Last week we visited Leahy’s Open Farm in Co. Cork. The Weather was nice and the hubbie had a rare few days off work, i had heard great things about this place and couldn’t face another day of being stuck at home listening to bitching and squabbling, we were going out for the day.The family run farm is situated in Dungourney a few miles from Midleton in Cork and is open daily from 11am to 6pm.
Entry cost €49 for us that’s 2 adults, 4 kids and the baby was free because he’s under 2, which was great value for money considering we spent the entire day here, and the only extra’s once you’re inside are the diggers and if you want to do the crazy golf.
There is so much for everyone to do, young and old and it is so easy to spend the whole day here, it’s well worth a visit. It’s home to an array of different animals from Alpaca’s, Goats, Rabbits, Horses even a Camel and some teeny tiny marmoset monkeys! All of the animals are in tip-top condition and look happy and content in their spacious surroundings. In fact, I’m sure they were the fattest baby lambs i have ever seen, adorable!
The Route starts at a Museum of items from days gone by. It gives the little ones a chance to experience things from the olden days that you would not see now. Granted, i have never seen a lot of things in there myself, there would have been some items i would be familiar with from my grandparents house years ago though, and it was a nice reminder of days spent there. It would be a great idea to bring along the grandparents for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Nemo’s Fish Pond. I’ve never seen little ones gets so excited over a fish pond! With the recent release of Finding Dory and my kids being massive Finding Nemo fans already, they swore they could see Nemo and Dory swimming in that pond, I almost believed them. It’s great to see kids using their imagination instead of having their head stuck in a game console of some sort.
The Adventure trail and climbing towers Obstacle course. This was great fun, great competition to see who could do it (both kids and adults!) The 8-year-old could shimmy along the bars like a monkey but the 11-year-old couldn’t! Great bragging afterwards at the 11 year old’s expense! These lead down to 2 huge rope towers, again great competition to see who could make it to the top first. I will admit I did try, the hubbie got to the top, but with me being terrified of heights and these things being about 22ft tall i gave up and with great difficulty decided half way was high enough and made my way back down.
At this point we came across a family of Alpaca’s, who were, how do i put it…having a bit of fun! So funny trying to answer a 6-year-old as to why that alpaca was sitting on top of the other one, Oh, i think he’s giving her a hug and swiftly change the subject and move on! The Camel was a big favourite with the kids and wasn’t something they were expecting to see.
The kids really enjoyed petting time at the Jolly barn which occurs 3 times a day so there’s plenty of opportunities to get hands on with the animals. They were able to hand feed goats, alpaca’s and even bottle feed 2 baby lambs. One of the highlights of the day was getting to hold Houdini the corn snake, well! All the lads in the jolly barn were amazing making sure every child got their turn with the animals, no one got left out.
The Digger park is great for any enthusiast, there is a €2 charge for the diggers but they got to spend a good while on them and didn’t feel at all rushed, again the lads working them were lovely. They spent a good half hour after the diggers playing on the drop slide (i opted out of that one!) and got to ride on the farm train, made from old plastic barrels. A great idea which the kids and the big kid hubbie loved!
From the digger park we went onto the Mystery Maze, which claims to be one of Ireland’s biggest. The kids cut loose and the race was on to see who would get to the tower and ring the bell first, kids vs. adults. I found it quite amusing that i could only just see the top of the 4 year old’s head bobbing through the hedges every now and again. Of course the 8-year-old made it first, made it about 10 minutes before the rest of us actually and again back out. He actually guided us back out from the look out at the entrance to the maze, yes we were told we cheated!
We oldies had a sit down while the kids spun around the go-kart track and after they had finished with that we walked through the forest trail where the younger ones went hunting for fairies and leprechaun’s, great imaginations! Here we got to see bee hives and 2 rather sinister looking Emu’s. Not a lover of big creepy birds!
On our second time through the Jolly Barn we fortunate to be able to see Daisy the cow being milked. Again the lads were great with the kids, making sure all the small ones were able to see, and let everyone smell the milk that Daisy had produced. It was very informative, we learned that Daisy is JerseyXFresian cow and how many litres of milk she gives every day. The lady with the guitar (think her name was Ebony) got everyone young and old singing along to ‘Old Mc Donald’ and ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’, while lads were getting Daisy ready to be milked. My own little girl was fascinated at being able to go up and brush Daisy
From there it was out onto the old farm-yard where there is something literally behind every corner from a carpenters work shop, an Old Fire engine to a Farm museum which holds an extensive range of old machines and horse-drawn carriage. Farmer Eddie & Eileen’s Cottage is here too where you can see where it all began all those years ago. We also got to see a rather plump pig flat-out sound asleep! A big surprise for me was the marmoset monkeys. These were the highlight of the day for me, they were just so adorable. Tiny fluffy little monkeys,so cute.
The Farmers Fun House is an indoor play area where there are slides, basketball hoop, more karts and tunnels even magic mirrors and a couple of vintage arcade rides.
We had a little sit down at the Outdoor play area outside the coffee shop, complete with baby swings which was great. I think next time we visit it would be nice to bring a picnic and sit out here with it. The littlest one was able to crawl about freely here and we didn’t have to worry about him escaping as it is so enclosed and completely safe.
There is also a crazy golf which unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to do as the little one was getting cranky and tired so was time to call it a day, but that was after spending over 4 and a half hours there. We could have easily spent another hour or 2 there.
There is an on site coffee shop which offers hot food and home-baked treats, and there is loads of seating both inside and out. You can also bring along your own picnic and have a picnic outside. The kids meals are just €5 they all had a good-sized portion of sausages and chips, which they cleared because they had worked up such an appetite on the farm. Myself and the hubbie had the farmhouse special, which was delicious, not a bite left on the plate. Again the staff in the coffee shop are so welcoming, you feel so at home. The toilets were spotless and have baby changing area which was great.
We Ended our day at the new Indoor Play Barn, which is inside next to the coffee shop, with a little tub of home-made ice cream made from Daisy the cows’ milk. One of the nicest creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted.
It is well worth a visit. Every person working there is lovely and a real credit to the place, They really make you feel so welcome. I’m already being asked when we are going back! The whole farm is buggy friendly and what I really loved is that because the littlest one is not yet walking there is loads of places that he could be left out of his buggy to crawl around for a bit and not stuck strapped in all day long.
If you’re thinking about visiting Leahy’s Open farm my advice would be to prepare to spend the whole day. There is so much to do you will need it. It was a great family day out that everyone enjoyed and we will definitely be going back again. It’s plain to see so much time and work goes into this place and it pays off because it’s such a lovely place to visit. All my 5 were so tired and worn out, they slept the entire journey home which was an added bonus.
For more information you can visit their website Their Website Here.