Thursday 6 August 2020

Farmer Palmer's Farm Park Reopens! Summer 2020

Last month saw the reopening of one of the most popular attractions in Dorset, Farmer Palmer's Farm Park. We have been going there since Elliot was a baby and it's a brilliant day out.

They closed their doors back in March due to Covid 19 but have been keeping their visitors up to date with regular emails and social media posts, going into lots of detail about what's going on behind the scenes and the new changes that will be implemented on opening. We were really missing our visits so it was brilliant for them to keep in touch like that and I'm sure a lot of people appreciated still being able to visit virtually!

One of the most important changes to happen has been the booking system - currently visitors are unable to just turn up, they must pre-book tickets online.There are two slots - morning 9am -1pm and afternoon 2pm-530pm.

The booking system is really straightforward - we have annual passes so I just logged into my dashboard on the website and then picked a date and time slot.

On the day of our visit the kids were so excited to return! We arrived at our allotted time and check in was quick. It looks a little different as the front desks have plastic screens up and there weren't any timetable leaflets. However there was a large poster with all the information you'd need including what was open and what time we could see the animals, I just snapped a photo on my phone for convenience. 

Although the indoor play areas (soft play and the play barn) aren't open, there is still lots to do at Farmer Palmers and the kids couldn't wait to explore. They spent ages in Straw Mountain, they like to pile the straw onto the bottom of the slides and slide into it and we always end up covered in straw! We noticed that Erin's actually grown since our last visit and she was able to clamber up to the higher slides with a bit of help from Elliot. 

The tractors are still very popular and this area looks a little different. The bouncy castle has been removed and instead, the tractor area has been expanded with a one way system in place. Most kids seemed to be sticking to this! 

Some of the animal encounters have stopped due to Covid but we were still able to see lots of animals on our walk around the pens. We spotted a Goat Talk on the timetable and this was held in the big animal barn which we've not been in before. The worked out really well because there was lots of space for social distancing and all families had their own little section to stay in. We were also allowed to hand feed the goats which was fun! 

The go-karts are still open and there is a member of staff on hand to sanitise after every go. Speaking of sanitising, there are hand gels available all around the park which is great to see. 

The sand & splash zone and outside play area are both open and we spent lots of time in these. We followed the Trim Trail down to the Maize Maze and we ventured in, hoping not to get lost. (luckily there's no chance of that at the moment as the maze is on a one way system to follow social distancing regulations!)

The Hen House is now take-away only, but there is lots of extra seating around in the park, including the old animal barn which has been repurposed and is now the "Grazing Barn". The menu looks to be sightly smaller than before but don't panic, you can still get those yummy chips! We didn't get a meal but we did get drinks and a huge slab of the famous chocolate cake. (It's worth noting that FP's are taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme so you can get half price food on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August)

Overall, we had a fab visit and I was really impressed with all the extra measures in place. Visitor numbers are limited and this worked in our favour because it felt lovely and quiet, even in the popular sections like the tractors and playground. The staff are so friendly in the park and they really made sure all visitors were enjoying themselves. It's great that families can have a little slice of normality in this strange time! 

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Farmer Palmer's website

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