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Children’s Farm

What is a Children’s Farm

A children’s farm, often a delightful gem tucked away in many European zoos, is a dedicated space designed to spark curiosity and interact directly with a range of friendly animals. These farm-themed exhibits are becoming increasingly popular across zoos in Europe, presenting an engaging blend of education and entertainment. Children are afforded the opportunity to feed, pet, and learn about various farm animals, cultivating a deeper understanding of animal care and agriculture.

European Zoos that have Children’s Farm

London Zoo

London Zoo, located in the heart of England’s bustling capital, houses a charming children’s farm known as “The Animal Adventure.” This carefully designed space allows youngsters to get up close with a variety of farm animals such as goats, sheep, and donkeys. The interactive exhibits and animal talks further enrich the experience, teaching children about the importance of animal welfare and conservation.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo, a prominent attraction in Ireland, is home to “Family Farm,” a dedicated children’s farm accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Here, children can interact with traditional farm animals, understand the role of farms in providing food, and appreciate the significance of conserving Ireland’s rich farming heritage.

Barcelona Zoo

Barcelona Zoo, located in the vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain, boasts its own children’s farm, the “Granja de la Infancia.” Here, young visitors can observe and interact with a variety of domesticated farm animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens. The farm also offers engaging workshops that introduce children to farming practices, animal behaviours, and the importance of sustainable agriculture.

Remember, each of these children’s farms within European zoos offers a unique experience, fostering a love for animals and respect for nature in children’s hearts. So, whenever you visit a zoo, don’t forget to explore its children’s farm!

Kinderzoo Knie, Rapperswil, Switzerland: The largest Children’s Farm

Kinderzoo Knie, positioned in the picturesque Swiss town of Rapperswil, is home to the largest children’s farm in a European zoo. Known as “Knie’s Kinderzoo,” this dedicated space provides an unparalleled interactive experience for children of all ages.

Eye-Catching Array of Animals

Knie’s Kinderzoo boasts a diverse range of farm animals, from the ubiquitous cows, goats, and pigs to the lesser-seen llamas and alpacas. The unique selection of animals offers an enriching encounter, allowing children to interact with both familiar and exotic farm animals.

Learning through Interaction

In this children’s farm, youngsters can directly feed the animals under careful supervision, offering a hands-on understanding of animal feeding practices. The zookeepers also conduct informative sessions, discussing animal habits, dietary needs, and farming practices in an easy-to-understand, engaging manner.

Unbeatable Size and Facilities

The sheer size of Knie’s Kinderzoo sets it apart from other children’s farms in European zoos. The expansive area features not only animal enclosures but also picnic areas, playgrounds, and a petting zoo, making it a perfect blend of education and entertainment.

This children’s farm at Kinderzoo Knie is indeed a must-visit attraction when touring European zoos. It is a perfect place for children to interact with, learn about, and develop empathy for animals while having a fun-filled day out with their families.

What type of animals a Children’s Farm has

A Rich Mix of Farm Animals

Children’s farms, especially within European zoos, host a diverse assortment of animals, primarily comprising farm residents. The most common animals you’ll encounter include cows, sheep, goats, pigs, hens, ducks, and rabbits. These animals are easy to care for and are generally comfortable around humans, making them perfect for children’s interactions.

Exotic Additions

In addition to the typical farm dwellers, some children’s farms take a step further, introducing more exotic or unusual species. For instance, you may stumble upon alpacas, llamas, or miniature horses. These fascinating creatures add an element of surprise and excitement, expanding the children’s knowledge beyond the run-of-the-mill farm animals.

Friendly Birds

Children’s farms often house a variety of birds, presenting a great opportunity for children to learn about different avian species. From chickens and ducks to geese and turkeys, these feathered friends are a delight to interact with. Some farms might even have a dedicated aviary for children to explore.

Small Mammals

Small mammals like guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits are another set of stars at a children’s farm. These cuddly, friendly animals are loved by children, and their care needs provide excellent learning opportunities about pet responsibility.


Some children’s farms might also introduce invertebrates such as worms and snails, particularly as part of a composting or soil health exhibit. These smaller creatures play a crucial role in our ecosystem, and their inclusion helps foster an appreciation for all forms of life.

Remember, the exact animal roster can vary from one children’s farm to another. However, each one promises an engaging and educational experience, encouraging children to learn about different animals, their habits, and their roles in the farm ecosystem.

What you should see in a Children’s Farm

Interaction Zones

A well-designed children’s farm should feature interaction zones, where children are allowed to pet and feed the animals under the supervision of trained staff. These zones are not only exciting for the children but also offer them a practical understanding of animal behaviours and feeding habits.

Educational Programs

Look out for children’s farms that offer a variety of educational programs. This can range from animal encounters and talks to guided tours or workshops. These programs are designed to be engaging and informative, educating children on topics like animal care, farming practices, and food production.

Thematic Exhibits

Thematic exhibits are another interesting feature of a children’s farm. These could be seasonal, such as a pumpkin patch during autumn or a lambing live event in spring. Thematic exhibits provide a deeper understanding of specific aspects of farming and the changing seasons.

