At Folly Farm we're proud to be
home to a number of quite irresistible reptiles! Find out how you
should be holding our lizards and snakes.
From monitor lizards and pythons to mini dragons and a number of
different tortoises, at Folly Farm we're proud to be home to a
number of quite irresistible reptiles!
And when you come to see our cold-blooded friends, you might even
be able to handle them and give some of them a little cuddle.
Handling reptiles is a fun way to get to know them and perhaps
allay any fears you may have.
How to handle reptiles
When you're holding the reptile, they trust you and so it's your
job to be their 'protector'. You need to be sure that you:
• Support their full weight - if this means you
need more than one person to hold them then so be it
• Don't hold them upside down
• Keep your voice calm
• Stroke reptiles from head to tail, not the
other way round. Stroking the wrong way can lift the scales and
• Keep them away from both prey and
• Pass them to someone without checking they're
in full control
• Move calmly and gently. Sudden movements may
suggest they're being picked up by a predator.
• Ensure that the situation around you isn't
stressing the reptile out
• Wash your hands before and after handling
• Respect the animal
Looking for more tips? When you're at Folly Farm check out how the
reptile's keepers handle them and ask them how they keep the
cold-blooded creatures comfortable.
Let them get comfortable
How to know when a reptile is in pain
Many think that reptiles don't actually feel pain simply because
they don't react in the same way as dogs, cats and other domestic
animals. Needless to say, this isn't true.
Reptiles just don't react in the same way as mammals when they feel
pain. If a reptile is feeling insecure, uncomfortable or in pain it
• Breath heavily, and may even hiss
• Squirm, scrabble its limbs around and generally
seem fussy and uncomfortable.
• Dig claws into your flesh
• Roll around on its back
• A snake might wrap itself around a limb
• A snake might also create an S-shape with its
If you're handling the lizard right it won't be in pain, but it's
still important to be aware of the tell-tale signs so that you know
if it isn't comfortable. Sometimes, a lizard will just want to get
down so that it can have a poo!
Want to learn more about the Folly Farm
Visit our Meet The Animals page and see which cool
cold-blooded creatures you could be handling at Folly Farm
Become an octopus for a day or be as proud as a peacock while
you strut around Folly Farm with these easy to make animal themed
fancy dress costumes.
Fun days out with the kids are almost the most memorable events in
your mind. Well besides your wedding and the children's births of
course. Make your next day out together one to add to the photo
albums by attending Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo while in
animal fancy dress. You never know, you may even confuse the
Do you want to transform your child into a moose for the day? It
couldn't be simpler. Dress them in all brown with a brown hoody on
top. Get your needle and thread out and create antlers by stuffing
some old cream gloves with cotton wool or newspaper and sewing them
onto the hood. You don't have to be an expert seamstress but they
look really effective.
A similar idea can be seen in transforming your child into an
octopus. Head down to your local bargain clothes store and buy your
child four pairs of matching colourful tights. Any colour will do -
the brighter the better in our opinion!
Have your child put one pair on with any top they choose. Stuff
the other three pairs and secure with an elastic band. At the top
of each leg. These will form the octopuses other 6 legs. To attach
them to the costume simply safety pin the tentacles to a belt. A
strong belt will easily be able to hold the weight of the stuffing
and keep all the legs looking even in length.
For added authenticity pick a pair of tights that are spotty as
these will look more like octopus suckers.
Real bumblebees may be a little scary but a four year old dressed
up as one can be extremely cute. Dress your little one up in black
trousers and a yellow and black stripy top. If you can't find one
in this colour then simply take a marker pen to an old yellow t
shirt for a similar effect.
Wings can be made using two wire coat hangers tied together at the
hooks and covered by a pair of opaque black or white tights. Attach
to the costume with elastic arm straps that your child can put on
as they would a backpack. Finally for the antennae curl up black
pipe cleaners and fix them to a black hair band. Yellow pompoms on
the ends will make a great finishing touch. We are sure your child
will buzz with excitement when they see this costume.
Last but not least is the proud peacock costume. To make this head
to your local market or craft store and pick up half a dozen
artificial peacock feathers. These will be the difference between
whether the costume is a success or not.
