The Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch is also one of our regular places to go with the kids as there is loads to do and it is reasonably priced compared to some of the other animal-related settings in Kent. Although, you’ll probably prefer the Rare Breeds Centre on a nice, sunny day; we have been at various times throughout the year and as long as you’re wrapped up well, you can still have a great time throughout the winter too, in fact one of our favourite times to go is Christmas!
The new information for Easter 2017 has just been released on The Rare Breeds Centre website and it is all looking very similar to the events of last year, so I thought I’d review last year’s in case it helps anyone’s decision on whether to make a day of it this year or not.
This year, Easter events are running from Good Friday to Easter Monday (the 14th – 17th of April); with Easter activities on from 10am – 4pm across the 4 days. Prices remain the same as usual entry prices, although these have not yet been updated on the website and will be during the new seasonal pricing bracket starting on the 31st March. However, the Rare Breeds Centre is always cheaper than places such as Wingham Wildlife Park and the Aspinall Foundation settings; and now they have started annual passes as well, it is usually extremely purse friendly.
Food: There is a café on the left, just before the walk-in entrance to the farm which sells a variety of food and hosts birthday parties. Prices are pretty average for a café anywhere else these days but if you’re just looking for a drink and a sweet treat rather than a full meal, you can also buy these in the shop or in the ice cream hut by the first play area. Should you want to take your own food, there are plenty of picnic areas throughout the farm and loads of grassland to sit on and this tends to be really popular for most people who go there during the nice weather. There is also a small paddling pool out the back of the café during hot Summer months but it is quite hidden away, so make sure you look out for it.
Wheelchair and Pushchair access: We’ve always taken a pushchair and they can go pretty much anywhere apart from inside the creepy crawly room.
Indoor play area: There is an indoor soft play area at no extra cost next to the creepy crawly room. It isn’t very big, has limited seating and gets busy during the colder days, but it’s perfect on a rainy day and is another place to go if you have an annual pass in all weathers.
The Easter Egg hunt – The East Egg hunt is of no extra charge, and you are given a paper slip and pencil as you walk through the door with numbers on. Dotted around the farm, there are matching numbered boards with names of chickens on that you have to write down and once you have found them all, you can hand them into the Easter bunny in exchange for a chocolate egg. To be honest, there were quite a few to find and the novelty wore off for our kids after a while but we did still write them down as and when we saw them; rather than looking for them intentionally. The hunt is suitable for kids of all ages with the help of their parents and is a lovely way to look around the farm in a slightly different way to what you usually would. To us adults, the Easter Bunny was ever so slightly creepy looking but the kids seemed to like having their photos taken in front of the Easter bunny house regardless.
Meet the Animals: There is a petting barn just inside the entrance where you can stroke horses, rabbits, goats, chickens and play with the piglets. There is a warning for pregnant people, but this usually just says they are able to go in the barn and not touch the animals. Everyone else should be fine. There are also hand washing stations in the farm to help keep the kids as clean as possible!
The Easter Panto – Red Riding Hood: Every Easter and Christmas, there is a short pantomime held in the hall behind the soft play area; and they are always really quite funny and stereotypically cheesy but enjoyable for both the adults and kids and very well organised. There are only two a day, at 12pm and 2pm and can get busy quite quickly (usually depending on the weather) so if it is something you want to do, I’d recommend getting there slightly early to get a seat on one of the benches but it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t as the shows aren’t overly long. It isn’t a ticket event and you just show up at the door when it’s time to go in. There are toilets right outside the hall should anyone need to go just before the show starts too.
Face Painting – There is face painting on the farm especially for Easter, but this is at an additional cost so it might be worth taking some cash with you if this is something you are interested in.
The Falconry display – The Falconry display is really interesting and held on the field next to the pig racing at 2.15pm each day. It is a common display throughout the summer and at special events throughout the year and the kids always really enjoy it. The lovely man that does it, also pulls people up from the audience to take part and it is a perfect time to rest your legs from all the walking about too.
Trailer Rides – The Trailer rides go from just outside the butterfly tunnel (which doesn’t open until May), all the way past the 2 play parks and up the hill to the top of the farm. There is also a small assault course on the way to the top which is a favourite with our kids but quite hidden. Should we get a random heat wave like last year, it is also an amazing place for getting some shade.
Baby Animals – This time of year is absolutely perfect where the animals are concerned as all the baby chicks and lambs are being born and you are able to see all this first hand, we have literally seen lambs in the past, minutes after they have been born, and it has been the best lambing weekend we have been to and go back every year.