Category Archives: Wooly Ward’s Farm

Nursing Home Week at Wooly Ward’s Farm

Wooly Farm

Wooly Ward’s Farm

‘Wooly Farm brings joy to local nursing home residents’

The Wooly Mobile Farm has been engaging with nursing homes over the past six years. The farm visits residents with a wide range of animals. Among those who regularly visit nursing homes are small furries, poultry, and larger farm animals such as pigs, sheep, goats, and llamas.

How does it work?

Wooly Farm sets up in the nursing home residents’ day room to facilitate the petting as well as grooming of the smaller animals. The bigger animals are brought in at the end of the event to meet everyone.

Many nursing home residents are from farming backgrounds and visits from the animals facilitates reminiscing about their time spent on their family farms. Other residents simply entertain a huge love of animals, and have many stories to regale everyone with. For residents with Alzheimer’s, the animals bring joyful reactions, with sensory contact evoking a positive reaction. Residents find it very therapeutic and enjoyable to pet and hold the bunnies and chicks. Additionally, nursing homes are very proactive in engaging with Wooly Farm, and specialise in facilitating the experience the visit of the farm can bring to residents.

A recent visit to New Park Nursing Home, The Ward, proved to be a great success. Christine, the activities coordinator, quoted in her Facebook message

“Lovely staff and adorable animals. This year we got to meet 3 week old chicks, 10 day old lambs, and month old bunnies. Needless to say everyone had a ball petting, cuddling, and learning about these lovely animals.”

One of the many advantages of having the mobile visit in Nursing Homes is that it can generate excitement amongst the youth and elderly alike. Nursing homes invite residents relatives for the Farm’s visit. Grandchildren and grandparents enjoy wonderful interaction with each other and the animals, and create special memories. The pet therapy is effective as it brings people of all ages together, and memories of the visits are fun and ever-lasting.

Animal Fostering Initiative

A new initiative has been set up between Riverside Nursing Home, St. Margaret’s, and Wooly Farm. Riverside is home to 50 residents and they had a small unused paddock on their grounds. Wooly Farm set them up with sheep and lambs to graze and a coop with hens. Wooly Wards endeavour to bring a sense of rural life to the doorstep of nursing homes and their residents, reinforcing the strong sense of Riverside being their home. The residents will also be taking care of the hens, and undertake regular checks for eggs as part of Riverside’s wellbeing programme.

Nursing Homes Week 2017

To coincide with Nursing Homes Week 2017, Wooly Farm will be visiting lots of nursing homes in Dublin and the north-east. The farm will be bringing a menagerie to visit nursing homes, and residents can expect; rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, chicks, hens, ducks, lambs, goats & pigs among the offerings.

Darling buds of May

Wooly Farm

Wooly Ward’s Farm

Hello all!

Scary Mary here…

Summer has officially arrived and we’ve all been busy bees here at Wooly Farm. J

The month of May is full of frolic and fun, it is a great month for communion visits. I love to see the girls and boys in all their finery.

There is so much to look forward to in these (hopefully) sunny months ahead. The farm is bustling as usual, and bursting with new life! We are delighted to announce that we have so many new and amazing animals to share with you.

It’s chick season at Wooly Farm and we have more chicks than we can count! Lots of mother hens are still sitting on their clutches as well and we can’t wait for them to hatch J Speaking of chicks; I have to mention the little ones that have hatched from the two incubators we installed in Hedley Park in Merrion Square and Playhouse Montessori in Skerries.  A huge thanks to all the children that have helped mind our little chicks!

We are so proud to announce the addition of five unbelievably adorable pet lambs, including my favourite Ruby; who is keeping our staff extra busy with feeding 4 times a day! We also have the happy addition of piglets Kevin and Peppa; who at just 5 weeks old have started to attend events and they’re taking to it like ducks to water! They were at the Carlton Hotel at the weekend, and will be there again on Saturday for all the communion boys and girls to see!

Our 16 week old Pygmy goats have become very friendly, thanks to their daily walks with the Animal Care team. They make quite a cute sight with their red collars and leads on!

I am also delighted to announce that we had our biannual Vet Inspection and passed with flying colours. This inspection is an extremely important occasion on the farm as all our animals need to be in top health in order to visit you guys! Thanks to O’Scannail Vets for checking our animals, and also to our Animal Care team who, as always, take such amazing care to ensure our team are in ship shape!

That’s all for now my lovelies, talk soon!

Lots of love,

Scary Mary.

March Madness!

Hello All!

Scary Mary here…

We have been so busy on the Wooly Farm especially now that winter is over. I am so excited that spring has finally arrived! It’s definitely one of my favourite times of the year as there is so much happening and even more to look forward to.