This costume is extremely easy to make. Simply glue these feathers
to the bottom area of a blue babygrow or leotard so that they fan
outwards at the top. Team with an orange pair of tights or trousers
and away you go! Easy peasy!
So, will you be making any of these fun animal themed costumes for
your family to wear on your visit to Folly Farm? We'd love to see
any photos of your attempts if you do. Tweet us
Valentine's Day is fast approaching! Are you giving anyone a
card? Like us humans, some animals will love each other and form a
special bond - they won't celebrate Valentine's though. Want to
know which animals are monogamous? Here's a list of a few animals
who mate for life:
Childbirth and rearing young is difficult for penguins and it is a
process that brings partners together. These animals can be
serially monogamous and it has been found that those with the
shortest breeding season are less likely to have a
Sadly though, despite staying loyal throughout the mating season
they are unlikely to stay together for more than a year. Penguins
have long term relationships but never get married as such. The
mating window is so short that penguins prioritise mating and
breeding rather than waiting for their last partner.
Giant otters live in small family groups of up to 10 animals and
the family will be headed by a monogamous couple - the mum and
Another breed, the sea otters can often be seen floating down
stream while holding hands. While they snooze these animals hold on
to each other so they do not float apart. On times they have even
been known to bind themselves together with sea plants to
strengthen their bonds.
Photo source: Wikimedia
If you pay a visit to see our barn owls at Folly Farm then you may
see them paired up as these birds mate for life. Barn owls are also
big show-offs. When initiating mating a male owl will put on an
impressive aerial display while making plenty of noise before
playing follow-the-leader and hovering above his chosen mate until
it is time. Despite this public display of affection, barn owls
will never cheat!
Gibbons find a partner and will mate for life. The males and
females of this species are roughly the same size and therefore
there is not a dominant sex. Instead the couple will spend time
grooming each other and hanging out together. Does your other half
do your hair for you? We doubt it!
Swans make long term partnerships that can last for years or even
life - similar to us humans and our marriages. Swans are extremely
loyal but this may not be for such romantic reasons. Between
migration and raising their young, many swans simply don't have the
time to find a new mate so simply stay together out of
convenience. Swans are one of the more well-known monogamous
animals and swans are often pictured with necks intertwined so they
form a heart shape. Come say hello to the swans at the farm and see
if they form a heart!
Are you planning a visit to Folly
Farm Adventure Park and Zoo this Valentine's weekend? Have a
read of our Penguin Proposal article in the news section -
you may feel inspired!
Do you have an elderly relative that constantly talks about the
good old days? Then why not take the whole family for a retro day
out and a walk down memory lane here at Folly Farm? It's a great
day out for all ages and there is never a dull moment here at the
The first stop for any retro day out here at the farm is the
historic Vintage Funfair. Folly Farm is home to Europe's largest
undercover vintage funfair so whatever the weather jump on the
Golden Gallopers, ride the Chair-o-planes and drive those Dodgems
until closing time - or you run out of tokens.
Once you've been on all the rides it may be time to take in a
magic show at the 700 seat Follies Theatre. You can even admire the
impressive Wurlitzer Organ! The Wurlitzer is one of the UK's finest
theatre organs and will play to you throughout the day.
While you enjoy the music you could get high on the
Pembrokeshire Wheel! This is a big wheel that is 25 metres in
height and stands proudly over the rest of the park. Take a ride on
the wheel and when you get to the top admire the views - you may
even be able to see the sea!
After a morning at the Vintage Funfair you're sure to have built
up an appetite. Enjoy a treat at the Candy Store or if you have
brought your own picnic then simply locate one of the handy picnic
For the perfect vintage picnic stock a picnic hamper with lots
of lovely homemade goodies such as butterfly cakes, bread and
butter and pink lemonade. Oh and don't forget the salt and shake
crisps! Fresh fruit is a great refresher and jelly and custard is
If the sun is shining during your trip then bring a picnic
blanket and feel free to lie out on any of the many grass patches
throughoutthe Adventure Park and Zoo.
