If your kids have ever wondered just where those avocados and Cara Cara oranges you bought at the Farmer’s Market came from, a visit to a real live local farm is the best way to show them. LA is a short drive away from acres and acres of farm land in Ventura County, where they celebrate being farm country with Ventura County Farm Day on Saturday, November 4. Read on to learn about this awesome day where kids can see for themselves where and how their favorite foods are grown.
Dozens of Farms For the Price of None
Farm Day is an annual event that encourages visitors to explore all the various farms throughout Ventura County. Your crew pick and choose where to explore from over 20 different farms that raise everything from berries to livestock. You’ll learn all about how a farm functions and get hands-on experience with the process. You can also sample and buy some freshly picked produce to take home. The best part is, it’s absolutely free.
Of the twenty plus farms participating in the day-long event, some are a little more tailor made to pint-sized visitors than others. Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark, for example is the perfect all-in-one stop with both orchards and vegetable gardens, as well as a whole host of farm animals, like pigs, goats, hens, horses and a dairy cow. Kids will also love hanging with the Alpacas in Somis at the Alpacas at Windy Hill, where an entire festival dedicated to these fluffy farm friends will be taking place. You can also learn more about the history of local agriculture by stopping in at the Ventura County Ag Museum in Santa Paula. Check out the full list of kid-friendly farms participating here.
Touring farms will definitely work up your appetite, luckily there are some tasty meals planned throughout the day. If you’re early risers, you can enjoy a free Farm Day breakfast before heading out at 8 a.m. at The Collection in Oxnard. The breakfast features story time for kids 5 and under, with farm-themed books being read by local farmers. They will also be handing out farm maps and goody bags provided by First 5 Ventura County and Whole Foods.
Take a break midday for lunch. You can eat your own on the road or head to Oxnard Farm Park between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., where you can picnic or purchase food from a taco truck. The park will also feature games, like corn hole, live music and tours of historic buildings & farm equipment.
After the farm tours are over, you can relax over a delicious BBQ dinner. Hosted at Faulkner Farm, a BBQ feast is provided by Dearmore BBQ Catering, as well as beer, wine, and cocktails for the grown-ups. Live music by country artist Coldwater Canyon, will get you up on your dancing feet before the night is over. The BBQ begins at 5 p.m. and is a ticketed event, $45 for adults and $15 for kids under 12.
If you want to make a whole weekend of the trip to Ventura, then go a day early and you’ll be treated to a family-friendly film fest. On Friday, November 3 the Farm Day weekend will kick off with a screening of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at the Agriculture Museum of Ventura County. For $5 you’ll get entry to the movie plus free popcorn. There will also be a farm-to-table style food truck on site dishing up dinner. (You can check out our guide to Ventura for great places to stay and more things to do while you’re there!)
The Down Home Details
The Ventura County Farm Day runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, November 4. Admission to all of the farms is completely free. While you can visit as many as you like, we suggest picking two to explore. When you factor in drive time between the farms that will allow for enough time to visit each without rushing.(And then end your day at the BBQ!)
Dress like you’re planning to spend a day at the farm, with clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting a little dirty. We recommend a change of clothes for younger kids, just in case. You’ll also want to pack along the sunscreen since the farms are in open sun. While the event is family-friendly, some spots are better than others for kids, so consult the list before you decide. If you plan to bring a stroller or wagon, it’s a good idea to call ahead to the farm and make sure it will be manageable on the grounds.
5th Annual Ventura County Farm Day
Do you have a favorite local farm that welcomes kids? We’d love to hear about your (literal) farm to table adventures in the comment section.