It was a blisteringly hot day; far too hot for me, in fact. That didn’t stop my friend and I from arranging a fun day out at the Rare Breeds Centre, located in Woodchurch, Kent. We took her two young sons; Daniel, aged 6, and Jacob, almost 2, who are frequent visitors of the animal centre, and it was safe to say we all had a fantastic, fun-filled day, despite almost melting.
On arrival, we headed to the cafe for lunch. The cafe is of a good size and the food is of a high quality. There was quite a range to choose from and the prices are not extortionate. We sat outside to eat and the boys enjoyed some time playing in the sand pit and splashing around in the pool. The play facilities for children are well kept and more than adequate, in plain site of the outside picnic tables, which enabled my friend and I to relax and chat without worrying about the boys too much. The struggle was getting them out of the pool! They didn’t want to leave!
One of the first things you’ll encounter at the Rare Breeds Centre is a petting area where you can get up close and comfortable with a range of adorable fluffies. My all time favourite, the giant bunny, wasn’t out to play today, but there were still plenty of cute creatures to meet and stroke. Daniel and Jacob particularly liked the rabbits and the chicks. My personal favourite was a rather inquisitive pig who had a good munch on the bottom of my dress, then attempted to nibble on my sandals. I had to jump out of the pen at this point, for fear of becoming lunch for this little piglet, but I honestly could have hung out with him all day.
I think my favourite part of the centre is a small reptile and insect house where several wonderful lizards and snakes hang out. One time I visited, a funky green lizard gave me a high five. It remains one of my proudest moments of all time that he thought I deserved such friendliness. It was sweet watching Jacob getting excited about the snakes; he’s pretty brave for an 11 month old!
After hanging with the creepy crawlies, we headed back outside where we saw an array of farm animals and birds. Walking through among the chickens and turkeys really is a joy. They garble away enthusiastically, and one turkey even engaged in a long discussion with Daniel, who was of course highly amused! We almost saw a hen lay an egg, but the boys were eager to move along, so we left her in peace.
Next, we sat and enjoyed a very entertaining birds of prey demonstration. The falconer and his assistants were informative and highly engaging, giving several young children the chance to interact with the majestic birds. The audience were enthralled throughout.
After the show, we headed into the butterfly house, which really is a sight to behold. Beautiful butterflies flutter around, landing occasionally on leaves and flowers, and sometimes, legend has it, on people. None of us were lucky enough to have one land on us today, and they were fluttering around so much it was difficult to get a good shot of them, but I managed to get a couple after much perseverance.
Before we left for home, we had a chance to watch a pig race, which was hilariously entertaining, thanks to its effervescent host who cracked so many jokes throughout that he almost upstaged the pigs. He then hopped into the driving seat to whiz a group of us around the centre. His wit continued to keep us entertained throughout the tour; I honestly couldn’t describe to you how amusing he was! The kids absolutely loved him, and he was probably my highlight of the day. It’s always nice to see people who genuinely love what they do. If you visit, please do yourself a favour and take a trailer tour!
All in all, our day out at the Rare Breeds Centre was a hoot. We’ve been there countless times before, yet we keep coming back, which has to say something about how great it is. I thoroughly recommend it for families, or just people who like cute animals. Check out the official website and get yourself along there!