Family Farm Activities

  • Farms:

    In this region there are a number of old farms that have been converted into tourist destinations. Some are working farms that offer a couple of activities, others are more like amusement parks. This is an incomplete list.

    Family Farm Glossary:

    Corn Maze: A very large maze created by planting corn in intricate patterns. These mazes are seasonal and are usually different designs each year. Families or groups of older kids will spend hours in a corn maze, sometimes actively trying to get out, sometimes just enjoying their time. Some farms have activities or snack carts inside their mazes to keep customers from getting bored or frustrated. Staff members in towers are available to help direct anyone who gets too lost or is ready to leave.

    Hay Ride: Horses or a tractor pull a cart full of dried grass. The dried grass (hay) serves as cushioned seats for customers to sit on as the cart tours the farm. Young children may get excited about seeing the horse or the tractor itself. Older children and adults enjoy hay rides as a nice way to visit with each other and view the beautiful farmland.

    Petting Zoo: animals that children are allowed to touch. Petting zoos are often organized affairs with hand sanitizer stations, food you can buy to give to the animals, and experienced staff members. A typical petting zoo would have goats, a baby lamb, ducks, chickens, and some rabbits.

    Pick Your Own (PYO): many farms have "Pick Your Own Strawberries" or "Apple Picking" or "U-Pick Pumpkins" as their main attraction. This may be strange for you if you're used to harvesting being the work of laborers, not a fun day trip. At these farms you take your time and pick as much produce as you like, then weigh your basket at the end and pay for it. Families enjoy picking their own fruit in part because it's a nice way to enjoy each other's company in a beautiful, rural setting. The other main reason is that it helps children understand where their food is from, now that most items are purchased in supermarkets. Kids like it because they get to eat what they pick.

    Honeypot Hill:

    Honeypot Hill Orchards in Stow has apple picking, hayrides, mazes, and a farm store. You can buy food to give the farm animals but you may not pet them.

    Shelburne Farm:

    Shelburne Farm has pick-your-own apples, peaches, Asian pears, and pumpkins. Sometimes they also have food trucks and concerts. There are farm animals to look at but not to pet.

    Davis Farmland:

    Davis Farmland in Sterling is a huge complex, more like an amusement park than a farm. They have a petting zoo, games and activities, and a spray park. Right across the street from they have the Davis Mega Maze. For older children and adults, this corn maze is truly elaborate. There are snack stands and activities such as zip lining hidden throughout the maze and summer concerts. There is even a courtyard with a big fire pit and lots of chairs for parents to relax and have a drink while their kids play in the maze. Davis also has a barbecue restaurant right next door.

    Kimball Farm:

    Kimball Farm has several locations in the region, with different offerings at each one. At their Westford location they have mini golf, batting cages, bumper boats, a country store, and ice cream.

    At all its locations, Kimball is known for selling unreasonably large portions of their homemade ice cream. Really, it's a lot of ice cream. Pay attention to the people ahead of you in line and see what their orders look like.

    Drumlin Farm:

    Drumlin Farm in nearby Lincoln is a wildlife sanctuary and working farm. They run nature and farm programs for children and adults, including programs for people with accessibility and/or special needs. They run day camp programs during the summer and offer pick-your-own vegetables and flowers.