The double-headed snowdrops have started to appear and this is always a sign that new life is soon to come. These gorgeous flowers have been growing on the farm for over 350 years in the same spot!

Many of the animals have smelt spring in the air too, and have been busy having their babies. The Geese have been laying their eggs, and we are delighted that our black Zwartble 2 year old sheep – Spot has just had two lovely new born lambs. Lambs are so resilient; they just get up, feed from their mother and go! New chicks have arrived as well, so it’s been an absolute feast of cuteness around here.

Now that it is new-born season at the farm, bookings for mobile birthday parties are filling up fast, so don’t forget to organise a special Wooly Wards experience for your party with our mobile farm!

In other news we are all busy preparing for our big Easter event, and have started laying down some lines and rhymes for our Easter show in the animal theatre.  Come to the Easter Extravaganza at the Wooly Farm and you will get to see all the newborn cuties and enjoy a fabulous show from our amazing staff.

That’s all for now folks, talk soon!

Love Scary Mary.

Looking for a new part-time position?

Wooly Ward’s Farm is a Mobile and Activity Farm. The Mobile Farm visits Montessori’s, Schools, Nursing Homes, Universities, Birthday Parties, and Family Fun Days all year round.

The Activity Farm is open for three themed events each year including the Easter Extravaganza in April, Teddy Bear’s Picnic in July and Halloween Experience in October.
We are currently looking to hire new staff to join our Event Team for the Spring/Summer/Autumn season. Wooly Ward’s Farm is located on the Swords/Ashbourne Road.
Applicants should enjoy working with children and animals. They should also be confident, enthusiastic, outgoing individuals with an ambition to learn new skills.
Main Roles and Responsibilities:
  • Facilitator of birthday parties.
  • Team leader for events.
  • Customer Service
The successful candidate will:
  • Be able to work well in a team
  • Be flexible; reliable; creative; innovative; standards driven
  • Be fluent in English
  • Have leadership skills.
  • Be a highly motivated individual.
  • Be available both mid-week and weekends during peak season.
  • Preferably have previous customer service experience
Please email CV to info@woolywardsfarm.com by Friday the 17th of February.

Scary Mary’s Blog

Hello all!

I and everyone here at Wooly Ward’s Farm want to say a huge thank you to all our friends and visitors. 2016 was a momentous year as we had 20,000 visitors to our farm and 30,000 visitors to our Mobile Farm.

As we have so many families wishing to visit the farm, we now find ourselves in the position where we need to upgrade many facilities to give customers a better experience and to accommodate an even larger number. I’m afraid our little 300 year old farm wasn’t expecting such numbers!

For this reason, 2017 will be our year of reviewing and planning so we will not be hosting birthday parties or school tours here at the farm. I know this will disappoint many but hopefully we will see you again in 2018 for your party or school tour. I won’t know what to do with my weekends but my seven children are all very excited at the thought of spending more family time together.

However, we will be running the ever popular big events at the farm – Easter in April, the annual Teddy Bears Picnic in July, and our Halloween Extravaganza in October! We will update you with dates next month.

Of course we are still running our fabulous Mobile Farm! Our adorable animals are so excited to leave Wooly Ward’s Farm, and visit you for a change, at home or at work! Bookings are now fully open for hiring the Mobile Farm which is geared up and ready to go for any special occasion.

Wooly Ward’s Farm can’t wait to see all the Momma bears, Poppa bears and kiddie bears, and neither can all our cute critters!

See u all soon, love Scary Mary

Halloween at Wooly Ward’s Farm

Wooly Farm

Wooly Ward’s Farm

Halloween is one of those special times of year. When the nights get darker, the cold creeps in and the ghouls come out. When we were kids, it was all about how to get creative with a black plastic bag and how much of your Mum’s makeup you could steal for one night only. It would give me the excuse to see if I could raid my older sisters wardrobe (I was rarely successful) and to see what weird andwonderful outfit my Mum and Dad would come up with. My parents were so imaginative when it came to Halloween and decorating our house. One year, the entire sitting room was made into a creepy bat cave. Dad also made a giant witch who adorned our front window. I’ll never forget these memories and hope that I will be able to recreate some of my parents’ imagination for A. She is still a bit too young to go trick or treating and is only getting used to the idea of ghouls and ghosts and skeletons. The Wooly Ward’s Halloween Experience was the perfect way to ease her in to the world of All Hallows Eve.

