You already spend enough time singing about Old MacDonald’s farm during the morning preschool commute, so why not check out the real thing? Kids and animals are natural BFFs, and summer is a great time to check out local farms. Read on for 4 spots where kids can get nose to nose (or snout!) with their favorite barnyard pals.
Photo by Anna Doogan
The Oregon Zoo
The zoo is the obvious choice for tigers and lions, but at The Oregon Zoo you can meet some sweet and cuddly pals of a tamer variety if you know where to look. Visit the Great Northwest section of the zoo, where you can find the Trillium Creek Family Farm exhibit. In this area of the zoo, visitors can get up close and personal with goats and chickens. The Trillium Creek Family Farm is also part of the School to Work teens and ZooTeens programs, which allow teenagers to volunteer for the zoo learning hands-on animal care. The Family Farm is currently only open on weekends, but opens during the week beginning mid-summer.
After you’ve made a few new friends, make a pit stop for burgers and salad at the Cascade Grill, or snag one of the zoo’s famous Elephant Ears for a sweet treat before heading home!
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Photo by Paty E. via Yelp
This family farm in Tualatin has been around for seven generations, and loves to celebrate the bounty of the seasons. You can catch the Strawberry Festival in June, the Corn and Peach Festival at the end of summer or the ever-popular Pumpkin Patch and Fall Harvest Festival around Halloween. Drop by the farm store to pick up local jams in 17 flavors, pies or a beautiful hanging basket of flowers.
Little animal lovers can be on the lookout for lambs, horses, bunnies, turkeys, chickens and a few resident farm dogs. If your kids can’t get enough of their time at the farm, check out Lee Farms’ Summer Camp! 1st -5th grade kids can enjoy crafts, snacks and activities while learning all about animal care and life on the farm. Lee Farms Summer Camp runs from July 25-29 from 9 a.m. – noon. ($150/child).
21975 SW 65th Ave.
Daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Bi-Zi Farms is well-known for their wildly fun annual Harvest Festival each year, with plenty of pumpkins, mazes and endless family fall activities. But in the spring and summer, this Zimmerman family farm comes to life in a different way with fresh flowers, plant starts, berries and veggies.
This year, it’s an extra dose of adorable with the arrival of Bi-Zi Farms’ new baby goats. Drop by and let your future farmers catch a glimpse of the little cuties and say hello. You might also see sheep, chickens, ducks or a donkey. Before you head home (and after the kids ask when they can get their own pet goat) load up your basket with fresh goodies like cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn for a delicious dinner at home. An outing to this friendly farm is sure to become a new family tradition.
9504 NE 119th St.
Mon. – Sat., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Photo by Smit J. via Yelp
This farm staple on Sauvie Island delights families every summer. Make a trip out for their strawberry u-pick, and let your little ones fill buckets and baskets with sweet berries to take home. Then cruise through the farm store to load up on fresh produce, and swing around to the back pen where the lovable Matilda the Pig has been charming visitors for years.
Summer at Kruger’s is magical, with the annual Farm Tunes concert series, and weekend Farm to Plate dinners in July and August, complete with hayrides and a talk by Farmer Jon. (Reservations required.) Farm-loving kids can explore homesteading and life on the farm with a summer full of week-long camps, with themes ranging from Barnyard Palooza to Enchanted Outdoors. ($220/child, registration required. Extended care available.)
17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd.
Which farms do your kids love to visit? Let us know in the comments below!