Health and Safety Measures

A good children’s farm will place high importance on health and safety. There should be hand-washing facilities and reminders for children to wash their hands after touching the animals. The farm should also have clear rules for interacting with the animals to ensure both the visitors’ and animals’ safety.

Recreational Facilities

Recreational facilities like play areas, picnic spots, and cafes are integral to a children’s farm. These facilities ensure that families can spend a full day at the farm, combining learning with relaxation and fun.


Accessibility is another factor to consider when visiting a children’s farm. The farm should be navigable for pushchairs and wheelchair users, and there should be adequate facilities for visitors with special needs.

Visiting a children’s farm in a zoo is a wonderful way to introduce children to the animal kingdom and the basics of farming. It’s a fun-filled, educational outing that will leave lasting memories and perhaps spark a lifelong interest in animals and nature.

What is the environment in a Children’s Farm

Engaging Outdoor Spaces

Children’s farms are usually set in lush, green outdoor spaces. The pens and enclosures for the animals are typically quite spacious, allowing them the freedom to roam about and express natural behaviours. The larger animals like cows and goats often have paddocks or fields where they can graze. Children get to observe these animals in a semi-natural habitat, reinforcing the importance of respecting and preserving the natural world.

Welcoming Indoor Barns

In addition to outdoor spaces, children’s farms also have indoor barns for housing animals that require shelter or for when the weather turns unfavourable. These barns also allow for year-round operation of the farm. They are generally well-ventilated and clean, ensuring the comfort and well-being of the animals.

Interactive Displays

Most children’s farms also feature interactive displays or signs around the farm. These displays provide interesting information about the animals or about farming practices. They engage children’s curiosity and learning, making the farm experience more than just an opportunity to see and touch animals.

Garden Patches

Children’s farms often include small garden patches where various crops and flowers are grown. These gardens introduce children to the concept of growing food and contribute to the bucolic charm of the farm setting. Some farms may even allow children to help in planting or harvesting, adding another dimension to the hands-on experience.

Peaceful Atmosphere

Above all, the environment of a children’s farm is typically peaceful and relaxed. The tranquil surroundings, friendly animals, and open spaces offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s an environment that invites exploration and learning at a child’s own pace, making each visit a unique and enjoyable experience.

Remember, every children’s farm is unique in its way. The environment largely depends on the space available, the types of animals, and the overall philosophy of the farm. But at the heart of it all is the same aim – to promote learning, love for nature, and create unforgettable memories for children and their families.

children's farm two girls feeding and petting a cow in front of a wooden fence.

Is Children’s Farm a safe environment for the animals?

Animal Welfare Priority

Children’s farms are maintained with a strong focus on the well-being of the animals. The animals’ welfare is paramount, and the farms ensure they have adequate space, proper nutrition, and appropriate medical care. The farms usually avoid overcrowding, minimizing stress and competition among the animals.

Breed Suitability

The selection of animals at a children’s farm is often carefully curated, focusing on breeds that are known for their docile behaviour and suitability to be around people, especially children. These breeds are more adaptable to the interaction and attention they receive at the farm, contributing to their overall well-being.

Trained Staff

Ensuring a safe environment for animals also includes the presence of trained staff who can monitor animal behaviour and health. These individuals are adept at understanding the needs and behaviours of various farm animals and can intervene when necessary to ensure an animal’s comfort and safety.

Controlled Interaction

Interaction with the animals is controlled and monitored to ensure it does not cause stress or harm. Most children’s farms have clear guidelines about how to touch and treat the animals, and supervise interactions to ensure these guidelines are followed. This keeps the animals safe while teaching children respectful ways to interact with animals.

Regular Health Checks

Children’s farms typically have regular health inspection routines in place. Veterinarians perform routine check-ups and vaccinations to ensure the animals are in good health. Any signs of distress or disease are taken seriously and addressed promptly to prevent the spread of illnesses.

In conclusion, children’s farms go to great lengths to ensure that the animals under their care are in a safe and nurturing environment. This includes proper living conditions, regular health care, and controlled interactions with visitors to minimize stress. However, the specifics can vary from one farm to another, so it’s always a good idea to ask about their animal welfare policies when visiting.

Further Research

To delve deeper into the subject matter, here are some additional resources that offer a comprehensive look into the world of Children’s Farms within Zoos:

  1. “Children’s Zoos and Farms in the UK” by Family Traveller – This article provides a list of some of the best children’s farms in the UK, showcasing the variety and quality of experiences on offer.
  2. “Why Zoos Are Important and Necessary” by ThoughtCo – This piece delves into the purpose and importance of zoos, including their educational role, which is closely aligned with the mission of children’s farms within zoos.
  3. “The Benefits of Petting Zoos For Kids” by Mom Junction – This article outlines the benefits of petting zoos, which are similar to children’s farms, particularly in terms of child development and education.
  4. “Animal Welfare in Zoos” by The Conversation – Providing a perspective on animal welfare within the zoo and farm context, this article discusses the responsibilities and obligations of these establishments towards their animal residents.

Remember to check the credibility of all information and rely on trusted and respected sources when researching.