As the weather cools off and the air fills with the scent of fresh apples and pumpkin spice, educational fun farms open their gates for exploration. It’s a great way to get your kiddos outdoors, experience the country life, pick apples, learn about farming processes and so much more. We often visit between two and three per weekend throughout the season.
If you’re planning on visiting a fun farm with your kids, here are some things to keep in mind before venturing out:
(1) Check age appropriateness.
Some farms are designed to educate school-age children while others target pre-schoolers. Depending on the ages of your kids, you’ll want to assess the farm’s offerings to ensure it’s a fit for your family. With so many options, just outside most major cities, it’s a good idea to visit the ones that make the most sense for you
(2) Don’t bother with picnics.
Although a lot of families like to pack up snacks and coffees for their weekend jaunts, most farms we visited have strict policies about bringing in food and beverages. You’re encouraged to support the local farm you’re visiting by visiting their snack bars and coffee shops. So don’t waste time packing up those granola bars and sandwiches. There’s likely “no outside food or drink.”
(3) Bring a change of clothes – especially pants, socks and shoes.
Depending on what you’re doing after the farm visit, you’ll want to be prepared. Some are mucky, sandy and damp (which is all part of the fun). We recommend bringing some extra sweat pants and dry socks for the car ride home. Even on dry fall days, your kids will likely get into the corn mazes, sand boxes and petting zoos (hello goat and rabbit poop)
(4) Look at online photos.
I’m not saying you have to do an extensive amount of online research before heading to a fun farm, but know what you’re getting into. We visited one place where the ducks, rabbits, geese and goats roamed free among the play structures. It will all supposed to be apart of the unique experience. My issue with that, as a mom to two toddlers (one of whom still crawls up stairs and onto toy trains and such) is that they’re on their hands and knees a lot. There was POO everywhere! By the time we left, there was bird fecal matter on all of our shoes and pants. It didn’t deter the kids from having fun but I was grossed out. So check out how the amenities are laid out.
(5) Baby carrier over stroller.
If you’re bringing an infant and you’re debating between bringing the baby carrier or the stroller, we recommend the carrier. Most farm terrain isn’t designed for strollers and although your baby might nap better in a stroller, chances are you won’t actually be doing that much walking. You’ll end up pushing the stroller back and forth over rough terrain which could end up keeping the baby awake. Most families we saw ended up carrying the baby around. So go for the carrier!
There you have it — five simple tips that could make your experience with the fun farms that much more enjoyable.
If you’ve got ideas to share with our fellow travellers, send us a note so we can share your advice with everyone in the community!