 places that provided the pot of gold at the end of my morning Rainbow. Our party guests had their own table in an adjoining room (handily right by the toilets) so we could keep an eye on them and still get on with our own lunches. I had a splendid Jacket Potato with Chilli, and the wife enjoyed a lovely freshly made sandwich or three, all very reasonably price I thought.
Time for some fresh air next, and while we waited for our turn on the tractor ride, there was a nice little under 4's playground for them to limber up on.
Sadly, there wasn't quite enough room on the trailer (which probably seats about 25) for all the adults, so I had to watch the mighty blue tractor thunder majestically away with my son and wife on board and wait for the tales of exciting adventures (or more accurately the big smiling faces) when the returned 10 minutes later.
Next up we were back indoors in a little activities / educational centre. Our group's main challenge on this occasion was uncovering layer upon layer of newspaper for the purposes of the noble art of Pass the Parcel, but in my idling moments, I spied a nice little stage area and shop, again very well presented. I do believe one or two of the more opportunistic parents nipped out to the nearby farm shop.
No doubt, the crowning feature of the place (particularly at this cold time of the year) was the splendidly appointed Indoor Adventure Play Barn a.k.a Soft play. Featuring all manner of interconnecting rope bridges,
twisty and helter skelter style slides and foam ball cannon fire, there's plenty to keep them occupied here. With a minimum age of 4, and some areas reserved for the over 6's, when it gets busy there's always the chance of a small bump or tumble, but overall it seemed pretty safe to me.
One of the surprising extra features of this place, is the toy shop area just adjacent to the soft play. They've obviously got friends on the board of Playmobil or something because there are at least 3 shelves stocked full of all the Playmobil kits you could possibly ever want. Very handy indeed if you've got a little one who's into this stuff.
Overall , we spent a very happy three or four hours here at Rand Farm Park, and the best recommendation I can give is that now we know about it, we'll definitely be paying another visit later in the year. For anyone local, I believe they even offer a season ticket for a very reasonable £30.
There's plenty to do both indoors and out, and for me what's particularly impressive about the place is just how well organised and presented everything is
We'll be back!