Travel through a Kid's Eye

Farm Stays: Greener Acres for Your Family

No matter how stressed your existence is and how active your toddlers, a farm vacation sends you home rejuvenated. Children experience the simple pleasures of the farm, from gathering eggs to riding on a tractor, while parents can go exploring or antiquing, or just swing on the front porch. You'll share home-cooked meals with your host family, tranquil and quiet evenings, and early bedtimes.

The farm you select should offer a full range of activities for both you and your children. Spend time interviewing potential host families by phone; you'll be spending a lot of time together, so a good personality fit is important. also, try to choose a family whose kinds match yours in age.
North America has anumber of first-rate farm stays. Since 1820, eight generations have operated Bluffdale Vacation Farm (Eldred, IL 217.983.2854). Set on 320 acres of rolling countryside near the Illinois River, it offers hayrides, canoeing, horseback riding, and paddleboating. Farm holidays, including meals and activities, start at $72 per day for adults and $48 per day for children.

Family Circle magazine has named Harvey's Mountain View Inn and Farm (Rochester, VT 802.767.4273) one of the top ten farm vacations int he United States. Founded in 1809, and has been serving guests since 1900. Families enjoy fishing, swimming, and pony rides in summer, and cross-country skiing in winter. The cost per day, including two meals, is $65 per person for adults and $35 for children; toddlers under 2 are free.

At Ingeberg Acres (Weston, WV 304.269.2834), a 450-acre working family farm, children can feed and care for the livestock or pick fresh vegetables and berries. The price is a bargain: a double room for adults is just $59, single $39. Children under 6 share the same room for free. Hunting and fishing are popular and there are crafts fairs nearby.

Established in 1834, the Inn at East Hill Farm, 460 Monadnock St (Troy, NH 800.242.6495. has operated as a resort since 1945. In 1997, the New Hampshire Hospitality Association named the proprietor "Innkeeper of the Year." This year-round country retreat offers excellent hiking trails, swimming, hay rides, horseback riding, waterskiing, and boating. In winter, there's skiing, ice skating, and sleigh rides. One week's lodging and meals start at $510 per adult and $365 for children.

The owners of remote Mountain Dale Farm (McClure, PA 717.658.3536) treat you like family. The farm dates back to the late 1800s and is home to goats, chickens, roosters, ducks, and kittens. There's boating and fishing on the Susquehanna river. A forest cabin for four costs $80 and the farm is open year-round.

Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 29 Aug 2001 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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