50 years ago there weren't mobile phones or iPods so to have a
truly retro day turn off your phone (unless your group becomes
separated), leave the iPods and IPads at home and simply enjoy
spending time together. You could even dress up in clothing that
would have been worn at the time in order to get a real feel for
After a long retro day at Folly Farm, you'll be all played out but
don't forget to return to the modern day and check out our Twitter
Happy 2014 everyone! We here at Folly Farm Adventure Park and
Zoo think it's going to be a big year so come pay us a visit and
share in the memories! There is plenty to do.
Say Hello to Our Animals
Say hello to our cute and cuddly animals at the farm. Get up
close and personal with our baby animals or get involved and milk
the life-sized plastic cow.
Little farmers will enjoy playing on the harvester and tractor
in the Jolly Barn and will adore a visit to the Follywood Country
Park which is home to Percy's Piggery, oink oink! Climb aboard the
Land Train and take a tour of our paddocks, deer enclosure and the
nature trail. Don't forget to pay Henry horse and Lily Lemur a
In 2013 we made a large extension to the Jolly Barn which is now
home to the brand new Cwtch Corner where you can get some hands-on
experience with the chick incubation exhibit and goat milking
demonstrations. The Discovery Farmyard is located here and
it's great for children to learn through interactive and
educational exhibits. Who knew learning could be that fun?!
The Folly Zoo is home to 50 different species and over 250
animals, so you'll never have a dull moment learning about these
exotic creatures. Our zoo keepers give frequent talks on the
animals; make sure to plan your visit so it lands on feeding time
to learn more about these wild ones.
Folly Farm is home to the only giraffes in Wales so if you want
to visit these friendly giants there is no place closer to home.
They have plenty of space in their large enclosure as at Folly Farm
we know how to keep even the most endangered animals happy and
Top your zoo visit off with some time spent in our aviaries with
the parrots, owls and even a kookaburra with the most unusual of
calls. Admire the cranes and see the lovebirds before topping off
your zoo experience here at Folly Farm with a trip to the reptilian
centre. The reptilian centre is especially popular with our little
boy visitors who are fascinated by the snakes and lizards that live
here.They may even start asking for one as a pet!
Visit the Funfair
If you are unlucky enough to visit on a rainy day don't worry -
there is still plenty to do inside!
Folly Farm is home to the largest indoor vintage funfair in Europe
so there is plenty
of fun for all the family to be had. Drive the dodgems, ride the
gallopers and play the world famous Wurlitzer before washing it all
down with some candy floss and a can of pop while watching a show
in the Follies theatre.
Take Part in Adventure Play
And when the clouds clear, get out there and get active in one
of the many adventure play areas.
Imitate your favourite animals on the Carousel Woods or search for
treasure in your very own Pirate Adventure. Get speedy in the Follystone
Racetrack and play builder on the pedal tractors and test your
skills on the half ton CAT mini diggers. Your little ones are
bound to have so much fun they will sleep the whole way home.
Have a Zoo Keeper Experience
Finally if you are looking for something special, perhaps for a
birthday in 2014, then why not book one of our Zoo Keeper
Experiences? This is the perfect gift for children who love animals
and dream of becoming a vet one day.
Guests will get
to meet either the giraffes or the penguins, prepare their food and
help feed them while chatting to the zoo keepers. You'll even get
to see where they live.
This experience only costs £30 and you'll even get a free t shirt!
They are in high demand so make sure to book well in advance here if you
are interested. It's sure to be a birthday gift they'll never
So what do you think? Will 2014 be the year you visit Folly Farm?
Stay tuned for more exciting developments!
Sometimes, it's not just the adults who are hit by a case of
January blues. All that fantastic family fun, excitement over
Father Christmas and staying up past bedtime is quickly overhauled
by the inevitable back-to-school bell. Yes, even children are apt
to feel a little unenthused at this time of year.
Give your little munchkin something to look forward to during
the quieter months of the year by planning a thrilling day out to
Farm Adventure Park and Zoo. From the Destruction Playground to
the Follystone Racetrack, we are passionate about exhilarating
experiences here at Folly. We're constantly on a quest to extend
our park facilities to ensure that you, the visitor, can enjoy
maximum levels of fun.
With a grand total of 7 outdoor adventure areas waiting to be
explored, you'd better get your skates on. Let's take a peek at
just some of what's on offer:
Embrace the need for speed at the livelyFollystone Racetrack.
