Profil 1996-2006, 2007-2011 & 2012-2016
Farm Fun’s 10th anniversary
Many of our guests have wanted to know how Farm Fun came to be and how a place like this is run. For this reason, we will now take you back to the begining, with this is a little flashback.
How it all came to be
The property was bought by twin bothers, Søren and Bertel and their families.
They were working together on many projects, so Søren moved into the farm with his family.
In the Autumn of 1986, they established a deer farm.
We had upwards of 300 fallow deer
It was a very interesting project, but sadly it was not very successful.
It was a turbulent time marred with the spread of tuberculosis and premeated with tests and vaccinations.
These were hard times for many deer farms, so we decided to close it down and for sometime, we only kept a few deer, goats, chicken and cows. However, we did not loose sight of the vision we had from the very onset, that envisioned the farm as a place that would bring joy to many people. We pondered and contemplated about how we would bring our vision to life and then set about to realise this vision. It took us 10 years to implement our ideas.
God gave us the idea that children and adults ought to bond with each other by connecting with the animals on the farm, playing together and experiencing the nature around them. Since the property has two lush forests, spacious fields and a breathtaking beach, the farm proved to be the perfect spot for bringing such experiences to life.
In the Easter of the same year, we agreed to host a Bible camp and decided to implement our God-given idea for the farm. Søren frequently assembled the two familes during this spring to share the vison for the farm with them. The children; 2 girls and 5 boys, were at that time aged between 10 and 22 years old.
They were very interested in the vision and readily weighed in with their opinions.
From thought to action
We started out by putting up the fence, building small houses,making pathways, building a huge strawbarn, setting up courts for ball oriented sports, decking out the information truck, setting up the play areas and adding the animal stock.
We acquired many intriguing animals along the way. We also had to install the giant jumping pillows.
The place was named FARM FUN.
The gates were opened in June 1996
And then we were ready. The chores were divided between the 11 of us and were tailored around school and other jobs. The women worked in the recepetion, while the men/boys took care of the farm.
In many ways, this was the begining of a new era. The children had very many good ideas on how to run the place and we needed them all. We received many guests, who all expressed a very high degree of satisfaction.
The rides in the haycart, the zipliners in the straw barn, the many moon cars, the giant jumping pillow, the animals they came into contact with, the picnics by the edge of the forest and the trips to the beach on warm days all made for a fantastic day spent on the farm. Some pointed out that they experienced a wonderful sense of peace while on the farm. We shared many wonderful conversations with our guests and got many ideas from them too.
It became necessary to make a few adjustments along the way. The private home toilet was replaced with a rented portable toilet.
The rabbits and hamsters who had been previously housed behind small, accessible fences, had quickly mastered them and would frequenty break free into the park, which then led to wild hunts after them that went on for hours on end.
We designed and built a new house that would allow our guests to sit in with the rabbits without the risk of the animals escaping.
We filled up sacks with dry bread from the local baker and made them accessible for our guests to feed the animals with. It was a lot of fun, but it was not good for our animals, so we pulled back the sacks of bread.
Since our guests ended up staying longer than we initially had estimated, we added ice cream, soda, candy and toast sandwiches to our stock. The number of visitors steadily increased as the years went by. We frequently observed that this place served as a melting pot for any generations. Large groups made up of many different types of people all found their way here. The locals were our most loyal guests. The development was good. In the winter, we repaired the place and built new attractions. We repaired the toilets, the kiosk, built a huge chicken shed, real fishing boats, many aviaries, another giant jumping pillow and many many other things came about.
In the middle of our open season of 1998, the farm was threatened to be closed down.
The inflow of guests to the farm far exceeded our expectations and the county health officials evaluated that the farm did not measure up to the county’s standards. This kicked off a silent protest in which, the locals and guests from far and wide collected signatures to stand in solidarity with the farm. In only a matter of 4 days, 2500 signatures had been collected and delivered to the county’s mayor. These signatures played a significant role in reaching the final decision that was made.