Any Excuse to Dress Up

It’s not Halloween without dressing up, and my Mum and myself obliged with a bit of a costume, which, to be fair, could not rival the amazing costumes of the kids! There was some serious costume envy running around Wooly Ward’s Farm on Saturday.  My Mum, managed to shed some of her costume as the day wore on and was transformed back to herself while I struggled with a red underskirt and a too tight dress! A was adament that she was dressing up as Cinderella and since I’m not the best yet with home made costumes, I zipped into Dunnes and picked her up, yet another, fancy dress. F was disguised as Batman, cape and all. His Batman mask was shimmied into his big brothers bag almost as soon as we got out of the car.  My aim was to dress as a Witch but I fell a bit short of being in any way scary and I’m not too sure what I ended up as… pretty much like every Halloween outfit I’ve ever worn 🙂

Wooly Ward's Farm Halloween Experience Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting blog

Me and the troop with Nanny, my Mum, behind the camera. My skeleton tights were the bees knees but completely hidden!

Saturday morning was a rotten, wet, cold October day but we were blessed that by early midday, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. As it was C’s first time at Wooly Ward’s, A and F promised to show him around. They are now Wooly Ward’s veterans and loyal attendees 🙂 There was plenty of talk of Bouncy Castles in the car ride up to Oldtown and as we pulled in through the gates of the farm, A and F were giddy with excitement. There were ghouls and goblins decorating every fence post with pumpkins scattered around. Wooly Ward’s was once again decked out to the nines for this special day.

Where to go first?

This was a rhetorical question I asked the kids, as they jumped out of the car. Technically, the first place to go was to get our map and tokens for the Pumpkin Carving and Chocolate Apples. But, for the little ones, the first spot is of course the Bouncy Castles. This time, there were also giant games beside the bouncy castles and they all had a go at basketball.

After much (much, much, much) coaxing away from the bounce madness, I managed to get the kids scrambled into the packed out barn for the first showing of the Not So Scary Boo Show. The staff at the farm had been practising for weeks and wrote their own script for this special Halloween Event. Unfortunately, I only managed to stay for a couple of minutes as my three year old got a little spooked. Where A goes, F goes, so I took the two little ones out while C and my Mum stayed to revel in the comedy.

Wooly Ward's Farm Halloween Experience Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog
Gotta say, this gentle Wooly Ward’s Ghost had the creepiest stare and grin ever when he first came on stage 🙂

Pumpkin Punching… I mean Carving

We headed across to gut our pumpkins and poke their eyes out. A was distracted with a Time Out bar so I ended up with the gloop and gunk of her pumpkin while F happily smashed the eyes and mouth out of his own. The features were pre-carved so a couple of good punches from a four year old saw them pop right out. They were well pleased with their pumpkins in the end. I had visions of me carrying the spooky faces around for the rest of the day but you could leave them in the barn and collect them when you were heading home for the day.

Towards the end of the day, while the two little ones and their Nanny were brought on a trip around the farm on the popular Thomas the Tank Engine Train, myself and C went to gut his pumpkin. He went all out and had that pumpkin gutted in no time!

Wooly Ward's Farm Halloween Experience Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

Fuinneamh Drum

We found our way to the Fairy Field where we were met by a Giant Drum. For me, this was the best part of the day with Fuinneamh Drum, or pretty massive, loud drum to you and me. Made from mostly recycled/repurposed material, the drum is 14ft in diameter and so much fun. We all gathered around a few times after picking up our sticks and gave it a belt. Fuinneamh Drum nestled itself in the middle of the popular Fairy Field which is one of our favourite places in Wooly Ward’s. Knocking on fairy doors and seeing who is home is a must at every Wooly Ward’s visit.

Wooly Ward's Farm Halloween Experience Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

 

Wooly Ward's Farm Halloween Experience Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

After a good work out with Fuinneamh Drum, we skipped across the farm to see the Birds of Prey. I was educated by F when I said,

“Oh wow, look at the birds!”

“No, they’re eagles” he rightly told me.

I loved the Birds of Prey and have always found their gentle stoicisim fascinating but I’ll admit I lost the kids to the Photoshoot which was just behind the beautiful birds. Wooly Ward’s set up a fantastic  giant photo frame which was a fantastic spot to get snap happy.

Wooly Ward's Farm Halloween Experience Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

Enticed by chocolate, we managed to get the kids to the back of the main farm house to find their chocolate apples. A bit of chocolate is always a great encouragement. They were given sprinkles and jellies to decorate their chocolate apples but of course they were eaten seperately and the chocolate licked off the apple. It’s not Halloween without chocolate apples 🙂

We made our way over to the Scary Walk to see what was going on at Scary Mary’s house. There were lots of skeletons and graves to explore on our way to the house. A was shocked when we reached Scary Mary’s house to be met with lots of yellow tape and caution signs. “What did they do to Scary Mary’s house?” she exclaimed running to find and tell F who was on his way, that something happened to the house. Indeed, the house was taken over by ghosts and we had to be very, very careful not to spook them. Of course, A went straight under the Caution Tape to explore.

