If you’re looking for a great day out within half-an-hour of Soissons, Laon or Center Parks Domaine le Lac d’Ailette in Picardie, look no further. La Ferme Souchinet is perfect for the whole family with its farmyard animals and wide range of activities.
No two visits are the same at the farm and it’s excellent value for money. Most importantly, the farm is accessible and clean. It is full of well looked-after farm animals, a playground, a maze and even a sensory trail!
The family farmyard is open every day during the holidays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. There’s currently no need to book ahead of your visit. You can check the most up-to-date information about La Ferme Souchinet on their Facebook page.
We went to La Ferme Souchinet last week. It was our second time at the family-friendly farm, nestled between Soissons and Chauny. Last time was during winter and we’d loved all activities. The children had really enjoyed feeding lambs a bottle and writing a letter to Father Christmas using a quill and ink.
Our visit to the farm was our first family day out in over four months. Since since the pandemic resulted in confinement, we’ve had walks and bike rides as a family. It was our first time going to an attraction where there would presumably be other people. We didn’t take our first outing lightly and I’m glad we picked la Ferme Souchinet for our first ‘big’ day out with my mum.
La Ferme Souchinet for a Covid-secure Day out
Parking was no trouble at all and we put on our face masks as soon as we left the car.
There was a hand gel dispenser just outside the entrance and the door to the ticket office was open. This meant we didn’t have to touch anything on our way in, and there were markings on the floor to help guests keep their distance.
Everything was done at the farm to ensure everyone could have an excellent socially-distanced day out. The toilets were clean and there was no door handle to touch as we got in or after washing our hands.
With 15 hectares, there is plenty of open space at the farm, which made it easy to keep your distance from other families.
How Much does a Day at La Ferme Souchinet Cost?
The entrance fee is really affordable, at 7.5 euros per child under 14 years old (free for babies and children under 2) and 9 euros per adult.
There were a couple of extras we went with: pony rides at 2.5 euros each and ‘Agility’ at 2 euros each. We paid at the till and received activity vouchers. You could also make up your mind later and pay directly in cash as you are about to do the activities.
What’s the Food Like at the Farm?
Now I don’t think I’ve ever been to a children’s farm, or any place aimed at families for that matter, that had food this mouth-watering.
There was range of meals in a jar you could buy like healthy salads, vegan tajine or tartiflette, all made by a local deli. I was impressed by the affordable, wholesome gourmet-like food. No single-use plastic in sight either as the meals were in glass jars that could be used again and again.
There were lots of picnic tables nearby and two microwaves at the guests’ disposal so you could warm up the meals you’ve just bought or baby food if you’ve come with little ones.
What kinds of Animals Can You See at La Ferme Souchinet?
As you walk around the farm, there are lots of animals to see. The animals are well looked-after and in peaceful surroundings.
There are obviously plenty of farm animals like horses, sheep, donkeys, chickens, miniature pigs, goats and ponies.
There are also alpacas, llamas, peacocks, camels, zebu, ostriches, yacks and many other species.
All the animals have plenty of space; none of the enclosures are overcrowded.
La Ferme Souchinet really is a great place that brings together animals and fun activities.
What’s ‘Agility’ and Is it Worth Doing?
We went straight to ‘Agility’ when we got to the farm. There, for 2 euros a go, the children took it in turns to take their chosen animal through an obstacle course on their own.
Children younger than 6 could also have a go, but would have to be accompanied by an adult.
The children walked Pïura the alpaga, Pik Nik the billy goat, Pola the zebu and Dayane the pony.
There was an alcohol-based hand gel dispenser in the queue and the rules there were really clear. First and foremost, you had to wait for the previous person to be done before starting a segment of the obstacle course. Overtaking was also forbidden.
The various areas the children had to take the animals through were varied and fun.
We’d never done anything like this and we all loved it, adults and kids alike. It was good value for money and members of staff there were really friendly.
My four were all really excited about the pony rides. For 2.5 euros a ride, each child could pick their pony and have a ride round a nice little course in a woodland area.
One adult from our party had to take the children on their little tours and hold the bridle every time. It was really lovely and meant I could spend time with each of my children. My mum stayed with the other three.
The only downside would be if you were the only adult in your party, with more than one children. That would mean there would be no one to supervise your other children as you walked around.
The children were given disposable hair nets to wear under the helmets.
Crevette and Jumpy had a ride on chilled pony Clochette. Beanie picked greedy Dakatim and Wriggly went with grumpy John.
Once again, there were clear rules for this activity, displayed all along the course: no overtaking, no letting the ponies graze and adult holding the bridle with both hands.
The Maze, or a Fab Outdoor Escape Room
Once you step into the maze, you will have to work as a team to show your agility, solve puzzles, play games, think and show your knowledge of farm life.
Each successfully completed activity gives you a number to get the code that opens the door that will take you to the next level of the outdoor escape room.
There are five sections in the maze and we all loved collaborating to solve the clues that could move us forward.
Getting out of the maze took us just over an hour. We laughed, we might or might not have agreed on some of the code-breaking tasks and we even learnt a thing or two.
Tips for Your Day at La Ferme Souchinet:
First of all, I’d highly recommend spending the whole day there. This time, we were only at the farm for 4 hours and it wasn’t enough time to make the most of what the farm had to offer.
We would have loved to go through the barefoot trail, the sensory walk as well as the blind course, but we ran out of time.
You can buy lovely food onsite, as I said before, but you can also bring your own picnic as there are picnic tables scattered around.
If you’re planing to go on the sensory walk, bring a towel to clean your feet.
This might be common sense, but don’t forget to wear wellies on a rainy day and sunscreen and bring lots of water on a sunny day.
There are several hand gel dispensers around the farm, but we could only find sinks by the entrance, so if you want to give your hands a clean after patting or feeding animals, bring some wet wipes.
La Ferme Souchinet: Always Moving Forwards
Much more than an educational farm, La Ferme Souchinet is forever changing and moving forward. Every time you visit, there are new things to see and do, with a clear emphasis on novelty.
Recent innovations include the ‘escape game’ maze and ‘Agility’ mentioned above. There is also an extra-curricular club on Wednesdays and the option to organise birthday parties with or without parents.
The farm is also a training centre for people planning to open an educational farm.
Last but not least, the managers of the farm decided to invest in alternative education. From September, there will be a forest school on site for 15 primary-aged children.
Le Club des Petits Fermiers à la Ferme Souchinet
If you’re after an extra-curricular activity for your children, they can take part in the ‘Little Farmers’ Club’ at La Ferme Souchinet on Wednesday afternoons.
Session times are 2 to 3.30 p.m. for children aged 8 to 12 years old and 3.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. for 5 to 8-year-olds.
Activities include looking after the animals, feeding them and walking them. Crafts, gardening, games
Prices are 90 euros for 5 sessions or 150 euros for 10 sessions.
Where to Find La Ferme Souchinet
If you’re staying anywhere near Soissons or Laon, La Ferme Souchinet in Verneuil-sous-Coucy isn’t to be missed for a day children and adults alike will enjoy.
In other words, the activity farm, which is open April to September, provides the perfect day out for the whole family if you’re spending a few days at Centre Parks Domaine le Lac d’Ailette in Picardie.
9 Rue des Sources,
For more information about opening times or any of the activities listed above, you can call 00336 7430 3284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org