UPDATE September 2015: This post is from 2012 and it may contain some out-dated information. While this post should still give you a great idea of the overall experience, please be sure to check the Foster Family Farm website for details about things like hours and pricing. For the 2015 fall season, the farm will be open weekends in September starting September 19th and it will be open daily in October.
Have you gotten your fill of fall farm fun? I hope not, because I have a cute destination to share with you today. [And if you want to go, hurry, because the last day they are open is Halloween.]
The Foster Family Farm is located off of interstate 91 in South Windsor, Connecticut. It is easy to get to and has activities to keep pretty much everyone in the family entertained.
They offer all of my favorites including: hayrides, pumpkin picking, checking out cute farm animals, and corn mazes. They also offer some unique activities including pedal cart races and imaginative playground equipment.
Surprisingly, as we pulled into the farm it looked a bit more run down than I had envisioned.
But, after we followed the road and the signs leading to the parking area, we saw a much different look and feel. We parked in the expansive parking lot and, given that it wasn’t very crowded that day (Monday), we were able to park right on the edge of the play area.
My husband was with me, so I put baby girl in a bjorn and we let the twins walk on their own. If I was going without my husband, though, I definitely would have put the kids in a stroller. Though we were able to park close to the entrance and didn’t have much of a walk there, the play area is rather expansive and a stroller would be helpful if you have more than one kiddo and are working a zone defense.
At the ticket counter we had two choices: Courtyard Admission or Maze Admission.
The Courtyard Admission includes the play area, visiting the animals, the mini corn maze (which I forgot to look for) and a hayride.
I spoke to the woman at the entrance about the maze and she didn’t recommend us going with the little ones. She said the large maze is 2.1 miles (if you take the most direct route) and the small maze is over a mile. She said it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
After taking a peek at what there was to offer in the courtyard area, I knew that would keep us plenty entertained anyways, so we skipped the maze and just purchased the courtyard admission. The kids were free and I just had to pay for access for my me and my husband.
Once inside, we took a look at all there was to offer.
There was a climbing structure shaped like a mini hayride, a few tunnels for them to run through and tires to climb.
There were a few things I really like about the animals at this farm. I loved that they had these cute little signs on each pen that provided a little more information about the animals. A great learning opportunity for the kids (and for the momma that had no clue these were alpacas!)
The other thing I liked is that the animals and their living quarters seemed to be very well maintained. It could have been because it was a little windy that day, but I didn’t even smell the normal, rather unpleasant animal odor.
Sparkles liked the animals so much, she even tried to hop in their cage with them.
Also in the “courtyard” you will find lots and lots of pumpkins. There is a little pumpkin patch where you can pick pumpkins (or just get some cute pictures) and there are already picked pumpkins of various sizes for sale. Plus they have a little storyboard on how pumpkins grow.
Before we left this side of the farm, we got a few posed shots of the kids in the cute cutouts. There were lots of options in this category.
Soon the kids were itchin’ to venture over to some other play equipment on the opposite side of the farm. There we found a wooden train they could play in and a huge wooden ship just like the one they play on at Timbergyms.
The boat was surrounded by sand and there were plenty of toys there for the children to use.
On the day we were there, the carts were not in operation. I asked why and they told me that they are normally running every day, but that day they had a significant number of school groups visiting and it would have been too hectic to give everyone access to the pedal carts.
Then last, but not least, we took a hayride tour of the farm. Here is a picture of the hayride vehicle.
I did not feel as comfortable with the little ones on this hayride as I did on the one we recently took at The Pickin’ Patch. It was mainly because the sides were open and I felt like the kids could fall out. I’m sure I am being just a bit paranoid, but I did hold onto them pretty tight. The driver was very cautious and did not rush the trip, but I would not have felt safe taking the three kids on this hayride by myself. I did find that when we moved to the front of the cart there was more of a wall and I felt more comfortable.
If the kids are old enough or you have enough manpower to keep everyone safe, this ride is definitely worth the effort. The views the farm are beautiful and the ride was a quick 20 minutes so the kids didn’t get too stir crazy.
As we departed the hayride, we saw a little building to our left. It was the snack stand which is only open on the weekends.
With them worn out from a morning of playing at the farm and with their bellies full, the twins fell asleep on the ride home. Actually, all three of them fell asleep . . .
Maybe it was because it was a pretty day, maybe it was because my husband was with me (which makes these outings a lot less stressful), or maybe it was because this was a nice place, but we had a great time at the Foster Family Farm.
It was a perfect outing for toddlers because there was so much for them to do. If you add in the corn maze adventure and with the pedal carts in operation, the outing could be fun for “kids” of all ages. Plus, the property was just nice. It was clean, the animals were well taken care of and all of the play equipment was in excellent condition.
I was so glad that I heard about this farm and had the opportunity to go before it closed for the season. If you have time in the next week, I would highly recommend a trip. Their last day of operation is Halloween.
Oh, and as a very random side note, when you are heading from the interstate to the turn off for the farm, you will pass both a drive-thru Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. When you have a car full of kids, drive-thrus are a little blessing, especially when you are craving a cup of coffee. Just thought someone may find that tidbit helpful when they are planning their outing 🙂
Have fun in this last week of Fall activities at the Connecticut farms! I just can’t believe it is almost winter . . .
Foster Family Farm
90 Foster Street, South Windsor, Connecticut
Phone: (860) 648-9366
Get directions here:
Hours & Admission (for the 2012 season) :
- Open DAILY beginning Monday, October 1st through Wednesday, October 31st.
- Sundays-Thursdays 10am – 6pm; Fridays & Saturdays 10am-9:30pm
- Flashlight mazes are also open Friday and Saturday nights until 9:30pm
- Courtyard Admission (which includes the play area,hayride, animal visits and mini maze)
- Only offered on weekdays
- Ages 4 and older: $5
- Ages 3 and younger: FREE
- Season Pass (family of 6): $40
- No family will be charged more than $15 per visit
- Maze Admission (everything from the Courtyard Admission plus access to the two mazes)
- Ages 13 and up: $10 (though you can get $1 off here)
- Seniors (60 and up): $9
- Children 5-12: $7
- Children 3 and under: FREE
Tips & Things to Bring:
- Purchases can be made with cash or credit card (though there is a $15 minimum for credit card use)
- The public restrooms are porta potties located throughout the property
- You would be able to use a stroller on the property. A baby carrier would be handy as well for the non-walkers (especially on the hayride).
- The best form of footwear to bring is rubber boots. If you don’t have those, than close-toed shoes, that you don’t mind getting dirty, are a must. You are on a farm!
- Bring lunch and drinks with you and eat before you head home. There is no food or drinks for sale on the property during the week.
- Some other helpful information about your trip to the farm can be found here (please note that it lists that credit cards are not a payment option, but that is not accurate).
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