Plantasia is Swansea local treasure. At least for our #ActuallyAutistic family. It has everything we want most in our fun adventures. Plantasia is a mix between a giant terrarium and a small zoo, located right in the heart of downtown beautiful, sunny Swansea, Wales.
First of all, it is walkable distance from our #HomeCrazzyHome. This means that we usually enjoy the twenty-minute to half-an-hour stroll down there. If we are in the mood, the longer route takes us along the boardwalk and beach. Even past our beloved Joe’s Ice Cream Parlor. Otherwise, we head straight through downtown. Most often these days, PanKwake is so tired that she opts to take a taxi back, but at least she always has the option of walking.
The second most loved feature is smaller crowds. When I said it was a local treasure, I should have added ‘little known.’ Of course, during school breaks and on weekends, it can get a bit more packed than we like. But during term time, we can have practically the whole place to ourselves. Perhaps a handful of toddlers and their parents or the occasional class, but it really is quiet.
If that is not enough to recommend it, it is weatherproof. This in-door facility is mostly warm and dry, no matter the season of the year. Because as anyone who knows Swansea knows, that bit about ‘beautiful, sunny Swansea’ was completely tongue-in-cheek.
The facility offers a variety of flora and fauna to explore. You can see a real lemon tree, cacti, and even a pineapple bush. Did you know that pineapples don’t grow on trees, but at ground level on bushes? I didn’t, until this…
You can also see cocoa trees, Venus flytraps, and even poisonous plants.
The animals are probably the biggest drawback. Being a small facility, Plantasia does not have the capacity to offer the most ideal of living conditions for them. The enclosures harken back to earlier days with steel bars and in the case of the meerkats, too small a colony. Nonetheless, the staff does their best for the animals.
The other issue with Plantasia is that it is not as good value for the money as Folly Farm or Heatherton. On average, we spend only about half-an-hour there. Even at a leisurely pace with snapping hundreds of photos, the whole thing could be covered in just a couple of hours. But combined with a nice lunch, some shopping, and the castle, it could be a nice family day out.
Oh, and I took all those photos there myself this weekend. I plan to go back without PanKwake some rainy day and spend lots of time photographing the whole thing.