Wooly Ward's Farm Halloween Experience Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

Equally, it’s not a Halloween party without a House of Horrors which of course, I was enticed into by my 11 year old nephew while the little ones explored some more with Nanny. Wooly Ward’s put a huge amount of effort into everything they do. The House of Horrors was brilliantly set up, dark and spooky and full of ghosts. The ghostbusters were on hand but they needed help from the little ones to get the creepy skulls into jail. While the House of Horrors was not all that scary for myself and C, it was great fun.

We ended our day with a final tour of the animals and a balloon from Tommy Trickster Magician. To say we were exhausted is an understatement. Three full hours of running around the Farm, exploring and banging drums meant we had the best day.

Verdict from us all 10/10

We are huge fans of Wooly Ward’s and give them a Massive A+ for the Halloween Experience. It has really set us up for Halloween and of course now A wants to be a Witch.

We highly recommend all of Wooly Ward’s Farm events. You really won’t be disappointed. A great day out for the family! All of the staff at Wooly Ward’s are always there on hand to help you out and to have a chat with the kids. It’s a beautiful place to go with your children to give them an experience and memory they won’t forget.

A huge thank you to Scary Mary and her crew for all the effort they put into this years Halloween Experience!

Remember, the Halloween Experience is on all over the Halloween weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and is the last Wooly Ward’s Event for the year.

Check out our slideshow for more pics from the day!


A quick round up of things to do at the Halloween Experience:

  • Bouncy Castles & Giant Games
  • Explore the Farm
  • House of Horrors
  • The Not So Scary Boo Show
  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Tommy Trickster Magician
  • Fuinneamh Drum
  • The Fairy Wood
  • Birds of Prey
  • Journey on Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Wonky Bridge and Scary Mary’s House
  • Animal Petting Shed
  • Chocolate Apples
  • Creepy Creatures
  • Picnic Area & Cackling Cafe
  • Harvest Shop and more

All activities are included in the ticket price
(€6 adults / €15 children – family tickets available)

Things Momma and Papa Bears might like to know:

  • Wooly Ward’s Farm is located a short distance off the Ashbourne/Swords road (approximately a ten minute drive from either town)
  • The Activity Farm is currently closed for the season but will reopen in the Spring. Opening Hours can be found here
  • They are open for birthday/private parties
  • There are toilet facilities at the back of the main house
  • Baby Changing Facilities are in the house
  • First Aid is located in the Farm House.
  • There is plenty of parking
  • Staff are very friendly and helpful
  • Tickets for events can be bought online
  • Tours are available
  • Bring wellies and a rain coat (just in case!)

Another great review from Over Heaven’s Hill

Wooly Farm

Wooly Ward’s Farm

Another brilliant review from Geraldine at Over Heaven’s Hill!

Make sure you check out her website at http://www.overheavenshill.com for lots of great tips and advice!

Princess for a Day: Wooly Ward’s Farm Fairytale Event Review

Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog Wooly Wards Farm

Last month, I gave you our review of the Teddy Bears Picnic at Wooly Wards Farm. Today, I am delighted to bring you another review of the wonderful Fairytale Summer Finale at Wooly Wards which we went to last Saturday. As you know, we were on a weeks holidays from work and spent the days revelling in a staycation with happy family days out. The Fairytale Finale was the perfect way to end our holidays and A lived the day as a Princess. If you haven’t visited Wooly Ward’s Farm yet, then why not? It really is a magical place with wonderful staff and fun things to do.

Wooly wards Farm Fairytale Event Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

A Princess for the Day

A was especially excited about the Fairytale Finale as it meant she could wear her Fairy Princess dress. FYI I am still picking the glitter out of every single nook and cranny in the car, the house, A’s hair… She spent the entire day before, and the morning of the Finale running around saying she had to wear her dress and that we had to go to the Farm. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have told her so early where we were going. Needless to say, when the time came to go, we had a very enthusiastic and eager Princess on our hands.

Wooly Ward's Farm Fairytale Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

She found the Wooly throne very early on in the day!

Momma Bear was chuffed that Papa Bear could tag along with us this time. We also met up with my sister, L, and her two kiddies, F, who you’ll remember from our first Wooly Review, and E who is 11 months old going on 3.

