If your kid dressed up as a cowboy for Halloween and considers Woody his best pal, it’s time to experience what life on the prairie is truly like at Feather Acres Farm & Nursery. Tucked away in a sleepy neighborhood in Del Mar, this secret garden packs serious fun with horse corrals, pony rides and a guinea pig pen. Read on to find out more about this gem that will delight any little cowboy or cowgirl.
Not to be confused as a petting zoo or children’s day care, Feather Acres is firstly an animal nursery and floral business. However, their barn doors are open to visitors of all ages and heights. Here parents can show their kids how to patiently and respectfully socialize with animals.
While this is a free farm experience, donations are always appreciated. Or, even better, parents can help sustain the farm’s activities with some beautiful orchid shopping. Home decor and an overly content kiddo? Yes, please!
Outside Farm for Fun
Under parental supervision, little ones are free to roam the property. Explore horse corrals and watch magnificent stallions. Venture over to the other side for a slice of farm life on display.
Scamper up a few steps away from the nursery and discover even more animal pens. There’s a sweet, yellow cottage with clucking chickens. If turkeys are more your kind of bird, walk on over a few houses down. Or keep following the bleats, and meet playful billie goats in their happy home.
Be sure to check out the vintage John Deere wagon parked nearby the chicken coop.
Feather Acres also offers pony ride lessons for little ones. The cost is $25 for a 30-minute encounter. Kids groom the ponies, take a ride along the trail and walk the animals to their pens. Pony rides are only available by appointment, so be sure to call ahead and book your time.
Farm Party Extras
With advanced reservations, Feather Acres offers “Pony Birthday Parties.” Feather Acres will provide the grassy area, picnic tables and two ponies for rides, while you supply the rest – birthday cake, balloons and other party accoutrements. If the weather is cooler than norm, a small area inside the nursery will open for use.
Inside Farm Fun
Don’t forget to wander inside the nursery for some hands-on fun. Toward the front of the nursery is a guinea pig pen. Only four young ones at a time are permitted inside. Once inside, kiddos are welcome to sit and hold the guinea pigs. Feather Acres staff members are nearby to assist your kiddos and will avidly request that the young ones do not yell at or chase the piggies.
Walk farther back into the nursery and you’ll find an adorable rabbit named Mr. Moose. Kids may sit quietly and pet Mr. Moose in his cage or outside while sitting on the clay flowering pots. Just be sure to close Mr. Moose’s roof when you’re finished or else he’ll hop out.
Home brought picnic lunches are welcome on the scenic property for customers, and there are outdoor picnic tables and benches to share. Just be sure to dispose of or take your trash with you.
In-House Farm Tips
Wear closed-toe shoes as the entire farm property lays on dirt roads and uneven pathways.
If planning a multi-fam group trip, please contact the staff for approval first. Sudden large-scale parties (families more than three) may find themselves turned away at the door.
All of the animals on Feather Acres Farm are Ted and Vicky’s personal pets. Kindly remind young ones to treat the animals with care and respect. Don’t feed or touch animals without permission, and, for obvious reasons, keep wiggly fingers and noses outside the cages.
And if anyone hears a cowbell ringing for lunch after their visit to Feather Acres Farm & Nursery, head only a mile and half back down the hill to Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar.
Feather Acres Farm & Nursery
980 Avocado Place
Del Mar, Ca 92014
Hours: Tues.-Sat. 10am-5pm; Sunday 10am-2pm; Closed on Mondays.
Have you visited Feather Acres Farm & Nursery? What farm activity did you enjoy most on your visit?
–Christina Q. Cross
Photo credits: Christina Q. Cross