Reviewed by Susan Ling
A group of us (three families with children aged 6 months – 5 years) decided to go out for a Mother’s Day treat to Rand Farm Park near Lincoln, Lincolnshire. We had a browse on the website beforehand to check the prices location and activities; we found the site easy to use, very informative and up to date. The site tells you if there are any special events on; also, I found I saved money by booking tickets online. The farm is open 10am – 5pm in high season, so we intended to make a full day of it!
The farm is easy to find and well sign posted. There is ample parking and disabled spaces at the front. Upon entering we were given a map of the farm which proved very useful and was a nice size for my daughter to hold, and a piece of paper with the animal feeding/milking times.
As the weather was good, we started outside and went straight to the animal barns. There were rabbits, guinea pigs, donkeys, goats, chickens, sheep and cows. The animals all look in good health and appear to be well looked after. Above each animal pen there was displayed the name of the animal and a little bit of information about it – the children loved us reading these little ‘animal stories’ to them. We had bought some animal feed on the way in (50p) and the kids were encouraged to feed and interact with the animals. My little girl got to hold a rabbit and bottle feed a lamb, which she thought was fantastic. There were a couple of hand washing stations which we could all use after touching the animals. After the animal trail, we all had a tractor ride around the farm, which was about ten minutes long. The driver pointed out the animals and was friendly and informative.
We all had dinner at the Coffee Baa, which had adequate seating and appeared clean. The menu was limited but had enough to keep everyone happy – there were hot and cold meals, snacks and cakes on offer. The prices were no higher than you would pay in a high street cafe. The downside to eating here was that the staff seemed disorganised. We waited quite a while for our food and some of our orders were mixed up. If I were to come again I would bring a picnic and eat in the outside picnic area.
We had a chance after dinner to use the indoor play area, which was really very good. It is very big, reaching right to the ceiling of the barn. The equipment looked in excellent condition and everything was clean. There was a separate toddler area, which is always a plus point as the older kids can get over excited sometimes. On the downside, there isn’t much seating, but we didn’t mind as we were too busy playing. This area is also the main thoroughfare from the entrance to the animal trail, so it also gets a little hectic.
As well as animals, there are plenty of other outdoor activities at various points for the kids to partake in. There is a large outdoor adventure playground with giant swings, roundabouts and trampolines; this area was fantastic, very spacious and the children played for over an hour. The summer sledges (on a raised wooden track) weren’t open yet but they look like they would be great fun. The alpaca area is located towards the back of the playground so we all got to see them too.
Next to the playground is a separate play area for under 4’s, a duck pond (with a fence around for safety) and a go karting track, all of which were great too. My daughter also went on the electric go karts, which were £1 a go.
To finish off the day, we went to the tea rooms for a piece of cake and a warm drink. It took a long time to get served even though there weren’t many customers; again, the staff were not the most organised staff. On the plus side there were no problems with what we ordered, it tasted good and was reasonably priced. On the way out we walked past the barn theatre and some play tunnels for the older children but didn’t have time to use these facilities as it was nearly closing time! On the way out we had a quick look around the large, well-stocked gift shop for a few souvenirs.
In general, Rand Farm is an above-average park. The animals look well cared for and seem happy and there are plenty of things to do. The signage around the park is clear – there isn’t much chance of getting lost. The whole park is wheelchair/pram accessible and there are two toilet/baby changing areas. Although Rand Farm costs a couple of pounds more than the average farm, there are lots of extras which make a day out there good value for money – we were there for 6 hours and still didn’t get around to doing everything! An excellent day was had by all and I would definitely recommend Rand Farm.
Tickets cost from £6.25 to £8.25 with family tickets from £29.95 to £37.50. Save money by booking online in advance.
Open daily from 10am to 5pm until 31 October then closes at 4pm.
Rand Farm Park, Rand, Lincoln, LN8 5NJ | 01673 858904