Especially as families become more interested in healthy eating, taking a family farm vacation permits some leisure time and learning time together. From highly-organized activities to laissez-faire leniency, farms in many parts of the country welcome guests on a nightly, weekend or weekly basis.
Most offer you and members of your family the opportunity to participate in farm chores—or relax and forget them. Farm vacation styles vary from those who welcome tag-along spectators at chore time to those who will help get your children up and ready to give the baby calf his bottle while you snooze.
Here are some of our favorite family farm vacations to plan your next vacation. This is an ideal opportunity to learn about small farms and farm animals. Many farms also are close to fun activities like wine and cheese tours, historic websites, casinos or sport venues.
At PA FarmStay you’ll discover profiles 19 farms all over the state of Pennsylvania. Sorting strategies address major concerns: location and amenities, along with a “by animal” search tool that will appeal to any family with a goat-loving child. A chart of all participating farms makes it easy to compare amenities, which can range from swimming to horseback riding to handicap access and the kinds of pets welcome. For those whose family farm vacation is a romantic weekend-for-two or an “everyone come join us” hunting trip, searches include a variety of housing options and address whether children are welcome.
Visit this family farm vacation website http://www.pafarmstay.com
Liberty Hill Farm
You’ll be pleased to know this working dairy farm in the Green Mountain area of Vermont has been designated Vermont’s first Green Agritourism enterprise. The well-organized website includes a history of the farm, which was established in 1780 and makes it clear that interactions between farmers and guests are frequent and family-style. Accommodations are within the large farmhouse and two meals, breakfast and dinner, are part of the family farm vacation package (sample menus are included). The website offers farm activities and tourist websites within easy reach, including Cabot Cheese and Green Mountain National Park. A relatively new and unique vacation feature is Dairy Farm Camp for children.
Visit this family farm vacation website http://www.libertyhillfarm.com/
Visit this Virginia family farm vacation website and you’ll find it begins with a clear statement that occasionally farm concerns will take precedence over those of guests, although the overall tone of the website is warm and hospitable. Packages can be tailored to include breakfast or breakfast and dinner, although space is not given to meal specifics. Rooms are in the farmhouse and appear in photos on the website. Family farm vacation packages include weddings, a traditional farm stay with chores, craft workshops and special events. A good area link list includes recreational pursuits ranging from Colonial Williamsburg to nature trails to the South Boston Speedway. Family farm vacation packages include Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations.
Visit this family farm website http://www.cornerstonefarm.net
This Northern Catskills website assumes that a family farm vacation includes moderate to high levels of structured activities. Catering to over 1000 visitors a year, the Hull-O Farm website emphasizes escape from the hectic pace of city living. Emphasis on “hands on” experiences signals the teaching approach of staff to both children and adults; those who have not interacted with farm animals before are given clear directions and support for their efforts. The teaching focus of the farm probably accounts as well for the higher-than-usual number of items on the structured activities list: bonfires, hayrides, a fall corn maze, badminton and kite-flying. Meals are labeled all-you-can-eat, a familiar description to those who have visited Catskill hotels and lodges in the past. Links lead visitors to Saratoga Gaming and Racing, Hudson River boat cruises, and water parks as well as natural websites.
Visit this family farm website www.hull-o.com
Briar Rose Farm
Anyone looking for a family farm vacation will be pleased to find Briar Rose Farm, located between Asheville and Hot Springs NC. They take a laid-back approach to the family farm vacation. Offering cabins, the website emphasizes the kind of privacy appropriate for couples, and guests are invited to explore the farm without any specific directions. Local links direct visitors to educational, cultural and entertainment activities, including dining, off the farm. Cabins feature kitchens, hot tubs, and fire pits. Services from a local massage therapist can be arranged.
Visit this family farm website www.briarrosefarm.com
East Hill Farm
East Hill Farm offers a high level of participatory activity to those choosing a family farm vacation in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. The website abounds with programs and organized activities, is easy to navigate and will appeal to families wanting to make certain they have lots to do. The website quotes a 1:2 staff/guest ratio and takes on additional staff for special programs. The website’s family farm vacation definition expands to include senior citizens, square-dancers and scouts. Website visitors will find a wealth of both day and night activities and, as the website indicates, can expect an active visit.
Visit this family farm website http://www.east-hill-farm.com/
The Valley Food and Farm Guide of Vital Communities provides profiles of 2 dozen New Hampshire farms that offer family farm vacations. Links to individual farm websites let visitors explore activities and accommodations. Other parts of the website explain the community development aspects of Vital Communities, including its organic CSA/farm share organization and the links made between farms, markets, schools, and other institutions. Of particular appeal is the local history curriculum offered to website visitors and family farm vacationers. Valley Quest offers educational treasure-hunts to tourists and schools alike, and samples of the program are available on the website. This website also offers information about internships and volunteer opportunities available to young people and adults in the CSA program.
Visit this family farm website http://www.vitalcommunities.org/agriculture/onlineguide/quicksrch.cfm?get=Overnight%20Farm%20Stays