Although in show-business they say never to mix children and animals, when you’re charged with entertaining a little one for a day, animals are a sure-fire win! Enter, stage left, Greendale Farm Shop. So much more than a fancy farm shop. Greendale is perfect when the sun is shining or if you’re looking for a rainy day ‘thing to do’ with the kids near Exeter. If blessed with good weather, take time to meet the animals, play on the tractors and enjoy the outdoor play area, but if not, the child-friendly cafe boasts an indoor play area meaning that the children can entertain themselves and you can enjoy a good cuppa and cake and maybe even be able to have an uninterrupted* chat with a mum friend.
*ahem… uninterrupted – who are we kidding?!
Kids will love
There is so much for kids to love at Greendale Farm Shop.
- Animals to admire and feed (bags of chicken food available from the farm shop for 50p). The animals include: ponies, rheas, black swans, peacock, geese, chickens, ducks, and Oscar the Ostrich.
- A handful (or should the collective noun be tremble?) of old immobile tractors along the ‘farm trail’ for little people to become farmers for the day,
- Play areas/ cafe: The cafe is certainly child-friendly as the end room is devoted as a ‘family room’ equipped with an indoor play area great for those rainy days. The cafe has double glass doors that lead straight out to a great fenced off and gated outdoor play area with a wooden play structure including a slide and fireman’s pole.
Babies can enjoy meeting animals from the comfort of their prams as the tracks are perfectly smooth for buggies. The café is fairly spacious too, so buggies are easy to manoeuvre. The indoor play area has a wooden bead maze that could be taken to the table for older babies, but don’t expect a soft play area.
Toddlers will love the freedom of running up and down the farm trail to visit all the animals in their areas. Tractors overlooking the animals are also added amusement, as is purchasing a bag of grains for 50p from the farm shop for them to scatter for the chickens and others who are interested (a goat was particularly eager for the grains on one of our visits!). The indoor play area is perfect for toddlers, equipped with an Ikea play kitchen, a whole blackboard wall with chalks and a little person table and chairs as well as some ride-on toys and other toys.
As well as some of the more unusual animals such as rheas and ostrich, the older kids can enjoy the play structure of the outdoor play area as the slide and climbing netting to get there is perfect for those slightly older. They might also enjoy seeing the lobsters and crabs in their tanks in the farm shop. The fantastic array of cakes and thick shakes might also go down quite well too!
What to pack?
No need to pack anything special for this one. Prams aren’t needed for those who can walk as it’s quite a small area, but there is plenty of room if you want to use them. Money for drinks, mouth-watering cakes, lunch or their breakfast fry-up is pretty tremendous too. Just come with a good appetite – their portion size is generous!
Need to know
Entry to see the animals is free.
Farm shop opening hours
Mon – Sat: 8am-8pm
Café opening hours
Mon to Sat 8am-6pm
Yes. And room for many.
Loos & Baby changing
Yes – nice and clean loos and baby changing pull-down unit, and a very cute ‘toddler’ loo too.
How to get there
Greendale Farm Shop, Sidmouth Road, near Farringdon, Exeter, EX5 2JU