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Say Moo: 5 Kid-friendly Farms To Visit This Summer

Sunshine in Seattle is not to be wasted. It’s like water in the desert or a grandparent’s offer to babysit. No squandering allowed! And what better way to spend a sunshiny day with your kiddos than outside on a farm? There’s plenty of room to roam, healthy (and yummy) food to nibble on and animals in need of petting. And did we mention the activities? There’s plenty to tire out even the romp roaring-est kiddos. Plus with school out, what’s a little drive on a sunny day when there’s no pressing schedule or lessons to get back for, right? It’s time to get out of city mouse mode and enjoy the life of the country mouse. For a day anyway. So, slip on your cowboy boots (straw hat and red bandana optional) and barnyard dance your way on over to one of these family friendly farms.

Sack races foster farms

Greenbank Farm
Think of Whidbey Island’s Greenbank Farm as a 152-acre playground for the kiddos, complete with parent perks that make the ferry ride well worth it (hello, wine shop, cheese shop, and art galleries!). There’s so much to do, it’s hard to know where to start. But we suggest stopping by the wine shop first. No, not for a glass of merlot (yet). That’s where you can borrow a pair of binoculars before grabbing a birding chart, self-guided walking tour, or family scavenger hunt sheet. Be sure to check off landmarks as you make your way around the farm, cuz there’s a prize at the end. Next up is a Dr. Doolittle fix for the kiddos, featuring up-close animal experiences at the Organic Farm School. Families will find sheep and chickens, as well as friendly students who love to answer questions. (Finally, someone else to answer those for your 4-year-old for a while!)

The grotto between the pond and the wetlands is another must-see parent spot. The gardens are managed by master gardeners, and make for some shaded down time when the little guys need it. If tummies are rumbling, head to the loganberry patch. 8 rows of u-pick berries straight off the bush are hard to beat if you’re under 5. Or, if you really need a fix, check out Whidbey Pies Cafe for some home-baked deliciousness. It’s a day trip with a cherry on top!

Boy Feeding goat Greenbank Farm

Special Event: In late July the farm hosts the Loganberry Festival. It’s a not-to-be-missed, event-filled weekend for the whole fam. The animal performances alone will keep your young ones mesmerized for hours. We promise. The festival is easy on the wallet too. Just $5 for parking, and the events are free!

Greenbank Farm
765 Wonn Road
Greenbank, Wa 98253
360-678-7700
Online: greenbankfarm.org

Hours: Monday – Friday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Woodinville Lavender
Parenting moment No. 149: Daydreaming of a picnic lunch on a hillside in Provence, trying to ignore the kiddos who are melting down around you. We’ve all been there. So why not go there? Or at least get as close as you can without boarding a plane. Woodinville Lavender in Redmond overlooks bike trails and vineyards in the Sammamish Valley. And between the view and the expansive fields of lavender, you’ll think you’ve landed in southern France. There’s much to do for moms and kiddos on this atypical farm. U-pick lavender is $8 for a small bunch and $12 for a large. They’ll send you out with a basket, twist ties and scissors, so it’s a no-fuss activity. And if you’re feeling super crafty, Google up some lavender projects (ooh, a new Pinterest board!), and bring the materials with you.

The big grassy areas are great for creating and picnicking, so pack some goodies, along with a blanket, as well. Be sure to save some room for Whidbey Island lavender ice cream bars ($3) or ice cream pints ($5.25). They’re one of the ways to cool off on a hot summer day. The other is the sprinklers, which the farm often runs when the sun decides to show himself. Relax and enjoy the view while the little ones splash the afternoon away. Before heading home, make a quick stop in the shop. Did someone say gift for mom? With over 100 lavender-themed items you’re sure to find something you, ahem…need (wink, wink). Get transported this summer!