Memories

Since we had just been at Wooly Ward’s the month before, A and F were especially excited because they knew where to go and what to see. Immediately, they jumped out of the car and wanted to go on the bouncy castles. In fact, they weren’t the only one. F’s baby sister was super keen on an empty bouncy castle and magically made her way into the middle! They remembered everything about the Farm and hunted down their favourite spots to go – the tractor slide, the wobbly bridge (which Papa Bear obliged in creating a massive wobble) the bouncy castles (three in total), and of course, dear old Thomas the Tank Engine.

Wooly Ward's Farm Fairytale Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog
Wibble, wobble, Wibble, Wobble – everyone loves a wobbly bridge

I was delighted to see that, in comparison to the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, there were new and fresh events planned for the kids. We were given our tokens for the Cookie Decorating, which always goes down a treat, the Arts and Crafts tokens to make King and Queen crowns and a map to see where individual events took place. One of the great things about Wooly Ward’s, is that it’s not too big, very easy to navigate and there are plenty of staff around to ask questions who are more than willing to help.

Come on Let’s Explore

Where there are bouncy castles, there are children. I was eager to explore and see what we could get up to but the kids spied the bouncy castles and were lured over to them with an imaginary bungee cord that we couldn’t break. To be fair, they had a ball. A was a glittery, shiny spectacle jumping and bouncing and falling. F and A were happy. What could we do but wait until their bellies rumbled.

Wooly ward's farm review over heaven's hill parenting blog
Bouncing in motion – impossible to get a non blurry photo

We made our way to where karaoke was to be expertly performed later on and stole a sneaky blanket on the grass to have a quick lunch. A spotted Mickey and Minnie Mouse and decided they were her new best friends. I honestly believe she would have run away with them given half the chance. Disney music blared out from the karaoke tent and A wrapped F, Mickey and Minnie up in an impromptu dance.

Wooly Ward's Farm Fairytale Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

Wooly Ward's Farm review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

Change Places

The highlight of the day, which adults and kids alike loved, and was also B’s favourite part of the day, was Alice in Woolyland. The staff of Wooly Ward’s put on the funniest and quirkiest of plays. We all sat on hay bales set out in the barn as a makeshift theater. The back drop was cleverly painted, the mad hatters tea table was ready for tea and a jail was set up on stage for the Queens Court. The best part was when the Mad Hatter would shout “Change Places” and the barn was uplifted with a Yakety Sax Benny Hill runaround. The saying of the day was certainlyChange Places as F and A would shout it randomly after the play. A was only delighted to meet Alice afterwards as the crowds disappeared out of the barn to see where else they could explore. And F quickly pointed out that we had helped The Mad Hatter find his lost teddy bear last time! Nothing gets past F. *Hello Eddie*

Wooly Ward's Farm Fairytale Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

Creepy Creatures and more

OK, I’ll own up, I sort of declared that I would watch the baby outside, when A said she wanted to hold the snake and L and F nestled beside her on the bench. It was a small, somewhat cute snake but I didn’t trust myself so nuzzled away and let B soak up the creepy creatures with them all. They were given the opportunity to see and eeek hold! guinea pigs, and snakes. There was also a rescue Parrot who quietly watched everyone who myself and E chatted to while we waited.

We skipped the Princess Salon where the girls, and the boys if so inclined, could get their nails painted. A beautifully girly thing to do and most definitely fitting for a Fairytale Event. A wasn’t keen on waiting or sitting still so we carried on.

The Fairytale Finale was a whirlwind few hours of cookie decorating, exploring Scary Mary’s House, finding animals, riding on Thomas the Tank Engine, jumping hay bales and logs, wandering through the scary walk and finding Scary Mary’s washing, singing, laughing and making friends with Princesses. The Farm was colourful and bright, clean and rustic. Balloons and bunting gave the day a festive feel and everywhere we went there were smiles and excitement.

Verdict from us all 10/10

The kids had the best time. Absolutely no complaints from them. They went home happy, smiley and exhausted. Even Baby E enjoyed the day and soaked up the atmosphere.

As Momma Bear, what I like most about Wooly Wards are the staff. Wherever A and F went, they were especially greeted. The children really do come first at the Farm. I love nothing more than to see a child being welcomed, appreciated and involved. The Princess even told A a secret – Scary Mary is her Mum! It’s fair to say that telling a toddler anything in confidence won’t remain a secret for too long so I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing.

Wooly Ward's Farm Fairytale Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

Papa Bear said “Wooly Wards is great. It is big enough to easily fill the three hours and yet intimate and small enough so you don’t feel like you’re wasting time walking around trying to find things to do. There is something on every corner.”

And I agree. Wooly Ward’s Farm has something very special going on with their events. It is a perfect family day out with zero pressure and plenty of memories made.

Again, I was snap happy at Wooly Ward’s. Check out our gallery of the day.


