6 Places to Take the Kids for a Farm Stay
Children will love milking goats, collecting eggs and exploring open pastures during a farm stay vacation.
Fall is a great time to pack up the car and head out to the country for a farm stay as a family. Kids will love milking cows, feeding chickens and playing catch with farm dogs. Roam the wide-open pastures or enjoy a morning sunrise from a farmhouse porch. Here are six of our favorite working farms to explore with your farmers-in training. For even more options, check out Farm Stay US to search for farms in every state.
1. Toddy Pond Farm, Maine
Whether feeding acorns to the pigs, picking wild blueberries or collecting eggs from the chicken coop, little ones will love exploring what’s around the next corner at Toddy Pond Farm, a 500+ acre working dairy farm in Monroe, Maine. Kids can watch as cows are milked and visit with sheep, goats, pigs and rabbits. Relax in the charming cottage (a renovated hunting cabin dating back to the 1940s) and take in picture perfect views of Toddy Pond and surrounding pastures from the screened porch. Stop in the farm store for grass-fed meats and a scoop of ice cream from the creamery. From $195 per night.
2. Verdant View Farm, Pennsylvania
Set in the heart of Lancaster County’s Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Verdant View Farm is a fourth-generation working farm with cows, goats, chickens and a playful farm dog named Scooby. Kids will bounce out of bed each morning to join the farm hands at 7:30 am to bottle feed baby calves, milk the goats and feed the chickens. Enjoy a family-style farm breakfast before joining one of several hands-on workshops that teach guests skills like artisan cheesemaking and how to make soap from goat’s milk. In the afternoon, wave to the engineer as the steam train rolls by along the Strasburg Rail Road. From $79 per night.
3. Leaping Lamb Farm, Oregon
At Leaping Lamb Farm in Alsea, Oregon, guests can be as hands-on as they want to be. Collect eggs, feed the animals or simply relax and watch the day go by from the wrap-around porch of the farm cottage. Make your stay educational with a walking farm tour that will teach kids about the likes of organic farming and crop rotation. Walk along the forest trails that criss-cross the property and hunt for mushrooms. Kids will want to brush Paco, the miniature Sicilian donkey on the farm. He even has his own book called Paco, the Dusty Donkey. From $175 per night.
4. Dogwood Hills Guest Farm, Arkansas
Your days will be full from the moment you wake up in the ranch-style farmhouse at Dogwood Hills Guest Farm in Harriet, Arkansas. Join in for morning chores, like milking cows and feeding the animals, before setting out on a family hike across 40 acres of wooded trails. In the evening, settle into a rocking chair on the deck for sunset, or later, a sky full of stars. Dogwood Hills Guest Farm offers a variety of farm stay packages with extras like breakfast with the farmhands and a float trip along the Buffalo National River. From $175 per night.
5. ABC Acres, Montana
Situated in the scenic Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana, ABC Acres is an organic, sustainable farm that focuses on making healthier food choices available. Explore the property with a self-guided walking map to see farm animals, like cows and chickens, out in the open pasture. Grab a fishing pole and see what you can catch in the Bitterroot River or sign up for a farm tour for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on each day at the farm. Enjoy nearby mountain biking, fly fishing and horseback riding, as well as snowmobiling in the winter. From $160 per night.
6. Rocky Acre Farm, Pennsylvania
Rocky Acre Farm in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania is a 200-year old dairy farm that has a lot to offer children, whether they want to ride on a miniature horse, gather chicken eggs or take a spin on the barrel train. There are plenty of animals to feed too, like goats and calves, as well as a magical playhouse to explore. As a Bed and Breakfast, Rocky Acre Farm has nine different rooms and suites. The largest can sleep up to seven. In the morning, get ready for a bountiful family-style breakfast of pancakes, homemade preserves, sausages and fresh fruits. From $139 per night.