Saturday, 15 August 2020

Family day out at Farmapark

By Paul Lysek | Prague Daily Monitor |
16 June 2020

Hopefully the height of "society in hiding" has passed for the Czech Republic and with summer launching into full swing, there is a pent-up need for fresh air and outdoors activities. Anything to get the kids energy spent. If you are looking for something fun and active to do with the kids, read the following, we had a great time.

About 30 minutes drive from the centre of Prague is a farm-like paradise which is made for children and parents alike. The rolling hills and paved pathways, combined with fenced in animals and a wide array of children’s playgrounds and activities, provide the ideal setting for everything which is missed in city-life. One does not need to own a cottage, travel hundreds of kilometers in traffic, and spend the weekend working and cleaning up a property. Nor does one need to spend a fortune on nights out in the country. A short drive out of town and a thousand Czech Crowns will give you and your family all they need for a country living experience. Actually, there is a family annual pass for 2900CZK, the equivalent to a hotel room for one night at a decent hotel with space for four in a small town outside of Prague.

We arrived at the Farmapark at 10:30, already missing the feeding of the ostriches. A Wednesday morning, and the sun reflecting off the surrounding hills sets a nice mood for the four of us. The entrance to the Farmapark is not entirely obvious. The address given is an approximation for my navigation, the first exit from the D1 being under construction resulting in us having to exit off at the next one. The second exit is also the better choice as it runs through a nice winding forest road which leads right up to the front of the main Farmapark entrance. Parking was super easy, with our kids running in front of us to join the line. The line was very short and fast, we paid within 5 minutes of arriving, 590 CZK as one of our kids is still under 90cm.

The entrance building is huge and there is a massive indoor play area for the kids in case of a rainy day or surprise change in weather. A restaurant is attached so in fact weather never needs to be a parameter in deciding to go or not. We did not investigate since both visits we have made were perfect weather days.

We led out into the farm. IT IS HUGE! There are rolling hills and the farm takes up most of one side of the hills with the valley below and some surrounding countryside. The grounds are kept neat, everything is new and facilities are above the norm for this part of the world.

We walked out of the entrance building and headed for the valley below. There were all kinds of animals, in various habitats. Grassy hills, mountain streams, wetlands, and more. The kids had a great time guessing the animals and us reading a little about what they actually were and where they came from. But animals can only keep children interested for a limited time. Lucky the constructors knew that and built a number of side attractions to keep us entertained.
There is a downhill-tube track and a bumper boat pond which one can use for an extra 50CZK per person per ride. They were great distractions for the kids and it finally gave them an excuse to sit down for a few minutes. There is also a “Peru Jeep-safari” but we skipped that one, not sure the cost.

Outside of the paid attractions there are a slew of freebies which can keep the kids occupied for hours. In the valley under the hills there is a restaurant, with nice outside seating, a grill and café. The food was typical sausage (85CZK), “parek v rohliku (40CZK),” popsicle type ice cream and fast food. Surrounding the outdoor restaurant are various playgrounds, obstacle courses and things to climb on and jump off. The real kid-magnets are the giant blown-up jumping quadrangles. They are huge yellow bubbles which the kids climb up on and jump around non-stop for 10 minutes at time, stopping only to come and get a drink. Decent coffee (30CZK) is served very close so we had a coffee and let the kids have their way with the jumping, the playground, other kids etc.

One possible improvement is for the tired kids and parents, there should be some emergency button to call an electric golf-cart taxi. We would have paid a lot to have avoided the walk back up the hill, with tired kids, back to the entrance/parking lot. Some people seemed to be having a harder time than us. On the way back we noticed that on top of the hill there is another larger restaurant, off the beaten path, with play areas etc. Not sure if that was different food, but we will explore next time.

In all the experience was very central European. There are no gimmicks to get your cash, no real selling of anything, but anything you need is available. One needs to buy tokens in one place to use at the attractions, old habits die hard. Overall I would give the place a five out of five, but some ice cream stalls and burgers on the grill would have helped me part with more cash.

The website is full of info, the Facebook page is popular. There is more information for ticket prices etc. All in English and Czech:
https://www.farmapark.eu/en/visit-us/
https://www.facebook.com/farmaparksobehrdy

The article was written based on an actual recent visit, with no input from the venue. The information detailed is based on a family of four’s visit during the week. Parameters may vary according to weekends or special events etc.