After 2½ years of hard work to ensure that Farm Fun measured up to the stipulated health codes, the farm was once again ready to open up its doors to the public. The farm changed its status from a visiting farm sanctuary to an amusement park.
After having being in such a long hiatus, we all itched to do something new. One of the families took over ownership of the farm. A school program that seeks to educate pupils on farm animals was established, a website was created, bigger aviaries were built, new animal species were introduced to the farm, a new workshop and a new kiosk were also established. This year, to mark our 10th anniversary, we have installed a skateboard ramp on the farm, that we believe will bring a lot of joy,to our many fun-loving guests.
How do we run the place?
Farm Fun is now a member of the Danish Association of Private Zoos and Aquaria. These parks are placed under the close supervision of a certified zoologist. The association members work very closely with each other and frequently supply each other with animals stocks.
We also work very closely with the Bird Keepers Association. We rent and buy exotic birds from them. Many avian hobbyists contact us not only to buy or sell exotic bird spieces, but also to get information on how to effectively tend to their birds.
Many birds and animals are sold and slaughtered, for example, the many pigs that come about when our boars and sows mate. In order for us to have many adorable goat kids for our open season, we separate the buks from the other goats for a few months and then in December, we put them in with does from their own breed. The rabbits are aslo seperated at the end of our open season and put back together again at the start of the new season.
Until 2005, the large animals remained out in the fields all year round. However, in the spring of 2005 we installed an indoor barn, in which all our animals are now kept in during the winter season, before they are all realeased again, into the open fields for the summer.
The indoor barn is transformed into a play area during our open season. We had received a lot of support running the farm over the years, from students under apprenticeship, people under activation, interns and the local neighbour watch. But we were in need of a more consistent help all year long and therefore, on the 1st of February, 2006 we got our very first employee. We normally need about 8-10 people to work through our open season. We have had a total of up to 40.000 guests over these past 10 years, with a majority of them visiting us in July.
We use every winter to prepare the farm for a new season. We still have a lot of plans to further develop the place, but our main priority right now is to build several small cosy sheds, where our guests can hibernate in, on those cold rainy days.
But the vision remains the same:
We want to offer a wonderful bonding experience for all our guests, by creating a safe environment, where they can play and connect with our many adorable animals.
5 years have gone by and we are now celebrating our 15th birthday, that is marked for the 11th of June.
We reminisce over the many wonderful experinces; the busy days as well as the quiet days on the farm.
Concerning the new buildings, we are glad to report that our indoor barn is a great success. At the end of the open season, all the stalls in the barn are prepared to house our many species of animals. Each animal is thoroughly inspected and joined with the other animals in the barn
Our grown horses go out for their daily run during the winter, but all the other animals remain in the barn until spring. In the spring, the animals are once again thoroughly inspected and groomed before they are released into the fields. Once they have all been released into the fields, the barn is totally cleaned and disinfected. The floors are swept and the windows are washed. And then huge bales of straw, ropes, slides and scooters are brought into the barn, transforming it into a wonderful play area, that is a favourite spot for many children, especially on cold rainy days.
Scout groups and other smaller groups requested us to allow them to pitch their tents here for a night or two. These requests inspired us to build our jungle campsite, whish consists of 5 pallet cabins, a beam house equipped with a kitchenette and an open fireplace with tables and benches.
We are happy to report that the Jungle Campsite is a great success and has been used by scouts, schools, large famly groups, nuclear families as well as for corporate events.
Many of our staying guests enjoy bonding with the animals in the quiet evenings and in the busy mornings, when they get to feed them. Our greatest success story for the Jungle Campsite, must be our many returning guests that have continued to return yearly, since the campsite’s inception.
We have also installed a wonderful house, that we have dubbed, Arnestedet. This is a fully insulated house with a fully functional fireplace. The house is the perfect spot to be in because it is refreshingly cool on those warm days and toasty warm on those cold rainy days! This house is furnished with many tables and benches and is a favourite amongst birthday party holders and group escursionists. Moreover, the house is available for all to use.
