Greenacres Animal Park - Hawarden, North Wales
Where Is It?
A little village called "Hawarden" in North Wales, about 30 minutes by car from the City of Chester...
This is a small park farm with various animals, as the name suggests its mainly farm animals horses, cows, sheep, pigs, ducks with the odd monkey to see. There is a tractor ride which is very popular with the children and gives a tour of the outer fields for more animals - look out for the "bear" that is hiding in the trees. There is an indoor play barn for children, with little scooters and ride ons as well - there is a segregated section for the younger children with a little ball pool to enjoy. An outdoor play area with swings and slides and other equipment. A selection of fairground rides are also on site.
There is a covered seating area for anyone wanting to take a picnic and also a cafe if you prefer that option, the play barn has a little food and drinks counter to enjoy whilst the children play
Camping & Caravan Site
Within the grounds, there is a small caravan and camping area with electric hook up and a washing up area, the standard price per pitch at the time of writing this review is £26.00 with a charge of £3.00 if you want electric hook up (The price included entry into the park)
The cost of entry into the park for adults is £7.00 and for children (between 2 - 16) its £6.00, under 2's go free. There are season tickets available
We went with a group of friends, we had between us four two year old children.
Despite it being June our typically British weather meant we went on a day where there was a mix of rain showers and sun. The park was virtually empty except for a school party so we could get very close to the enclosures to see the animals which is great when you have toddlers.
We enjoyed the "petting area" where the children got to hold/stroke and feed a few animals such as ducklings, lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs and an eagle owl, they seemed to enjoy this part a lot and we got some lovely photographs.
The enclosures for the animals seemed a little small for some of the animals but it seems that when they mature they are moved out to the larger fields and the smaller enclosures are just for the younger animals.
Disappointingly the fairground rides, tractor rides and pony rides weren't being run because it was "low season" and the outside swings/slides were wet from the rain so also not in use. When they are operating the tractor rides, pony rides, play barn and fun fair rides are all charged at an additional £1.00
We all had lunch in the cafe which has a few hot meals and the usual sandwiches and jacket potatoes. There is a childrens menu although everything was served with chips and beans! When we ordered there weren't any beans and no alternative such as peas was available - still charging the full meal price though :(
The park has new management this year and they are in the process of making changes so it will be interesting to see what developments are made, the place does need some tlc. Our children at 2 years old were happy enough though especially when we went into the play barn.
I think the price for children needs to be looked at, £6.00 for two year old is a little steep, especially when half the facilities are not available. Maybe the play barn should be included in the price rather than a separate charge, especially in the wet weather we had.
The cafe could do with a make over and a healthy option for the childrens menu - even a choice of mashed potato rather than just chips would be welcomed.
Having said this, we would venture back as the children seemed to enjoy themselves.
Here's a link to the website [[ http://www.greenacresanimalpark.co.uk/]]