A quick round up of things to do at the Fairytale Summer Finale:

  • Bouncy Castles
  • Explore the Farm
  • Alice in Woolyland Show
  • Princess Salon
  • The Fairy Wood
  • Make a King/Queen Crown
  • Face Painting
  • Journey on Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Disney Karaoke
  • Animal Petting Shed
  • Decorate your own Cookie
  • Meet Scary Mary at her House
  • Creepy Creatures
  • Picnic Area
  • and more

All activities are included in the ticket price
(€6 adults / €15 children – family tickets available)

Things Momma and Papa Bears might like to know:

  • Wooly Ward’s Farm is located a short distance off the Ashbourne/Swords road (approximately a ten minute drive from either town)
  • Opening Hours can be found here
  • They are open for birthday/private parties
  • There are toilet facilities at the back of the main house
  • Baby Changing Facilities are in the house
  • First Aid is located in the Farm House.
  • There is plenty of parking
  • Staff are very friendly and helpful
  • Tickets for events can be bought online
  • Activity Farm tickets can be bought from the farm house
  • Tours are available
  • Bring wellies and a rain coat (just in case!)

Future Events

Wooly Wards host an annual Halloween Event in October, which is the biggest and best event of the year so I’m told.  Keep an eye on their website for info.

Wooly Wards are open for Visits to the Farm during the Summer Months, School Tours and Corporate Events. They host special events throughout the year so keep an eye on their websitetwitter or facebook page for updates!

Thank you to all the staff at Wooly Ward’s Farm for another amazing and memorable day at the Fairytale Summer Finale! We’ll be back 🙂

Wooly Ward's Farm Fairytale Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog

 

Thank you to Geraldine at Over Heaven’s Hill Blog for this glowing review!

I really have to start this post off by saying, “What a day! Absolutely amazing!” Myself, my mum, A and her little cousin, F, made our way to Wooly Ward’s Farm in Oldtown, Co. Dublin, on Saturday to meet Goldilocks and Daddy Bear at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the day and we’ve never been to Wooly Ward’s Farm before so it was a brand new experience for all of us. To say that the day was a huge success is an understatement! Read on to check out our review of the Teddy Bears Picnic…

We parked the car in a field of long grass at the back of the Farm which started the day off with a giggle. The parking sensors weren’t happy that I was flattening long shards of grass and the kids in the back, who were already excited, thought something magical was happening as the car beeped its way to a stop.

Wooly Ward's Farm Teddy Bears Picnic Review Over Heaven's Hill Parenting Blog
F and A, hand in hand, with their Teddy’s ready to explore Wooly Ward’s Farm

F and A practically jumped out of the car as they saw bouncy castles, animals, teddy’s everywhere and a giant obstacle course on the way in. I’ll be honest, myself and my mum were a little excited at everything there was to do too, and we had only parked the car! Holding hands, they brought their specially invited Teddy’s to the Farm – A had Duck, and F brought Smurfy and Max. Admittedly Momma Bear and Nanny looked after our cuddly friends for a large portion of the day. I was just happy A didn’t insist on bringing her life sized Dalmation dog, Bailey!

Before I go on, a little about Wooly Ward’s Farm

Scary Mary, Cathal and their family set up Wooly Ward’s Farm in 2011 when they saw the level of interest people and children had with farm animals. Over the four years they have put three mobile farms on the road, opened up their own farm for private parties and events and entertained thousands of people with their animal theatre and petting zoo. In 2015, they added the Reptile and Exotic Zoo to their collection of mobile units.

They have built up a highly trained team of young and energetic staff of approx 30 who work alongside Scary Mary, Cathal, daughters Amy & Laura,  sons Sean & Rob and recently Caroline and Heather aged 10 and 8 who launched their acting career last Halloween!

Staff have backgrounds in Childcare, Drama, Tourism, Food Science, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary to name but a few. All staff undergo First Aid, Animal Handling and customer service training on an ongoing basis.

Mary’s Farm has been in the Ward Family for over 400 years and her parents both in their nineties still live on the farm. The farm has primarily been involved in sheep, beef and tillage over the years.

Mary’s background is in Agriculture having studied both Wooly Ward's Farmin Ireland and Europe in her formative years.

As well as animal knowledge Mary and Cathal have a wealth of experience with children, having reared 7 little darlings – 4 girls and 3 boys!

First Impressions Count

The Farm and house itself is beautiful and very easy to move around. Wooden gates were opened between fields and we skipped from one area to the next. It most certainly was a Teddy Bears Picnic. Teddy’s were everywhere! In with the ducks, the geese, on trees and fence posts.

