Lifestyle

[Review] IOI City Farm Indoor Entertainment Center at IOI City Mall

On August 23, we had a chance to visit IOI City Farm, an entertainment concept inside IOI City Mall.

Built over two floors, the space spans 18,000 square feet with three zones, Greenland (indoor garden), Little Rimba (pet zoo) and Freshwater World (aquarium).

During our trip, we couldn’t help but notice the difference between IOI City Farm’s 3-in-1 experience and other popular tourist attractions that exist in Malaysia, such as Farm In The City, Aquaria and the tours. visit other farms we’ve been to.

Here’s how they all differ.

1. There are many types of plants and concepts that grow in one space

Entering the IOI City Farm, we were greeted through Greenland, where we were greeted with the focal point of the attraction known as the Green Glades.

Other exhibits include the Vertical Garden for Herbs, the Orchard for the Orchard, and the Urban Farm that uses the concept of aquaponics to grow edible greens.

Further afield, there are more plant species to be seen at Teeny Weeny Forest with small terrariums with different types of cacti and cacti.

IOI City Farm’s indoor garden concept stands out in how it incorporates 70 different species of plants, grown using different growing methods.

It is unlike other farm tours and experiences in Malaysia, which tend to specialize in one type of product or one type of farming method.

2. It’s more of a visual walk than a comprehensive educational farm tour

While Greenland has some informative displays to read about indoor garden plants, we found their educational piece to be lacking.

For example, Urban Farm grows edible greens (like your typical salad greens) on two plant towers above the water, with a water wheel decorating the garden plant in the middle.

This implies that it uses the technique of growing aquaponics, but it lacks educational material for users to read or learn about the concept.

Compared to a melon farm in Malaysia that my colleagues visited, Mono Premium Melon, they were taken on an in-depth farm tour by the group themselves.

Here, they were exposed to IoT and other agritech systems that have supported the growing and harvesting of Japanese musketeers in the Malaysian climate.

This farm tour is offered as a free service to those who have purchased a muskrat from Mono Premium Melon.

A similar idea is also implemented by an urban farm called Fresh Growcer located at 1 Utama. It allows customers who have purchased their vegetables online to visit the farm and be taken on a tour to learn about the aeroponics growing system that helps produce thrive.

3. You cannot harvest your own produce to take home

In most farm tour experiences, the valuable benefit of visiting the site is that you often get to harvest your own produce to take home as a souvenir.

According to our experience at Mono Premium Melon, visitors will be able to manually harvest the melons hand-selected by the team for the best quality after the tour.

For Fresh Growcer, visitors can harvest their own fruits and vegetables.

This is something that is yet to be made available in IOI City Farm’s Greenland, although we’re not sure if the current infrastructure will allow this concept in the future.

4. Small terrestrial animals kept in floor-to-ceiling glass cabinets

Passing through the galleries in Greenland, we entered Little Rimba, IOI City Farm’s foster zoo. Personally, before visiting the farm, I wondered how the ventilation system of the mall would minimize the smell of animals as we are accustomed to in outdoor zoos.

I’m not really excited to find out the answer. Small land animals such as black-tailed prairie dogs, Patagonian cats, Bengal cats, raccoons, meerkats, chickens and peacocks are housed in glass cabinets.

The overhead vents help circulate the air, so we can’t detect the smell of feces or the musky scent of wildlife.

Compared to Farm In The City, an outdoor petting zoo in Seri Kembangan, animals such as alpacas, raccoons, chickens, and more, are all housed in a privately supervised outdoor environment that simulates the environment. a more natural habitat for them.

5. It is limited in the animal breeds shown

To be fair to IOI City Farm, they are limited to one indoor space, so only small animals can fit in its crates.

This is something the mall is also being transparent about, sharing on its “about” page that visitors will be able to find cute little animals and interact with them.

Compared to Farm In The City, which has more land, the outdoor petting zoo simply has the privilege of providing larger animals, including the Dinosaur Turtle, into its park.

6. What kind of animals you can keep are pets that have become popular

In addition to the above, visitors at Farm In The City are also allowed into the controlled habitat to interact and feed the animals with the supervision of park rangers.

Of course, the IOI City Farm has elements of this, though only for smaller animals like guinea pigs and rabbits, which visitors can keep as pets anyway.

Chicks and ducklings can also be held with the supervision of the park’s zoologists.

Little Rimba is an attempt to give visitors, especially children, some level of interaction with the animals, although it has limitations in a small space.

7. In space, there are actual experts you can talk to

For the benefit of IOI City Farm, the park has experts including zoologists, botanists and aquarists around the space to help answer any questions visitors have about the animals, plants and aquatic life.

However, to get the most out of your visit, it seems likely that you’ll have to start a conversation with these experts first, as they seem to be quite busy observing the crowds.

On the other hand, at other outdoor zoos like Farm In The City, you often see rangers mostly during feeding or training, and only in specific enclosures.

8. Its aquarium has only freshwater creatures

A similar point about the lack of animal diversity is also carried over to Freshwater World.

As the name suggests, only freshwater creatures can be found in IOI City Farm’s aquarium featuring amur sturgeon, kelah, arapaima, etc.

However, there are some marine life found here in stand-alone displays, such as crabs and stingrays.

For example, in larger oceans like Aquaria, there are larger types of creatures divided into sections around the exhibit, separating marine fish, freshwater fish, deep sea creatures, and others.

9. While there are educational screens, they mainly consist of basic puzzles

Looking into the recreational aspects of Freshwater World, the aquatic exhibit includes interactive Ponds where visitors can feed guppies and gently raise small koi and fish.

There are also information screens that tell you about the fish species, their habitat, their diet, and their lifespan. In addition, there are aquarists flying around the area.

While a bit more in-depth than what you’ll find in the Greenland and Little Rimba sites, they’re still not as informative as the displays you’ll find in places like Aquaria.

For example, Aquaria has something called the Evolution Zone, which contains interesting facts scattered around the exhibit with artifacts and information for visitors to learn about.

These include aspects such as the evolutionary biology of a species, history, and interesting facts about a particular organism. These are scattered throughout the aquarium, allowing visitors to spontaneously pick up small tidbits of ocean life as they explore space.

10. There will be seminars on insect taxonomy, plant care, etc. in the future

During the media launch of IOI City Farm, they shared their plans to hold workshops where visitors can learn about plants and fish care, and even take classes on taxonomy. coincide.

It is a way for visitors to actively engage and learn in a more engaging way, as it is taught in a classroom with a more focused topic throughout the session.

IOI City Farm even has a dedicated space for these workshops. Before entering Little Rimba, we noticed a cove called The Barn with tables and chairs. It could be a venue for future seminars, in addition to providing a rest stop for those who may need it.

– // –

Understandably, IOI City Farm has limited space as it is an attraction in a mall, not a standalone attraction, so it has to choose its battles in services that it places in each area.

What’s more unique about it is the 3-in-1 experience offered, which serves as a fun, introductory learning experience about plants, small animals, and aquatic life.

Kids have the ideal target demographic, and with IOI City Farm’s location within IOI City Mall, it’s much easier and more convenient for families to make the trip.

Educational and fun trips can be arranged on the same day as grocery shopping, with fees ranging from RM37-RM58.

  • Read our other IOI City Farm article here.
  • Learn more about IOI City Farm here.

All image credits: Vulcan Post

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