We visited Ponderosa on a very hot day in May to visit the animals and playgrounds. The last time we visited Ponderosa several years ago back when the Hiccups Family Fun Days were just starting out. It was nice to go back and see the improvements that have been made and to bring a number of new families there.
The Ponderosa Rural Therapeutic Centre was established by a group of people who wanted to help bridge the gap between disabled and able bodied people.
For us, the size of Ponderosa was just right. It meant that you didn’t feel like you were missing anything out. You got to see everything and the children still got a lovely play in the playgrounds (the boat and sand area was a firm favourite with my children. We spend a fair amount of our day there digging holes and burying legs. The 18 month old managed to find a sandy puddle and proceeded to play there for a very long time, delighting in sitting down and splashing in this puddle. She was down to her nappy by the end of the day. To me – always a sign of a good day out with the kids! For a hot weekend day you never felt that it was overly crowded either. It was certainly busy as you would expect for such a fantastic venue but, for someone who is not keen on crowds, it was never uncomfortable.
We missed the ponies as it had been decided that the day was too hot for them to be doing pony rides. It was a little disappointing but refreshing to see a place taking the animal’s welfare into consideration in this way and to be honest, we wouldn’t want it any other way.
So that there was always a space available for the families should they need it, Little Hiccups hired out the Lakeside Restaurant which could hold 50 people. It was available for lunch or for a quiet space if needed. It just meant that families could relax a little bit more at lunchtime and I took the opportunity to catch up with a few families and grab a few photos. Which is always nice as sometimes on events like this you can sometimes not bump into many. Having this meeting spot was certainly helpful.