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Farm Trips Offer Grassroots Entertainment

by Carley Wade

Nov 6, 2017

© Andor Bujdoso | Dreamstime

Listicles

Imagine the adventure of collecting eggs and then eating them for breakfast, or milking a cow and then drinking it with home-baked cookies. It’s what’s in store during a farm vacation, where kids put down the Nintendo Switch and give rustic, all-inclusive resorts like The Inn at East Farm in Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire, two thumbs up. While your brood will enjoy accommodations with mini-fridges, TVs, one- to three-bedroom cottages and three- to five-bedroom houses, most of the fun includes getting up close and personal with the great outdoors on 150 acres where heritage breed cows, goats, pigs, horses and more are raised. It’s a veritable petting zoo, with the added fun of tractor rides, mountain hikes, campfires and board games. There’s even activities in winter, like skating, cross-country skiing and horse-drawn sleigh rides, although most families vacation here during specially planned activity weeks during summer school furloughs and long weekends. Homeschool your kids? You might enjoy immersive two- and four-night stays for you and pupils ages 10–17 to interact with others in the same row boat in the on-site lake.

Boy petting goat on farm

Photo: Redpepper1982 | Dreamstime

 

If getting away from it all, the Catskills may be calling at Stone & Thistle Farm. Opt for the farmhouse

Taro farm, Waipio Valley, Island of Hawaii, Hawaii

Taro farm, Waipio Valley. Photo: Glenn Hartz | Dreamstime

accommodations, or really get into the spirit of living out on the prairie in a rustic wooden cabin, and reserve Farmer for a Day tours to help move sheep with border collies, prepare and savor a farm lunch and tend animals in a way that won’t get your goat.

 

Pennsylvania gets in on the game with the PA Farm Vacation Association, a collection of bed and breakfasts on farms and farmhouses with accommodations spread throughout the entire state; you’ll not only see how maple syrup, wine, fruit, honey and vegetables are made, but get to taste the spoils.

 

What would parenthood be without a strong cup of coffee in the morning, and Holualoa Inn in Hawai’i’s got that covered in spades. Much more than a traditional farm vacation, the working java estate is location on 30 acres also dotted with fruit trees like papaya and pineapple, and dazzling flowers.

 

A bit further afield, the U.K.’s fully embraced a natural high with Lakes District experiences communing with the outdoors. At Brown Horse Inn, for example, guests meet owner Steven Edmonson and lend a hand with organic farming of vegetables, tending animals and even pluck pheasants. All meals feature what’s produced on-site including homemade bacon, eggs and sausage at breakfast. Or, opt for a bit of complimentary relaxation too and head to the nearby Low Wood Spa and Leisure Club.

Child playing on villa terrace during Italian holiday. Family traveling in Toscana

Photo: Famveldman | Dreamstime

 

While Britain may not be renowned for its culinary options — farm experiences withstanding — Italy’s a natural fit for foodies, and there’s plenty of food for thought at Fattoria Barbialla Nuova in Tuscany. The working farm produces figs, wild herbs, cherries and more, with rare chianine cattle. Plus there’s bee-keeping courses and truffle hunting. But don’t worry, you won’t have to get your hands too dirty — unless pasta and bread-making lessons are your thing.

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