Prepare to take on your fellow racers by pairing up or going it
alone for the ultimate car chase. The Follystone Racetrack provides
an opportunity for parents and children to compete against each
other in a safe yet exhilarating environment. See which family
member can record the fastest lap and take home the winners
Landlubbers can try their hand at Pirateering atPirates
Adventure. Jump aboard the Folly Roger, join your new shipmates and
prepare for an adventure into dark and stormy lands. Will you be
made to walk the plank or will you triumph at Treasure Island? Sail
the seven seas at Folly Farm.
Clamber across netted drawbridges, hurtle down slides and prance
about at the ultimate soft playground;Carousel Woods. Take on the
enchanted forest, get lost in the ball pit or watch the youngsters
play over a pot of earl grey at the relaxing Carousel Café.
Get Set for the Big Dig!
Do you have a little nipper with dreams of becoming Bob the
Builder? Is your little princess barmy about construction? Let them
build to their heart's content on a fleet of mini CAT excavators
and JCB diggers. The best news is there's no need to don hard hats
and high vis jackets at this construction site because ourBig
DigPlaygroundis 100% safe for children- hip hip hooray!
Of course, we could sing our own praises until the chickens come
home to roost. The best way to really experience everything we have
to offer here at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is to simply
jump in the car and pay us a visit. For bookings and enquiries please call 01834
For many, pets are like another child, they are a family member
and will be taking part in the festivities this Christmas. After
all you can't eat a big feast in front of them when they have
nothing - that's cruel!
Don't be tempted to give your leftovers to your cat or dog
though. You may be well-intentioned but you may be doing more harm
than good. You want your animal encounters this Christmas
to be positive. It may be a little bah humbug but it's always
better to be safe than sorry. You should never feed your pet:
alcohol, milk, chocolate, sugar, nuts, raisins or salt as this can
make them ill or even kill them in large doses.
Instead of human food why not whip up some delicious dishes that
are pet friendly. Here are a few recipes:
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet that is reserved only
for your pets. Add some chopped up turkey and half a quality
sausage (probably left over from pigs-in-blankets) before cooking
thoroughly. If any meat is still pink then put it on for a little
Boil and strain some rice and add it to the meaty mixture. Peel
and chop a carrot and shred some Brussels sprouts before mixing in.
Cover and steam on a low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
When the carrot and sprouts are soft remove from the heat and
allow to cool before serving.
Heat a teaspoon of fish oil in a skillet and add 50g of
pre-cooked turkey giblets along with some boiled rice. Chop up some
spinach and grate a carrot and add to the mixture. Stir thoroughly
and cook over a low heat until the vegetables are soft and slightly
It's as simple as that! Simply take off the heat and wait for it
to cool to room temperature before feeding it to your kitty
In a skillet add 100g of maize, 100g of whole wheat, 100g of
green gram, 75g of black gram and 75g of rice paddy. Heat for a few
minutes until the ingredients puff up and swell.
Remove from the heat and put in a blender. Break up the mixture
slightly so that it is in manageable bunny sized pieces. Cut up
350g of dry hay and 150g of dry azola and blend it in with the
mixture. And voila! You're done.
Serve as part of a varied diet of fresh vegetables, green grass
Do you think your pet will enjoy one of these yummy recipes?
Remember them this Christmas and don't forget to leave a carrot for
Father Christmas' reindeer when you go
to bed on Christmas Eve!
Get in the festive spirit this Christmas with a family day trip
to see the animals at Folly Farm. With merry animals such as
reindeers, penguins and donkeys and many other fun activities to do
you're sure to leave feeling Christmassy and excited for Santa to
come. Not many sleeps now!
Are your little ones so excited to see Father Christmas that
they are going to try and stay up all night to see him? Well save
yourself a sleepless night by bringing them to Folly Farm this
December to meet him in person. Every weekend in the lead up to
Christmas Father Christmas will be asking children what they want
for Christmas between 10am and 4pm.
Bring your children along and if they've been good this year
they may even get a little present. Santa won't forget about you
parents though either. Every parent will be greeted with a glass of
mulled wine and a mince pie. Yummy!
