Monday, July 9, 2018

Animal Adventures Bolton Massachusetts

A funny thing happened on our way to the Robin's Hood Fair for our second trip with family last May, it rained and they closed the fair. Faced with several cars of disappointed children and let's be honest adults we pulled out phones and began searching for a substitute destination. Thankfully, one family member remembered serving as a chaperone on her then high school senior's Kindergarten trip to Animal Adventures and suggested it would make a great alternate trip for our disappointed group. For those of you who are also interested in going the website is here. You can find information about pricing, hours, directions and additional programs available.

Well not only was it a great alternate destination for our animal and reptile loving family members it was likely a better destination than the one we'd planned as this was all activity all the time. There was little time spent waiting with no interaction or something to do.

When we arrived I wasn't really sure what to make of the place. This is one of the times to follow that old phrase about not judging a book by its cover. It doesn't look very big from the outside, but there is a world of wonder inside if you have kids that like creatures.

While they normally have set show hours of 11, 1, and 3, due to the increased volume, which will happen when a fair unexpectedly closes, they added a show, which was perfect for our family because we didn't have to wait until the next show that wouldn't have started until 1. We arrived too late to make the 11 show.

The kids were constantly engaged by the staff to see, touch and learn about various creatures. I will confess to having avoided the snakes and the reptiles, but looking at one of the books for the youngest nephew's homeschool science program next year there is a lesson about the spines of a porcupine and he's actually seen an touched them. What an amazing experience to bring into his nature study next year.

Along with the indoor exhibits there are also some outdoor places to interact with animals including rabbits and goats. This was a huge hit with our group.

For those with active ones another big hit for our group was the outdoor play structures. While we had a little light rain it cleared, which I'm sure the Faire wished they'd known would happen. The kids were spent breaks between visiting buildings and after we were done with animals playing on the wooden castle and the pirate ship which included swings and slides. These play areas were a huge bonus as the kids could burn off some energy in an appropriate manner.

All in all this was an amazing find and we will be back. We've done large zoo trips with the extended family and this was different because it was smaller. You didn't feel exhausted trying to get to see everything in a day. You could see it all in a few hours. It was much more personalized as it is designed for the staff to interact with visitors and to help them learn more about the creatures through engagement with them. We had a wide range of ages from Kindergarten through high school and nobody ever seemed bored. That is a rare situation when we make these multi-family trips as it is hard to find one activity that reaches all ages, but they all seemed fascinated by the creatures they were able to meet. This was one of our most successful outings, even if accidental.

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