We were only there about five minutes and where soaking up the atmosphere when we were informed that a Teddy Bear was lost! A lovely gentleman, Eddie, asked F and A if they had seen his Teddy Bear and if they could help find him. My enthusiastic daughter, eager to help, declared “Yes. Lets find him!” After recruiting a few more kids to help in the search for the lost Teddy Bear we made our way through the farm, past the animals, over the wobbly bridge and up through the scary forest walk to find Scary Mary who Eddie thought might know where the Teddy Bear was.

Wooly Ward's Farm Review Over Heaven's Hill

Of course Eddie recruited a few parents too to help look for the Lost Teddy Bear. F and A looked everywhere and thought they had found him many times as so many Teddys were sitting in the trees. “We can’t find him anywhere,” was A’s catchphrase for a while.

Wooly Ward's Farm Review Over Heaven's Hill

The Scary Forest Walk is also where Scary Mary hangs out her washing. The kids laughed as we spotted Mary’s nightdress covered in Bird do-da!

Wooly Ward's Farm Review Over Heaven's Hill

At the top of the Scary Walk we found Scary Mary and her house. She was busy making some lunch in the kitchen… not the type of lunch you or I would eat!

Wooly Ward's Farm Review Over Heaven's Hill

Scary Mary is a force to be reckoned with! But the lost Teddy was found safe and sound – well, almost safe, he was found in Scary Mary’s oven! – everyone was happy and excited and Eddie was over the moon to find his teddy again! Searching for the lost Teddy Bear was the perfect way to get us into the swing of things at Wooly Ward’s Farm. After the search we were all revved up and excited to see what else there was to do.

And yes, there was plenty to do!

After our little preamble with the lost Teddy, we made our way back through the farm to retrieve A’s wellies which she insisted she wanted to wear. We were on a farm after all. It was then that we found Thomas. A is a massive Thomas the Tank Engine fan and was fairly insistent that she drive the very useful engine. But after being informed that A didn’t hold the correct licence she sat herself in the back with F and Momma Bear and went on a bumpy but eagle eyed view of the farm and fields.

Wooly Ward's Farm Review Over Heaven's Hill

F and A spent time on the Bouncy Castle, running through the Fairy Field and knocking on all the doors to see who was home. They went Teddy Bear spotting – in fact they were more interested in finding Teddy Bears than animals! – and raced each other through the obstacle course. F proclaimed after the juggling show, that he was hungry so we left the barn and found a bale of hay to sit on and have our picnic lunch. Prepacked lunches were available to purchase but knowing these two kids I decided to bring some sandwiches along and of course Nanny had a few snacks in her bag, as all the best grandmothers do. I’ll admit I was too excited to stop and wanted to keep going and see what else we could find. I was eager for them to eat up!

Cookie Decorating or Rather Eating!

We found our way to the Cookie Decorating Tent, with a quick stop off on the tractor slide which was in front of the main house and like a beehive swarmed by excited little bee kids! Momma and Papa Bears could stop off at the house and have a hot cup of tea or coffee and the picnic area outside was very comfortable. On to the cookies. F enthusiastically, aided by Nanny, decorated his cookie with jellies, marshmallows, sprinkles and lots of icing. A decided the cookie was perfect plain and ate the toppings first followed by the plain cookie … to each their own 🙂

Teddy Bears Hospital

Wooly Ward's Review Over Heaven's Hill An exciting part of the day was the Teddy Bears Hospital (which I totally forgot to take pictures of). Poorly Teddy Bears were all in their beds and cared for by the wonderful Wooly Ward’s Farm Doctor. A had brought Duck with her to get a check up and turns out he had hit his noggin! Doc and A expertly patched him up with a very special plaster just for Ducks.

Pony Rides

For me, my favourite part of the day was seeing A’s proud face as she rode Sheba the pony. I was always the kid who wanted to ride the horse or pony and that little kid came back when I saw Sheba! I lived through A for those few moments as she proudly held on tight (as did Momma Bear!) and talked to Sheba.For me, my favourite part of the day was seeing A's proud face as she rode Sheba the pony. 

Meeting Goldilocks and Daddy Bear

Finally, getting a warm hug from Goldilocks and a wicked high five from Daddy Bear rounded off our day. The beautiful Goldilocks smiled all day long and was so happy to sit and talk to all of the kids. Daddy Bear accompanied her and was handing out high fives and hugs all day long.

The Teddy Bears Picnic was without a doubt a success for our two little kids. They were excited from the moment we got there and we didn’t stop all afternoon. So, what is our verdict?

