With thanks to Helen Davies, visitlancashire.com new regular guest blogger.
The sun was shining as we drove towards Farmer Parrs Animal World in Fleetwood Lancashire. Accompanied by my sister-in-law, friend and my 18-month-old niece, Arya, I was excited for a day on the farm.
We arrived at 11.30am and headed straight for the Pottery Studio where Arya chose a little ceramic dog to paint and we got to work. I'm not sure who had more fun, us or her! Whilst we painted, we had the opportunity to learn the story behind the project. The Pottery Studio is owned and run by the charity, Autism Initiatives, who give employment opportunities to people with autism. They make all of the pottery in house and it allows them to develop skills, both social and practical in a safe and friendly environment. Such a fantastic initiative!
After all that painting, we were hungry so headed off to the cafe for lunch! They had a great menu with everything from breakfasts and burgers to salads, sandwiches and my favourite, jacket potato with cheese and beans! They also had a children’s menu too, so there was plenty of choice for Arya.
At 1.30pm, it was time for the Lamb Feeding and Meet the Animals show, the highlight we'd all been waiting for! We gathered in the barn, where Farmer Parr took his place on the stage. He entertained the crowd, telling us facts about the animals and there was plenty of audience participation. The children (ok, and the adults too) "oohed" and "aahed" as the animals were brought out to see us! We had the chance to get up close and personal with a sheep, baby lambs, pygmy goats (I want one), tiny chicks, a gorgeous black rabbit and my nieces favourite, a rat, who was surprisingly cute!
It was then time to meet some more animals. We stopped by the deer, guinea pigs and tortoises before heading outside to visit horses, ponies, goats, sheep, pigs, llamas, an alpaca and lots of other lovely animals, including the latest addition, a beautiful calf called Milly-Moo!
The children queued up for pony rides and took a little turn around the paddock. Lots of happy little faces about! You can also do tractor rides but the ground was a little too wet this day! Next time...
We then took a trip to see the birds... my favourite was Roy the Buzzard, but there were lots of other species, including an owl and peacocks! Whilst we were there we spotted the outdoor playground! Arya wanted to go down the slide, so after helping her up and down, I decided to have a go too!
Last stop was the museum, which depicts Lancashire life through historical artifacts and is run by volunteers. There were so many beautifully kept displays to look at including home scenes, a cobblers, blacksmith, a dairy, an old fashioned loo... so interesting to see how people lived years ago. My niece was fascinated by everything.
They do lots of events throughout the year and decorate the place for special occasions! I'm personally looking forward to going back at Easter and Christmas! Rumour has the Easter Bunny and Santa spend quite a lot of time at the farm over the holidays, and you can visit them in their homes. Santa's reindeer also like to pay a visit to the house too.
After five hours on the farm, it was time to go home but we could have stayed longer! All of us agreed that Farmer Parrs was one of the best days out we'd all had in a long while. Even more so because they do so many great things involving the community! I can't wait to go back!
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Helen Davies is a an adventurer, part-time traveller and full-time Africa lover. She writes about her travels in Africa (and elsewhere) on her blog Helen in Wonderlust. Follow her new adventures in Lancashire and the world on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.