Miniature Pony Centre – Review for families

Check out the miniature ponies at this popular North Devon attraction

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What is it?

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It’s a centre (of cuteness) filled with miniature horses and donkeys, along with a variety of other baby family animals. Find it on Wormhill Farm, Newton Abbot, South Devon. The Sat Nav postcode is TQ13 8RG.

Best for:

Babies / Toddlers & Preschool / 5 – 8

OK for:

9 – 12

Cost

££ – It’s £8.25 for an adult and £7.25 for a child 3 – 17 years of age. It’s £1.50 extra per pony ride.

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What’s on offer

This Centre offers a host of miniature ponies, Mediterranean donkeys and heavy horses as the name suggests, but they also offer a range of baby animals, a paddock of pets and an aviary featuring their popular peacock for children to visit.

Children can get up close and personal with the ponies on site. They aren’t constricted to standing behind a fence, as they can take a ride on a special riding pony (at £.150 per ride) or even take part in a special pony care day, at £30 per child, where children will receive a pony ride, meet more of the animals as well as learning how to feed, groom and muck out the horses.

There’s a free entertaining worksheet for little ones to complete.There are also activities and talks on throughout the year, live shows performed by regular children’s entertainers and special events, such as the summer Pony Party, available on selected dates. Consult the website for full details of what’s on and when. For the animal-mad, this place is a dream, but for children who turn out to be less keen or for sibling dragged along to this attractions – there are also several play areas (both indoor and outdoor) where children can enjoy trampolines and zip wires among other play equipment.

For children who are good on their feet, there are also numerous parklands, gardens and trail walks to take part in in the surrounding area.

The Miniature Pony Centre also has an on site café and gift shop, as well as accessible toilets and baby changing facility.

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Highlights

To make your day easier, staff provides a detailed map of the farm and a timetable of events and opening times, so you can plan which areas to visit and when. If you don’t get it, ask for one. The staff members are all hard working and some TripAdvisor users noted that the animals are well taken care of and their environment is clean. It’s clear from how happy and calm the animals are.

It’s a very interactive attraction; particularly as children are allowed to get close to the animals, pat the friendly horses and donkeys, ride them in the designated sessions and even care for them on ‘pony care days’. The pony ride is worth the extra £1.50, especially as children are given a rosette for completing the ride.

Young children with a fondness for or curiosity about animals will have a fun-filled day, no question. If one of your children isn’t too keen on animals, then they’ll still have fun in the play areas – particularly the one in the barn! They seem to cater to both toddlers and slightly older children, so there’s something for everyone.

There are areas for a picnic (by the pond, the outdoor play area and upper paddocks) and plenty of seats around the play areas for mum and dad to kick back and relax. The gift shop, unbelievably, sells toys from as little as £1. So, you won’t have to shell out even more at the end of the day.

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What to watch out for

– You are allowed to get close to the ponies and donkeys but NOT the pets in the small pet enclosure. You can handle them in designated afternoon sessions.

– You can’t take pushchairs in the café. They are welcome elsewhere on site.

– No dogs allowed, but there is a free kennel service on site.

– No smoking on site.

– Younger children will probably have more fun here than older children.

– The pony rides are available for children aged 3 – 10 years.

– Each ride is 1 trip or ‘circuit’ around the riding arena, supervised by a member of staff.

– Pony rides require children to wear a helmet, provided by the farm. If your child’s head does not fit in the smallest size of helmet (Size 000), then regardless of age your child will not be allowed to ride the pony.

– Pony care days cost £30 per child. Children are expected to bring wellies, a waterproof coat and a packed lunch.

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MFM tips:

– The Miniature Pony Centre is just an hour’s travelling time from Exeter, Torquay and Plymouth. So you can combine your visit to these adorable baby animals with a trip to Plymouth Aquarium? It’s easy to reach on the B3212, though should also be accessible by train.

– According to TripAdvisor, if you visit on a very rainy day, you’ll get a voucher to come back free of charge.

– To avoid queuing for the pony rides on a busy day, arrive 10 minutes before to ensure you and your child are front of the line.

What the owners say

“Come and meet the cuddly miniature ponies & their farmyard friends, including two gentle giants, miniature donkeys and the new beautiful Lipizzaner horses. It is your chance to get close and stroke these wonderful animals. Here at the Pony Centre we have lots of daily activities to keep you all busy and entertained.”

Visit the official Miniature Pony Centre website

More family attractions in South Devon…

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Sea Tractor
South Devon Railway
Woodlands Leisure Park
Crealy’s Great Adventure Park
Babbacombe Miniature Village
Paignton Zoo
Brixham

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