Verdict from A (2 years 9 months old ) – 10/10

Verdict from F (4 years old) – 10/10

When I asked both kids what they’re favourite part of the day was, they simply said EVERYTHING! I couldn’t get them to choose one thing as I listed everything off. They sat in the back seat of the car giggling and laughing as we drove out, waving to the animals, Goldilocks and the Teddy Bears as we headed home. “Everything, everything, everything,” F kept repeating as A danced in her seat.

Enough said! 🙂

Verdict from Momma Bear and Nanny – 10/10

As Momma Bear, I was happily surprised with the amount of activities. There wasn’t a moment that we didn’t have something to do or see. Wooly Ward’s Farm was decorated so well and was so inviting. We all went home really happy after a fun filled afternoon. I even received a text from Nanny the next morning thanking me for asking her to come with us since she had such a great time and the day was a beautiful memory.

I spoke to another Mum at the Picnic who was at Wooly Ward’s with her two kids for the first time also. She reiterated my thoughts exactly when she said,

“It’s fantastic, there’s so much to do. It’s really great value. I have to say, I’m so surprised by it all. “

Teddy Bears Picnic Annual Event

Wooly Ward's Farm Teddy Bears PicnicThe Teddy Bears Picnic is an annual event at Wooly Ward’s Farm and I highly recommend it for young kids. It really was a fantastic day. It ran from 2pm to 5pm which is a perfect length of time for young legs. We arrived at 2:15pm and left at 4:45pm, a very happy bunch.

A quick round up of things to do at the Teddy Bears Picnic:

  • Bouncy Castles
  • Explore the Farm
  • The Teddy Bears Hospital
  • Meet Goldilocks and Daddy Bear
  • The Fairy Door Field
  • An Obstacle Course
  • Pony Rides
  • Journey on Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Juggling Show
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Decorate your own Cookie
  • Meet Scary Mary
  • Help Eddie find the Lost Teddy Bear
  • Picnic Area
  • and more

All activities are included in the ticket price

(€6 adults / €15 children – family tickets available)

Things Momma and Papa Bears might like to know:

  • Wooly Ward’s Farm is located a short distance off the Ashbourne/Swords road (approximately a ten minute drive from either town)
  • Opening Hours can be found here
  • They are open for birthday/private parties
  • There are toilet facilities at the back of the main house
  • There is plenty of parking
  • Staff are very friendly and helpful
  • Tickets for events can be bought online
  • Activity Farm tickets can be bought from the farm house
  • Tours are available
  • Bring wellies and a rain coat (just in case!)

Summer Fun at Wooly Ward’s Farm

Wooly Farm

Wooly Ward’s Farm

Summer Fun at Wooly Ward’s Farm

Summer Madness is truly well up and running on the farm. After having thousands of school children visiting in May and June to savour my Worm Pie, we now have lots of families coming to enjoy Thomas the Tank Engine, Pony Rides and of course the animals.

A big thank you to our loyal customers who come to see us so often.

Baby animals are all growing up, the lambs, goats and pigs are now teenagers! They are all out grazing in their paddocks, enjoying the great grass growth. We still have lots of bunnies being born and last week 2 goslings were born to our resident couple Geraldine and Gerry. We are hoping for the arrival of new turkey poults in a week or so.

Our 5th birthday was very enjoyable with some super Michael Buble music echoing throughout the farm.

We are really looking forward to the Teddy Bear’s Picnic on the August Bank Holiday weekend and I hear Goldilocks will be here for a picnic with Daddy Bear. We hope lots of families will join us. If you come you might even learn how to juggle!

Next month we will be hosting the ever popular Fairytale Weekend on the 20th & 21st August.

Our charity of choice this year is Barnardo’s. There was great fun a few weeks ago when we ran the Barnardo’s Big Toddle Event. Everyone got to walk through the paddocks, see all the animals and received a medal after the Walk.

The Mobile Farm is in full swing too. We have monthly visits to Marley Park, Castletown House in Celbridge & Oldbridge Battle of the Boyne outside Drogheda. Keep an eye on Facebook for updates. We are also visiting children birthday parties every weekend with the animals.

 

Scary Mary

Announcing the Big Toddle Event at Wooly Ward’s Farm in aid of Barnardo’s

Announcing the Big Toddle Event at Wooly Ward’s Farm in aid of Barnardo’s.

Come along to the Big Toddle for Barnardos at Wooly Ward’s Farm on Saturday the 9th of July from 12.00-3.00pm.

Toddle through the Fairy Wood, dare to wall over the Wonky Bridge to Scary Mary’s House, and continue in around the farm where you will get to meet some of the animals enroute. Come early to take part in the Big Toddle craft activities or stay a little longer and enjoy the pony rides, travel on Thomas the Tank Engine and get up close with the animals in the petting shed.

eo.