For a great family day out with an ‘oink oink here’ and a ‘moo moo there’, you’ll want to visit one of the UK’s many petting zoos.
Found all across the country, there’s no better way for little ones to learn about caring for animals, than by first-hand experience.
Toddlers and pre-schoolers will have heaps of fun getting into farm life. There’s hundreds of family friendly petting zoos across the country, here’s just a few:
Battersea Park Children's Zoo, London
The perfect place for little explorers, who’d have thought that Battersea would be home to monkeys, otters, emus and lemurs. These are just a few of the animals welcoming you through this famous zoo’s gates. They are also big on conservation with a giant otter captive breeding programme among many others. The Lemon Tree café on site has lots of yummy treats to fill childrens plates and bellies!
Farmer Gows Activity Farm, Oxford
Escape to the country in this real working farm. There’s lots of activities for kids to do, getting up close and personal to favourite farmyard animals, from sheep to ducks, goats to geese. A real highlight is feeding the baby lambs - altogether now, ahhh...
Bocketts Farm Park, Surrey
Come at Easter and you’ll be positively bombarded with baby lambs hopping all over the plate. There’s lots for kids to learn here too with real Shepherds on hand to offer farm life insight, as well as animal-handling encounters (bring the hand sanitzer!) and everyone’s favourite… pig racing!
Stockley Farm Park, Cheshire
With its Young Farmer Academy (for 7-12 year olds), this is a great place to try your hand at farm life. Learning about the livestock, as well as what it takes to be a farmer, from crops to animals, makes it a great family day out.
Hounslow Urban Farm, London
Cosy up to peacocks, feed baby goats, coo at guinea pigs, get up close and personal with pythons and marvel at the majesty of the bearded dragon – and all within the M25! There’s a great selection of animals to meet, as well as feed. The pig racing it a highlight, along with the meet and greet sessions with unusual animals.
Piglets Adventure Farm Park, York
Great for imaginative play, ride a tractor or a pink barrel train, before meeting the cows, donkeys, pigs and goats among other animals at this family-friendly adventure park. Ideal for squeakers of all age! !
When you're back home (and little hands are washed with soap and water) make sure you bring all the fun of the farm and zoo to family meal time. Bring your child's favourite plastic animal toys to the table and get them to replicate the sounds. It's a cute way to ease the struggles of mealtimes with a toddler.
Please check opening times and social distancing restrictions in place before visiting.
Munchy Play has launched the first children's plate with a built-in track available now through our shop or on Amazon. To stay up to date, follow @munchyplay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!