“ Rare breeds, greenhouses, Reptile Room and lakes. Address: Ponderosa Park, Off Smithies Lane, Heckmondwike WF16 0PN. Tel/Fax: 01924 235276 „
We have just got back from ponderosa rural therapeutic centre on arrival we got out of the car and first impression's was there is not alot to do or see here . thankfully we was wrong if you are looking for a cheap day out with the family then this is one place to try .the first thing i noticed was the toilets just off the entrance great if you just had to travel a bit with the kids . we started our day at the aquatic and monkey house where there is also a petting area with rabbits and guinnie pigs and other animals to see the the staff there were helpful polite and informative then we went to the reptile house to see snakes,blue toungue skinks and other lizzards all the animals are well housed but the buildings them selves are not big how ever the whole place seem to have a good balance of out door play area's and animals to see and feed which both adults and children seem to enjoy . there is a icecream parlour that sells snacks but i would advise to take picnic as the menu is short but sweat reasonable prices . if it should rain then you can eat under the shelterd eating area's dotted around the park .there is a soft play area a little smaller than some of the soft play zones i have been to but the kids dont seem to notice it. there just busy having fun. the only thing i would say that is negative is the horse and pony ride was only once around the arena but on a busy day with long que's you should'nt have to wait too long.
I like this farm. I first visited Ponderosa about 6 years ago with friends and their children.
I now have 2 children of my own, aged 5 and 2 years and they both love going here.
I have to say it has got better over the years.
There is plenty to do at Ponderosa, but it does not take too long to get all the way around. I would suggest taking a picnic along with you.
There is a little gift shop when you first walk in where you can pay your admission and purchase food to feed the animals, along with other things such as stuffed animals, colouring books etc.
When you walk out of the shop and into the farm their are some llamas which you can feed if you are brave enough!
Across from that there is a hut that has rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas etc. The friendly staff will sometimes even let you and your children hold some of the animals. There are also hygienic handwash's outside the building. You can then walk towards a little slide/climbing frame, where you will see a few other animals along the way, including deer.
If you carry on walking forward there is another climbing frame with a few slides next to a lovely large pond, surrounded by beautiful flowers.
There are many other animals there for you to see, such as:
Birds of Prey
Ring Tailed Lemurs
and many, many more.
There are lots more things to do such as:
Reptile Room - You can see snakes in here along with other reptiles. The keeper in there will answer any questions you have and they have handling sessions on at certain times of the day.
Aquatica - A room where there are a variety of tropical fish
Pony Rides - These run on weekends and school holidays but if that was one of the main reasons for visiting Ponderosa, I would ring up first just to check as my son was a bit dissapointed last time we went as for an unknown reason they were not available.
They also hold various events such as falconry days, children fun days and craft workshops.
Guided walks and tours are also avilable.
There is also a little sand area where children can make sandcastles.
They have a cafe too which sell a range of delicious ice creams.
There is also a day care centre at Ponderosa for people with special needs and learning difficulties.
Children (2-15 years) £4.00
Children (0-2 years) Free
Family Ticket £15.00 (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children)
You can also get season tickets:
Family Season Ticket £75.00
Adult Season Ticket £22.50
Child/OAP Season Ticket £20.00
I think that this is very cheap for a lovely family day out.
Opening Times are:
Beginning easter holidays - October 1st & October half term
Everyday inc weekends 10.00am - 5.00pm (last entry 4.00pm)
October 1st - Beginning easter holidays
Everyday inc weekends 10.00am - 4.00pm (last entry 3.00pm)
I would definately recommend Ponderosa to anybody who has children. Its not only fun for them though - I enjoy it too.
Overall I think it is a lovely day out for the family at affordable prices.