I took my three boys to The Friendly Farm today, and they had an absolutely amazing time. Despite the size, this small hands-on farmyard has quite a lot to offer children.
My boys are 6, 4 and 14 months so I’m in need of finding a facility that can stimulate three different ages. When I pulled into the parking lot at The Friendly Farm this morning and saw the smaller size, I was afraid that there wouldn’t be enough to keep their interest but my goodness… we stayed for three hours and my two older children could very well have stayed for longer if it weren’t for the fact that my 1-year-old was in desperate need of a nap.
Upon entrance, you pay the fee ($7.50 for adults and $6.50 for children 1+. If you can get a group of 15+ paying people, you can get a group discount rate of $5.00 per person. Just give them a call ahead of time). After paying, you can push through the gate and you’re in! My boys were literally jumping up and down even before we stepped foot into the farm.
You can purchase a bag of grain to feed the goats and sheep for $1.00. The bags are of a fairly good size. Just beware: the goats are incredibly greedy and like to bombard you! My son lost his bag to the ground and had about seven or eight goats lunging toward it at the same time. Thank goodness he thought this was hilarious. The goats and sheep are in their own pen but you are welcome into most of the pens with the animals. You can feed them and pet them. Beyond the goats and sheep, they also had calves (my children got to feed one a bottle of milk), horses, pigs (two piglets born three weeks ago, too), Llamas, and bunnies. They had roosters that were let free to roam the grounds and it was amazing to me how close you could get to them.
The chicken house was a favorite of my family. They have chickens of all different types, ages, and sizes. There was a chick hatching from an egg – amazing to actually see it trying to slowly poke its way out. They had an area of small chicks that you could hold. We visited this chicken house three times today!
There was a building where the bunnies lived at The Friendly Farm today as well. You were welcome to walk into their room and pet them (you were just asked not to hold them in your arms). In this same building was a small area where a DVD was playing about the farmyard and there were crayons, markers, and paper upon a table for the children to draw their farmyard experiences with. You could then use the tape provided and tape their pictures to the wall along with all the other pictures that children had made throughout the day.
There were toilets that you could use (kind of like a port-o-potty) and I did notice hand sanitizer on the floor. I also appreciated the fact that there was a hand washing station with a water faucet and soap provided. I also noticed, that although there were goat and sheep droppings on the ground, The Friendly Farm was quite clean. There are a great number of animals here so I would definitely expect there to be some messes but the staff does a great job of cleaning up after the animals.
Bring along a snack or a lunch as there are plenty of picnic tables that you can use.
For more information, here’s their site: