Bing and Flop and Hello Kitty…the pure reasons we ended up going to Drusillas and we are SO glad that we did! We went in February so the weather was quite cold but the kids had thick coats on and the day we went turned out to be dry and sunny, so we were extremely lucky. We paid £64 for 4 of us (2 adults and 2 children, with Perrie going free) by booking online in advance (otherwise would have been £72) and going during the off peak time which doesn’t hit peak prices until the Easter holidays and even then they only increase by £4 for a family ticket. Kids under the age of 2 go free, but understandably as soon as they hit their second birthday, they do count as a paying person as there is so much for them to do. Annual memberships are available for £68 a person with a 20% discount for any renewals at the end of the year. Check out the website for more of their deals regarding discounted animal adoptions and keeper days for annual members.
Driving to Drusillas is always a nightmare of mine as there isn’t a direct motorway route from Ashford and you kind of feel like it’s taking longer than it actually is. It took us just over an hour and a half with traffic, but felt more like 2 hours with the winding roads and driving through town after town. However, a few games for the kids in the car and a good play list to howl and dance to and we were soon there…the journey back however was completely silent as all the kids were completely sparko from the minute we left the car park so every cloud!
Things to make sure you don’t miss in the Farm:
Attempt to milk a “cow”, which isn’t real of course but it gives the kids a giggle and they can see how milk is made and transported.
Interactive information boards about all the animals with flaps to lift, puzzles to do and light up questions and answers with buzzer buttons although there are so many, you would probably be there all day.
You are able to stroke most of the animals, and there are hand sterilizing stations as you walk through the farm so there’s no need to worry about the kids catching anything. I strongly recommend you regularly use these or take baby wipes as Logan once caught E-coli poisoning from a different zoo and was extremely ill with it for a good ten days or so afterwards! I am now one of those completely over the top parents now while visiting anywhere like this, guilty as charged! There are plenty of signs reminding kids to wash their hands though and being able to get up close to the animals just adds to the great experience so it is definitely worth it.
We spent so long looking around the zoo that we didn’t have much time to spend doing the rides and adventure playground; in hindsight we probably would have walked through the zoo a bit quicker as we now know how amazing the other side of the park is. There are so many animals to see in the zoo but apart from a couple of walks you can go on through animal enclosures and the camels; you can see a lot of the same animals in zoos and wildlife parks closer to home. For that reason, next time we go, we will definitely make the most of the rest of the park first by going to the far end and then make our way back through the zoo and farmyard animals so the kids can prioritise their best bits better. Our kids loved the meerkat tunnel, monkey walk through and feeding the birds the best.
When we last went, they did have Thomas land which was brilliant but randomly placed in the middle of the zoo and we didn’t really understand the way the park was laid out. This has since been taken away, which is sad for Thomas fans but it does mean the park layout is clearer and it also means there is room for their new, funky looking safari express.
Throughout the year, Drusillas have special dates to meet characters (usually in the school holidays), this year they have Hello Kitty, Bing and Flop, Chase and Marshall from paw patrol, Peppa pig and George, Danger mouse, TMNT, the Gruffalo, Spiderman, Scooby Doo and a special creepy Crawlies weekend in the Summer. Please note though, dates are allocated to a certain Character so you will have to choose your favourite and go for that day rather than see them all at once. Dates can be found on the website and characters are only out for meet and greets at certain times of the day so you will have to plan your trip out to be in the right place at the right time.
Our biggest regret from the day was not spending enough time at the adventure play area as it is really good and unlike any we’ve been to nearer home. You can easily spend an hour or so just in the play area (which is separated according to age group) and is also right by the café so it is a perfect place for adults to rest their legs while the kids play. As the play area is so big however, it is hard to keep track of your children (especially during busy periods) so you might want to bare this in mind when you’re dressing your kids in the morning and maybe make them wear something super bright! Even myself and Mike managed to lose each other for about ten minutes! This year, they also have the Get Wet water park open from the Easter Holidays until September so make sure you take your swimming stuff, as although we haven’t been to that part yet; the website makes it look amazing! I imagine it to be a lot like the water area of Legoland and we loved that!
Hello Kitty’s secret garden
Our daughter’s favourite part of the day was going on all of the Hello Kitty rides (lovingly accompanied by her older brothers who loved them just as much). There aren’t very many, but there is more than enough to keep any Hello Kitty fan happy, and you can also take pictures in a Hello Kitty filled bedroom too.