Studio Experience Days - Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom
Meerkats, Servals and Lemurs Experience Day
As you lot may know, recently I became an ambassador for Studio. So, last month I gave you a behind the scenes tour of Studio when I visited their HQ for an immersion day. Well, over the next few months I’m going to be bringing you plenty of content featuring everything Studio has to offer. If you don’t know, Studio has been around forever I grew up picking out things I wanted from my Nans Christmas catalogue. But now in addition to the catalogue Studio is an online shopping destination that has pretty much everything from homeware, garden, clothing for all the family and beauty.
As the UK has been blooming lovely this month I decided to get outdoors and do something fun with the family. So, we browsed the variety of discounted experience days Studio has listed on its website and we picked a Meerkat, Lemur & Serval encounter for two at Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom in Telford, as part of my Great Outdoors campaign with Studio.
If you are available to visit Hoo Farm during the week you can purchase the experience for just £59.99 via Studio. Which means you save an impressive 50% compared to booking the experience direct. Keeping the children (or grown-ups) occupied during the half term can be expensive so it’s well worth checking out the variety of experience days at Studio before planning any day trips and activities this summer, just in case Studio can save you some money!
On a ridiculously hot Thursday, my family and I made our way to Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom, none of us had ever been before so we were really looking forward to it. Especially, Betsy my four year old niece. The encounter was booked for 2pm so my friend Cathy and I met one of the instructors at the entrance while the rest of my family went to the shaded playground to wait for us.
The instructor gave us a briefing and made sure we were wearing suitable clothing (neutral colours, arms and legs covered and no open toe shoes) before we made our way to the first enclosure, to meet the Lemurs!
During the experience, we were joined with another couple who were equally excited as us about getting to cuddle and feed the animals. We entered the Lemur encounter two by two and were soon greeted by three Lemurs who looked super happy to meet us, although that could have been because we were bearing gifts, bananas, carrots and a bit of salad.
Within moments of entering the enclosure a Lemur jumped on my back to greet me, so that instantly made my day. They were surprisingly light, and they felt so soft. We were told to keep our hand flat when feeding them and they would just gently take the food off us, it was adorable. After feeding we watched them jump around on the climbing frames, we loved every minute of it.
After the Lemurs, it was time to meet the Meerkats, luckily for us they were home and not filming for their primetime corrie slot. For this experience we sat on chairs while two beautiful meerkats walked across our laps to find out which one of us was the comfiest, so they could lie down and spread out to have their bellies scratched.
They made the cutest little sounds and loved all the human attention, they were so friendly. In fact, the instructors told us that Meerkats are really trusting animals, which is why they were so comfortable to be around us.
The two meerkats we met were rejected by their mother, so the bond between the two was evident as at one point they were spooning and when it was time for us to go and they had to be taken off our laps they held on tight to each other as they didn’t want to be separated for just a few seconds, it was adorable.
So, I love watching The Lion Whisperer on YouTube, it’s on my wish-list (or shall I say death-wish) to snuggle up with a lion. But for now, I thought snuggling up to the wild cats at Hoo Farm would perhaps be the safest option. For years, my partner and I have discussed getting a serval when we decide to settle down, so I was excited to meet the Serval at Hoo Farm. My boyfriend was gutted he couldn’t make it, but I sent him plenty of videos.
As it was such a warm day, the Serval stayed hidden in the shade, so we took it in turns to stroke so that we didn’t overcrowd this majestic African wild cat.
Although you only get 20 minutes in each enclosure, the experience is done in small groups. So, between four of us there was enough time to share the love. It also means it doesn’t get too much for the animals which is the most important thing.
Once the experience came to an end and we were all cuddled out, Cathy and I met back up with the family who were playing in the indoor soft play area. We then went for a stroll around the farm to meet the other animals at the award-winning Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom.
We were really impressed with the use of Makaton signs throughout the farm as Betsy signs, so she loved going to each of the enclosures and doing the signs for each animal. Betsy’s disability also makes walking long distances really tiring so it was good that she didn’t have too far to go before finding a seat as there’s plenty dotted around. All of the animals, especially the sheep were so gentle with her when she was feeding them, the hands-on experience was really good for her she absolutely loved it and says she can’t wait to come back!
Overall, we all had a wonderful day and really enjoyed the experience. To make sure you get the most from your visit its worth arriving before 11am because there’s a list full of activities such as meet the foxes, meerkats & otters and feeding the pigs & ostrich’s that run in 20-minute intervals around the farm from 11am to 3.30pm.
To book the Meerkat, Lemur & Serval encounter for two, Studio will send a gift card in the post with an activation code so that you can then visit the Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom website to search availability and book by quoting the code.
Disclaimer: Sponsored by Studio. All photos and words are my own.