Woodinville Lavender Farm field

Woodinville Lavender
14223 Woodinville Redmond Road NE
Redmond, Wa 98052
425-398-3785
Online: woodinvillelavender.com

Open: Wednesdays – Sundays, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Bryant Blueberry Farm and Nursery
The thing you’ll love most about the Bryant Blueberry Farm isn’t the yummy blueberries (although they’re definitely a close second). It’s the kidi-ness (ooh, a Colbert-ism) of this family farm. It’s like an oversized backyard, but it’s bursting with berry goodness and some farm animals too. After they’ve picked their baskets full of U-pick blueberries, tayberries and currents, set the little lot loose to play. They’ll stay busy feeding the goats, chickens and ducks, when they’re done swinging on the swing set and drawing on the chalkboards that are set up throughout the field to occupy the wiggle worms while you pick. Most families spend hours at the farm, picking berries and playing outside. So pack up a lunch to enjoy with the kiddos in the fully shaded picnic area. Juice and water are available for purchase, but the rest of the feast is up to you.

Bryant Blueberry Farm boy picking

Special Event: If you love blueberries the way we love blueberries, you’ll want to set aside time on July 27th from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm for the 5th Annual Blueberry Festival. This awesome event features pony rides, face painting, a balloon artist, and tractor rides, plus berries, berries, and more berries to go along with the old-fashioned BBQ being served up to the masses. It’ll be your new favorite family tradition!

Bryant Blueberry Farm and Nursery
5628 Grandview Road
Arlington, Wa 98223
360-474-8424
Online: bryantblueberries.com

Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, through mid-September

Foster’s Produce and Corn Maze
There’s much to love about Foster’s Produce and Corn Maze in Arlington. With an Old West Town that doubles as a petting zoo, a hay maze (that’s only $1 per kiddo. Yeehaw!), and a performing goat, the wee ones will be entertained for hours. You’ll need some quarters for the goat. We won’t tell you what he does, but we can guarantee you’ll get your money’s worth. And for the parents, grab a basket and choose some fixings for a farm fresh dinner. With over 50 acres of vegetables to choose from, you’ll be itching to get home and cook up a feast. Foster’s sweet corn is pretty, well, sweet, so be sure to pick up some ears for the weekend BBQ while you’re there. Then wander through the U-pick flower gardens to cut a colorful centerpiece for your dinner, before enjoying some ice cream. Homemade waffle cones? Yes, please!

Boy feeding goat-foster's produce

Special Event: Psst… if you love the summer activities at Foster’s, be sure to head back in October for the Fall Festival. This year’s corn maze theme is pirates. Argh! And we hear they have a pumpkin slinger!

Foster’s Produce and Corn Maze
5818 State Route 520 NE
Arlington, Wa 98223
360-435-6516
Online: fosterscornmaze.com

Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, through October 31

Mosby Farms
If you’re in the mood for a charming, rustic farm that practices sustainable farming with no GMO’s, head over to Mosby Farms in Auburn. Their farmstand has everything you need to pack the perfect family picnic and enjoy a farm fresh meal while watching the tractors roll by and the chickens wander around, including a well-stocked basket! No need to bring much. Each basket comes pre-loaded with 2 wine glasses, a cutting board, knife, napkins, tablecloth and corkscrew. They’ve thought of everything! All you need to do is pick your favorites from the market. Choose from cheeses, artisan breads, fresh preserves and salsas, plus gorgeous vegetables grown right on the farm. Decisions, decisions. And while they have beer and wine for sale at the farmstand, it’s okay to BYOB, too. When you’ve had your fill, take a detour to Flaming Geyser State Park. It’s just a quick 10 minutes down the road and a trek well worth the trip. Because of the geysers, of course! Be sure to check them out and dip your toesies in the Green River before heading back to the city.

Mosby Farms rhubarb girl

Mosby Farms
12757-B SE Green Valley Road
Auburn, Wa 98092
253-939-9431
Online: mosbyfarm.com

Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Got a favorite family-friendly farm that isn’t on our list? Be sure to share it in a comment below.

–Allison Sutcliffe

Photos courtesy of: Sean Callahan, Island Life Photography; Woodinville Lavender; Bryant Blueberry Farm & Nursery LLC; Jenny Keller; Mosby Farms’ website

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