Even though it’s cold outside, we took a trip to visit The Farm at Gardner Village. This small farm is next to the west parking area and has the friendliest workers and volunteers. Everyone was so helpful and kind as they told us about the animals that live at the farm.
The Farm at Gardner Village is special because they are a non-profit working farm that rescues animals and brings them to this small petting farm. The Farm has horses, pigs, bunnies, chickens, ducks, cows, goats, alpacas, and a turkey.
We began our experience by taking a pony ride. The pony ride begins at the farm, but it walks right through Gardner Village. I tagged along with my four year-old, and he loved riding the sweet pony. I even got to lead the pony for a minute while the worker had to clean up some droppings off the road. Your kids will definitely want a pony ride, especially if they see other kids riding.
Then we walked through the farm. The workers walked with us, and talked with us about the animals as we went. They told us their names, and a little bit about them such as how old they were, or how long they had been at The Farm at Gardner Village. All of the animals were so friendly and loved being petted. You can go right in the pens with a lot of the animals which made the trip so much fun. My four-year old was in heaven as he got to follow the turkey around, but he wasn’t so sure about the sheep trying to eat his coat.
We loved petting the sheep, and the 3 week-old calf. He was so playful and wanted to lick everything. The alpacas fur was definitely the softest. We spent about an hour walking through the farm and learning about the animals.
Entrance to the farm is $5/child and $5/pony ride. During January-April, they have $2 Tuesdays. You can get into the farm for $2, and ride the pony for $2. They didn’t charge the adults anything, just the children. They also said you can buy as many $2 passes as you want and use them on other days throughout the year. They operate their farm purely on donations, so you can always donate more than they ask. During the winter, the hours are 12-5 pm, but check on Facebook for current hours.
After we walked through The Farm at Gardner Village, we headed over to the bridge in the middle of the village shops. We saw the fish hanging out at the bottom of the water, and we also fed the ducks. Next to the shop, you can buy duck food for a quarter. The ducks ran to us as soon as they heard us turn the quarter. They know what that sounds means! It was another fun way to interact with animals, and if you don’t want to pay for all your kids to go into the farm, you can always feed the ducks for a few quarters.
Tips for Families:
- Wear old shoes or boots. We went in January and the ground was muddy from the snow, and also covered with animal droppings. Definitely don’t wear your favorite shoes.
- Bring a few quarters to feed the ducks by the Gardner Village bridge.
- If you go on $2 Tuesdays in the winter, dress for the weather. You will be outside, so we wore gloves, boots, and coats in January.
- Ask questions. The more questions I asked, the more they told me, so don’t be afraid to ask about the animals.
- Consider rounding up your entrance fee as this is a non-profit organization.