Zoo Keeper Experience at Folly Farm, Wales

folly farm zoo keeper experienceWould your child love being a zoo keeper at Folly Farm, Wales?

Although I’m known to be a fan of a far-flung holiday destination, some of our favourite times together as a family have been spent closer to home. In particular, Flea and I are huge fans of the British coastline and we’ve spent many a happy weekend exploring the coasts of England, the Scottish borders and mid-Wales.

Where is Folly Farm?

Earlier this Spring, Visit Wales invited us to visit Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire to see what sort of fun families can get up to in the area, as part of a new campaign for YouTube. Specifically, would we like to try our hands at being zoo keepers at Folly Farm for a day and be filmed?

A quick look at the website and we were sold on the Folly Farm zoo keeper experience. It was also a perfect opportunity to drop in on my friend Ruth for a long overdue catch-up. So off we went to deepest Wales – Folly Farm is situated around an hour past Cardiff, a 5 hour drive from our home in Lancashire.

Dear readers, there are some things you need to know, in the interests of full disclosure.

It rained.

Oh my God, it rained.

And it was cold.

Good Grief, it was so cold.

Well, it was January.

What’s the Zoo Keeper experience like?

The rain really, truly didn’t matter too much. In between the rain and the cold, the sun shone and the scenery was glorious and Folly Farm is – like all the best British attractions – well set up to keep you entertained during a rainy shower or two. Or three.

zoo keeper experience uk

In fact, there’s so much to do here you probably won’t fit it all into one day. Especially if you’re also squeezing in a shift as a zookeeper!

We kicked off our Folly Farm zoo keeper experience with a visit to see the meerkats (always a must-see on any zoo trip). From there it was off to see the giraffes. As part of Flea’s zoo keeper experience, she was invited to hand-feed the giraffes, serving them pellets and slices of cabbage, which they grabbed with their long, black tongues. Giraffes drool a lot more than you might expect. Just saying.

What’s great about the zoo keeping experience is that the kids get to chat to the keepers while they feed the animals. Flea learned all about the personalities of the different giraffes, and even why their tongues are black (to avoid sunburn).

giraffes at folly farm

Next up, we headed up to the penguin enclosure where Flea got her hands dirty with the head zookeeper, preparing fishes by stuffing them with vitamin tablets. It’s a good job Flea’s not squeamish – this job was pretty gruesome, involving lots of accidentally smooshed fish guts all over the show. Fish prepared, Flea and her zookeeper friend headed out to the penguin enclosure and got busy throwing fish and even hand-feeding one or two braver little penguins. It was great fun and something I’m sure Flea will remember for a long time to come.

feeding penguins

Folly Farm Review

Exploring the zoo was a blast! There were also lions and monkeys and even a farm animals area, where Flea showed a previously unimagined talent for milking livestock. “It’s easy Mummy, you just have to squeeze their special places!” she announced, gleefully.

Many of the animal enclosures and areas have cover so that if the weather’s not so good, you can stay dry. And there’s plenty of other stuff to do if the rain really pours down. Flea loved the indoor play barn, where we adults grabbed a hot chocolate while she flung herself around one of the biggest indoor play areas I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t open when we visited, but the vintage style fairground rides are also mostly undercover, and looked like a lot of fun for younger kids.

It’s hardly surprising that Folly Farm is one of Wales’ top attractions, visited by more than 400,000 people every year. We absolutely loved our day and the Folly Farm zoo keeper experience was brilliant. The zoo day that Flea tried costs just £30 per child, and includes a rather snazzy t-shirt to take home – just make sure you bring your own wellies!

14 thoughts on “Zoo Keeper Experience at Folly Farm, Wales”

  1. The video is truly beautiful and you were equally gorgeous over night guests. We’ll dine out on this in years to come when Flea is rich and Hollywood famous. I’ll casually share “I fed her [clean…] chocolate ice cream the night before her first big gig.” There’s a lot to be said for Wales and there’s a lot more we can show you – come see us again soon please. Awesome zookeepering Flea.

  2. That looks like such a great experience and she clearly loved it. A bit of a bargain for £30 too, i didn’t even know kids could do zoo keeper experiences. We’re going back to Bluestone in May and were looking at going to Folly Farm, I think you’ve just sealed the deal for us – thanks! No zoo keeper experience just yet though x

  3. Loved the video, Flea is a natural in front of the camera she could have a career ahead of her. This is just the sort of thing I’d love to do or treat someone to and I looked into it, but most zoos typically charge £95 or more! It made me sad as it felt so out of reach. I’ll remember this if we find ourselves in South Wales, which we’ve often said is just like Cornwall but on steroids! Antonia x

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