Meet Santa for only seven pounds but be aware this is on top of
the fee to enter the park and entry to the grotto may be
Meet Prancer, Dancer, Cupid, Comet, Dasher, Donner, Blitzen,
Vixen, and let's not forget Rudolph, at Folly Farm this winter.
Admire the reindeer's tall antlers and learn about these animals
from the keepers. These herbivore mammals, also known as caribou,
are used to coping with extreme colds up in the North Pole so are
quite comfortable in chilly West Wales.
Dixie and Dora are the resident donkeys in the sanctuary at
Folly Farm. Say hello to them and friends and you can even sponsor
a donkey if you wish. The donkey sanctuary at Folly Farm is run
entirely due to voluntary contributions so sponsoring a donkey as a
Christmas gift will really help.
Did you know you can see penguins in Wales? You do now. The
penguin experience opened at Folly Farm in May 2013 and you can now
see the little residents swim and waddle across their new home. The
state-of-the-art two acre enclosure can house up to 40 penguins and
has plenty of different sections to keep them occupied, from
beaches to pools and rocks.
For an extra fee you and your child can become zoo keepers for
the day as part of Folly Farm's new 'Zoo Keeper Experience'. Get
behind the scenes and find out exactly what it is like to work at a
zoo. You will even have some one-on-one time with the penguins
while feeding them. This is an adventure not to be missed!
Does meeting these animals sound fun? Then head down to Folly
Farm this weekend - there's not much time to go before
you fancy making a sweet or savoury Halloween-inspired delight, we
have a recipe for both. Kids will love the creativity and fun
that has been stirred and baked into these
sure you already know about Jack Skellington, otherwise known as
the 'Pumpkin King', the leading character in 'The Nightmare Before
Christmas'. But did you know about his cupcakes? That's
right, there are cupcakes out there with Jack Skellington's face
iced all over them… but you have to create
really simple. All you need is:
pack of delicious chocolate cupcakes
tube of white buttercream frosting
tube of black decorating icing
firstly, frost the cupcakes with the white buttercream
after all cupcakes have been evenly frosted, use the tip of a
toothpick to lightly imprint the outline of Jack Skellington's
Carefully pipe black icing onto the
outlines, then fill the centre of the circles; et voilà! Jack
Skellington now has eyes! Smooth the icing with another
toothpick so that the eyes aren't
his nose, pipe on two short lines, again using the black icing.
Then, along the bottom of the cupcake, pipe a long line to create a
Finally, for that extra spooky touch,
ice on short black barbs across the mouth. There you have it
- scrumptious Jack Skellington cupcakes.
spooky savoury treat, why not make a Ghostly Pizza? And don't
worry, it may sound devilishly difficult, but this fun and freaky
recipe is quick and simple.
tablespoon of olive oil
pound of frozen pizza dough, thawed
- ¾ cup
of jarred tomato sauce
ounces of low-moisture mozzarella cheese,
tablespoon of capers
Ghost-shaped cookie cutter
things first, preheat the oven to 475ºF (about 245ºC), then brush
your baking sheet with olive oil.
your baking sheet with the dough, making sure it is pressed and
stretched evenly across the sheet. If you're finding this a bit
tricky, leave the dough to rest for a minute and then
the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a border of about
one inch around all sides. Bake in the oven until the
underside of the dough is golden (this is where the spatula comes
in handy), this should take approximately fifteen
your ghost-shaped cookie cutter, cut the mozzarella. Place the
mozzarella ghosts on top of the freshly baked pizza and bake for
from the oven and decorate each piece of mozzarella with two
capers, to form the ghost's eyes. Leave to stand for five minutes
on a cooling rack before slicing and serving to your hungry little
you have it, two tasty halloween treats for kids to
make and enjoy. And, for an eerie old time, make sure you pay
us a visit at Folly Farm this Halloween
Hello, Zoo Keeper Rosie here and last week I had some fun in the
sun with our group of Tapir which I'd like to share with you.
Enrichment is a vital part of our
conservation work at Folly Farm to keep the
animals happy and stimulated.
So rather than just feed our Tapir their fruit in the normal way
I decided to liven it for them with some funfair style
...and by creating an apple tree! As you
can see the Tapir really enjoyed themselves and I enjoyed seeing
them having fun.