In 2011, we added two more toilet facilities to the farm. We think that a lot of people are grateful for these additions.
During this 5 year period, we have experienced a fall in the strength of the Swedish and Norwegian kroners, the introduction of the euro in Germany and the financial crisis, all of which have played a role in the decline of guests from these countries. However, our visitor numbers have been fairly stable, amounting to ca. 45.000 guests per season, thanks to the increase in the number of our danish guests. The number of the family passes sold has increased every year, which shows an interest in the farm and also demonstrated by the many return visits.
We believe that Farm Fun is still greatly sought after, so we will strive to enhance our guests’ experiences on the farm.
In the summer of 2011, we hired our daughter and son in law as part-time employees, to help us in the day to day running of the farm. Additionally, we have interns, and students under apprenticeship, all year round, as well as 4 more employees in the summer.
Our new employees have many ideas concerning the events and activities that can be added to our portfolio. We look forward to testing these ideas out. We believe that Farm Fun is in a season of reinvention.
We are celebrating our 20th anniversary on the 13th of June 2015!
A lot has happened since our last update in 2011. This includes:
Donkey: In the spring 2013, we carried out a survey amongst school pupils and asked them to identify the most delighful animal on Farm Fun. The donkeys got the most votes and thus, our mascot Donkey was born. All the pupils that had been part of the survey were invited to Donkey’s arrival on the farm. All of the came with very high expectations. Anette had written a welcome song for Donkey and after a few practise sessions, the pupils were now ready to welcome Donkey on Farm Fun. They sang out in loud excitement as Donkey stepped out of the trailer. He had brought lollipops with him, that he shared out to all his new friends. The pupils, danced and played around with them. Donkey is now a well known figure, not only on the farm, but also in the city, because he sometimes gets to accompany our staff to some of the social events that happen in the city. Some might remember that he came out to the Cup no.1 footbal tournament in 2013.
”The Children’s Music train” was founded in 2014. Anette sings to the upbeat music played by 2 guitarists and 1 drummer. Together, they create a wonderful atmospere with their music, at events held on Farm Fun or in our neighbouring cities.
Horse carriage rides have been very well recieved. Our horses have walked many kilometers drawing carriages during Christmas and the ”Open by night” events that are frequently held in Skagen, Frederikshavn and Ålbæk.
Kamelen Anker. We welcomed a new animal on the farm. He was our very own adorable Bactrician camel, that many of our guests enjoyed feeding and stroking. Some even got the chance to ride on him. Unfortunately, he was not a very healthy camel and after many counsultations and treatments from Ålborg ZOO, we had to sadly bid him farewell. In the autumn of 2014, we acquired a new camel. He is only 2½ years, so we hope that lives to grow into a healthy, happy camel, leading to a long life.
New plant for the Racoons are located in our small animals department. They seem to really enjoy themselves there.
New Season Pass. We have introduced individual Season Passes, that have picture ids of the onwer. Apart from the few teething problems, we think that it is a good option.
Our Facebook page keeps our followers updated.
Despite the financial crisis, the municipality’s financial problems and hard economic times that has plagued the general public, we are thankful that Farm Fun is still thriving well. Many people host their birthdays, family parties, school escursions, daycare escursions, neighbourhood parties, mommy support group’s yearly meeting, corporate events and many, many more events,right here on the farm. The number of guests staying at our Jungle Campsite increases every year, with many of the guests returning yearly. It is wonderful to see our loyal guests, both local and international, coming to visit us again and again. We have now started to expereince that, the guests that visited us as children, have now started their own families and are bringing their children to experience Farm Fun. They tenderly recount their past experiences on the farm to their children, other guests and to our staff. Our kiosk staff especially enjoy having these trips down memory lane with our guests.
We still have many new ideas we want to implement on the farm. We would also like to bring in new attractions in near future.
But for now, we are looking forward to opening the farm up for the 20th time!
We welcome all our guests with open arms.