Glendeer Pet Farm

Glendeer Pet Farm is an absolute delight for children of all ages and a testament to the owners treatment and care of the animals must surely be how quiet and friendly the animals are? They seem to be enjoying the experience every bit as much as the children! Created 21 years ago by the O’Connells, it is now in the very capable hands of their two daughters, Michelle and Kevina, who have grown up caring for the animals and showing people around. So they are very in touch with what is needed to make this a memorable and enjoyable experience for both the children and their parents. There are lots of animals and birds of course, over 50 different species in fact, woolly sheep with cuddly lambs, nosey nanny goats with mischievous kids hopping along the tops of stone walls and all in an idyllic farmyard setting complete with a little whitewashed cottage....

Glendeer Pet Farm

Glendeer has a lovely mix of caged and uncaged animals including exotics like monkeys, emus and wallabies with babies in their pouches ! But the biggest hits with the children are as always the baby bunnies, kittens and puppies. In fact a season ticket for local children neatly gets around the dreaded “ahh…can we keep him, please” scenario for some parents when it’s not practical or they suspect the novelty might wear off in a week? Glendeer also takes in litters of kittens and puppies, after all they do grow out of the cute stage (the children, not the animals) only joking?

It’s all very Old McDonald...and just as much fun judging by the group of pre-schoolers that were there when I visited, who seemed to be having the time of their lives. Each child gets a paper bag of food to feed the animals with, so no wonder the animals are so happy. There are nice practical and thoughtful touches like the indoor and outdoor playgrounds, gravelled paths, so it’s not a mudbath, picnic tables and a café with homemade cakes (and a decent coffee machine) for the parents and cartoons for the kids to watch. A good value family run business for families.

Glendeer Pet Farm, Curryroe, Drum, Athlone, County Westmeath.

Admission €7 a head, open all summer, weekends during the winter, with special events at Easter and Christmas, see website for details.

For more information on Glendeer Pet Farm please click here

10 Other Things To Do and See in the area are....

1 Derryglad Folk Museum take a step back in time to see how people lived and worked in rural Ireland.

2 Coosan Point on the banks of Lough Ree, feed the swans or watch the hire boats coming and going.

3 Coosan Cottage reasonably priced eco-friendly accomodation for families or couples that wont break the budget.

3 Athlone Equestrian Centre take a horseback ride around the forest and visit old Moydrum castle.

4 Viking Boat Trip from the quayside in Athlone cruise the historic inland waterways of the Shannon.

5 Athlone Castle is currently being renovated and scheduled to re-open in 2012, will keep you posted.

6 Sean's Pub just below the castle on the river, sawdust on the floor, an open fire and traditional music sessions that can start up any time of the day or night?

7 Glasson very pretty village, also known as the village of the roses, with good pubs and restaurants including....

8 Grogans very nice old world atmosphere, very popular with tourists and boating people during the summer.

9 The Fatted Calf restaurant is getting great reviews by Paulo Tullio, as the best new gastro pub in the midlands.

10 Wineport Lodge 5 star food and accomodation on the banks of the river Shannon, cant be beaten for sunsets...

For more information on the Magical Midlands please click here.