With kids out of school, summertime can be tough when trying to come up with ways to keep your children occupied and entertained. One of the things I absolutely love doing, is taking my kid to farms where we get to pick our own produce and learn about farm animals. She gets to be close to nature, learn about where food comes from, and gets to spend a whole day playing outside. Alstede Farms is a place we frequent with my friends who have kids, and the place never disappoints.
You will find acres upon acres of farm land, apple orchards, fields of peach trees, green houses, farm animal petting zoos, a gift shop, ice cream stand, and a big play area for kids.
You would start the visit by purchasing your entrance bracelet and get on line for the tractor ride. The tractor brings you to each picking area where you get about 30 minutes to pick your fruits and veggies. You may choose to stay longer if you wished of course, but 30 minutes of gathering at each station, and with children is plenty! You would be surprised how much of a workout a day at a farm can be.
Once we paid for all the stuff we picked, we got ice cream and slushies at the ice cream stand and did some shopping at the gift store.
The rest of the day was spent feeding and playing with the farm animals. The farm has a large petting zoo area where visitors may purchase food pellets and feed the animals directly from their hands. My daughter loves playing with goats and will literally spend all her change spoiling the babies.
The petting area has horses, donkeys, cows, goats, even fluffy bunnies and alpacas!
There are also gated animals you cannot touch, such as geese and chickens, but they are still fun to observe.
As for actual picking options, the loot rotates with the seasons.
During the summer time, the farm will have lots of berries available such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The farm will also have veggies like snap peas, which were SO unbelievably sweet.
In the fall Alstede offers apple pickings, pumpkin picking, and various Halloween activities for kids.
In the store you may purchase fresh items like herbs, cucumbers, asparagus, planting seeds, fresh baked apple cider doughnuts (which I HIGHLY recommend you buy!), apple cider, and sustainably raised meats.
These are some of the things I brought home from this past visit and as I continue to return I will update this post to show more seasonal items through the year.