Pack Your Muck Boots, Kids! Take an Unforgettable Vacation with Your Family: Visit a Farm

As you are planning your next vacation do you get sticker
shock from the cost of accommodations, airfare and meals?
Are you tired of the usual resort or theme-park destinations
where you are passively entertained (and constantly opening
your wallet)? Are you searching for a vacation that will be
relaxing for you and an unforgettable experience for the
kids? Do you want to be at a place that is real and not

What you need is a good old-fashioned farm vacation.

Staying at a farm – even if you just stay a weekend – is an
experience your family will never forget. If you have kids,
it is a chance for them to experience firsthand where food
comes from and even help with farm chores, such as feeding
baby lambs and collecting eggs. It a way out of the hustle
and bustle of modern life; it is a retreat that brings you
and your family back to America’s farm roots and a calmer,
simpler way of life.

Farm vacations are not new. In fact, 50 years ago city
dwellers who needed a break would call their country cousins
for a respite from urban life. However, today, with less
than 2% of the U.S. population now living on working farms,
finding a relative with a farm is unlikely for most people.
But now more than ever — with the frenetic pace of suburban
& urban life at full tilt — we all desperately need a
vacation “away from it all.”

Luckily there still many farmers who, in addition to
farming, love to play host to their urban “cousins.” These
farmers are part of an ever-growing trend of agri-tourism.
According to a recent article in the Boston Globe the farm
vacation is increasingly becoming a popular getaway among
suburban families. This trend is being fueled by a surging
interest in environmentally-conscious tourism and the
increased enthusiasm for local organic food among
suburbanites and urban dwellers – who rightly believe that
children ought to know and understand where food comes from.

What’s it like to stay on a farm?

Imagine for a moment waking to the sound of the rooster
crowing and chickens clucking. How about rolling out of bed
and collecting fresh eggs with your kids for your breakfast?
You can then stroll around the farm, go fishing, milk a cow,
sip lemonade on the rocking chair on the porch, feed a baby
lamb out of a bottle, or go for a hayride.

The pace and pressures of everyday life slip away. This is a
place you can really “let go” on vacation, participate in
some real down-to-earth activities, eat wholesome home-grown
& cooked meals, and probably have the best sleep you’ve had
in years.

Many parents who have taken a farm vacation report that it
is more relaxing than a traditional vacation (such as at a
Club Med or Disney World), plus farm vacations promote
simpler values they want to instill in their children – like
hard work and respect for nature.

A farm vacation is not only relaxing, but it is a true
bargain. The average middle income American family spends
hundreds of dollars annually in its two weeks’ pursuit of
fun and relaxation. You probably lay out even more money on
camping equipment, special vehicles, boats, motorcycles,
gasoline, motels, restaurants, camping fees, portable TVs,
movies, liquor, repair bills and more. Sometimes you need a
vacation after your vacation to recover from the stress of
spending all that money and not really having a relaxing

Your farm vacation helps not only your family, but small
family farms.

Taking a farm vacation not only benefits you and your family
– but farmers as well. For farmers – the influx of guests
who are willing to pay for lodging and the “farm experience”
is becoming vital to their economic survival and preserving
the rural landscape. In fact, farms who include some kind of
“agri-tourism” (such as farm stays) are managing to stay
afloat and even thrive.

With many independent farms on the verge of extinction,
cash-strapped farmers are finding a good stream of income
hosting urban/suburban guests…who actually want to milk
their cows and gather eggs!

So this season, instead of taking your usual vacation, pack
your bags, your muck boots, and your sense of adventure and head for the nearest farm. It will be an experience you and your kids will be talking about for years to come.

Marcia Passos Duffy is the author of the e-book, “Farm

Stays: Northern New England. Your Guide to an Unforgettable Farm Vacation” to order your copy visit Marcia is also

the publisher of the free online magazine, The Heart of New