Bringing the kids to experience life on a farm isn’t just tons of fun, it’s also super beneficial for the younger generation to connect with the earth (one of the myriad reasons for the uptick in other outdoorsy types of trips like glamping and dude ranches). At an agritourism-oriented property, days unfold while plucking fresh tomatoes from gardens, combing fruit orchards for ripe plums, and learning how to care for animals.
If you’re looking for a nature-centric family vacation that swaps scrolling on iPads for horseback riding (or petting ponies for tots), picnics, and feeding chickens, consider these farm stays that get two green thumbs up from kids and parents.
8 Family-Friendly Farm Stays for Your Next Trip
Just 45 minutes south of Nashville, Southall invites families to experience true Southern hospitality on a 325-acre working farm with heaps of different activities. Little ones will love touring the apple orchards and teetering around old-growth forests, while older kids (and parents) hone new skills like archery, falconry, beekeeping, and axe throwing. The range of rooms, suites, and cottages means families have plenty of comfortable options to rest up after a full day of outdoor adventure.
A short drive from the sandy beaches and nostalgic amusements in Cape May, Beach Plum Farm offers families a more rural escape filled with feeding animals (watching the joy on kids’ faces as chickens peck seed out of their palms is priceless), collecting eggs, harvesting vegetables from the garden, and recharging in cozy cottages. Educational experiences include beekeeping and flower arranging in season. The farm-to-table dinners are a major standout, too.
Vermont certainly isn’t lacking in pastoral properties. What makes Liberty Hill Farm stand out from the pack? Well, for starters, it’s a green agritourism OG with nearly 40 years of fine-tuning its hospitality chops. A stay at this family-run dairy farm presents opportunities to milk cows, bottle-feed calves, chow down on homemade food (don’t miss Beth’s famous cheese rolls), go hiking in Green Mountain National Forest, and snooze inside the historic, 1825-built Greek Revival main house.
Open April through October (aka the ultimate spot for a hands-on summer vacation), Fort Lewis Lodge & Farm is a 3,300-acre working farm in Bath County. Each day begins with a hearty breakfast and ends with a lovingly prepared dinner, guaranteeing guests have plenty of substance to fuel up for swimming, kayaking, tubing, and bass fishing on the Cowpasture River, plus hiking, biking, collecting eggs, and picking fresh produce. When it’s time to crash, rustic cabins with all the comforts of home await.
Yearning to trade concrete for greener pastures? Ideal for a long weekend getaway from New York City that doesn’t require a full day in the car with young kids, Stony Creek Farmstead is an organic farm located less than three hours from the Big Apple. It’s the perfect place to get your hands dirty collecting eggs, milking cows, and foraging for wild berries. Because all those agricultural activities are sure to work up an appetite, refuel with brick-oven pizza before hitting the hay in a spacious glamping tent that sleeps six.
First homesteaded way back in 1862, Leaping Lamb Farm in Alsea, Oregon combines fresh air, arcadian charm, and history. Guests are encouraged to join in on the farm chores such as filling water buckets, distributing hay, and collecting eggs. Of course, it’s not all work. Play takes the form of hiking, splashing in the creek, cuddling with barn cats, and stargazing. Overnight guests get to shack up in a self-catering farmhouse that’s equipped with a stocked kitchen, in-unit washer/dryer, and six bedrooms.
Does your family’s dream vacation involve seeking out peace and quiet on a tree-studded open air farm? Book a few days at Philo Apple Farm in Nothern California. Besides picking—and inevitably chomping on—different varietals of crisp, juicy apples and sipping cider, visitors have the chance to help harvest field crops like organic bi-color corn, bottle-feed goats, marvel at tractors (OK, that’s more for the younger set), and take cooking lessons. The cottage even comes with twin beds to accommodate LOs.
While we understand Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, a five-star Relais & Châteaux property in Portugal’s Alentejo region, requires a lot more traveling to reach than the rest of our picks, it’s just too magical not to spotlight. Nature lovers of all ages can ride horses, meet goats, and enjoy picnics full of delicious hyper-local products—notably juicy fruit, honey, and olive oil. Babysitting services are available if you’d like to taste estate-made wines or have dinner at the award-winning restaurant without the kiddos.