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Farm favourite.

Clare McMurray, Angela Kennedy and kids galore had a ball at Old McDonald's Farm Park

So what is Old McDonald's Farm like then?

It's great for a family day out. We bring the kids here a lot in the school holidays. It's well laid out with stimulating activities for a range of ages.

The kids get to look at and feed the animals, which is fun ... but only for so long. Old McDonald's seems to recognise you need lots of variety to keep kids entertained so, as well as the animals, there are play areas and other activities for them to get involved in.

Who are all these kids you've brought with you?

Don't worry, they're not all ours. The summer holidays are like that; we seem to collect children. We get the long holiday because we both work in schools, so we have the job of keeping our own and our friends' kids happy.

What did the kids get up to?

Plenty. There are lots of farm animals to pet and feed. There were all the usual farm animals - cows and pigs and goats - and also little rabbits, a deer and a few llamas. We steered clear of them but the kids were braver and Michelle (11) got a fright when one bit a chunk out of her feeding cup.

After we'd seen all the animals, we headed for the activity area where there was lots more to do. An indoor play barn, hay stack and bouncy castle kept the younger kids happy while Michelle, Donna- Marie (10) and chums headed for the quad bikes, adventure fort and the Buckin' Bronco.

So there was something for all ages?

Definitely. It's harder trying to amuse Donna-Marie and Michelle as they are so restless. Jill (1) and Siobhan (3) are happy just to play in the sandpit or look at the animals but the older ones are always looking to be entertained. The quad bikes and fort did the job.

What were the favourite animals?

Jill liked the donkeys because that's her favourite animal noise. Siobhan was intrigued by the pot- bellied pigs, while Michelle and Jeanne (12) liked Morag the Highland cow, although they weren't too keen on her "ugly tongue and snotty nose".

Did you meet Old McDonald himself?

Sadly, no, but we did see Mr Bubbles the clown. He did tricks and told jokes. He gave the adults a laugh, too, by getting them to join in with a rendition of Old McDonald Had A Farm.

What are the facilities like?

The toilets are the only down side - two toilets are hardly sufficient considering the farm is so busy .

We had no problems pushing Jill's buggy around - although she refused to sit in it with so much to see and do.

The cafe and shop are good, too, but even better are the picnic areas which mean you can bring your own food and drink which is much cheaper if you're planning to spend a whole day there.

We were impressed with the hygiene. There was soap and little water taps for the kids to wash their hands after touching the animals, and signs dotted everywhere reminding them to do so.

Was it value for money?

A family ticket includes four children which is really good and it's well worth it if you fill the car and stay the whole day. It's an inexpensive day once you're in as all the activities keep the kids occupied and they don't demand money to be spent on anything.

Could the weather ruin it?

There's plenty of indoor activities and you could still have a good day if it rained. Be sure to dress for a farm though. It gets messy, so don't wear your best clothes.

Who enjoyed it most?

We had to drag the bigger kids out of the fort at the end of they day. They had a ball and didn't want to go home. We'll have to get a season ticket!

Farm facts

Old McDonald's Clyde Valley Farm Park, Crossford, Lanarkshire

Tel: 01698 889389

Open: From April 1 to September 30, 10am to 5pm (weekends only in September).

Cost: pounds 14.95 for a family day ticket (two adults and four kids). Once inside all other activities are free of charge.

How to get there: By car from Glasgow take M74 to junction 7. Follow A72 for Lanark and Hamilton for about 4 miles. From Edinburgh follow the Kilmarnock road to Garrion Bridge and there go left on to the A72.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Martin, Laura
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 28, 1999
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