There is something about the cooler months that is perfect for a family farm stay, or a day visit, but as city mums, where can we give our kids a farm fix, without having to travel too far from Sydney?
Sydney Mums Group has done its research and found three of the best experiences, that will give your little urbanites all the fun of the farm.
686 Old Northern Road, Dural - Ph. (02) 9651 1028 - 35 minutes drive from Sydney to the Hills District (in non-peak traffic)
This one has been on my radar for a while now. My parents first took my son for a visit to Golden Ridge when he was a toddler and to be honest, he was just that little bit too young for it. Fast-forward a few years, and he now 'gets' what farms are about, and is big enough and brave enough, not to be intimidated by greedy little farmyard animals, munching feed from his hands.
Golden Ridge's Mobile Farm was a hit at the Easter Show
Our most recent experience with Golden Ridge was at 2018's Royal Easter Show. It was the Mobile Farm in residence, and offered a large feeding and petting area, in which the kids could hand feed baby goats, and watch the hijinx of tiny chicks. It was great fun and reminded me of how important it is to expose our urban children to country life and animal husbandry.
If you missed the Easter Show, don't worry, Golden Ridge Animal Farm is open daily for visits and morning tours (for families, schools, play groups, pre-schools and birthday parties) but keep in mind that advance bookings are essential.
Golden Ridge offers hand and bottle-feeding of baby animals
What does a visit to Golden Ridge offer kids?
Cuddles with chicks, ducklings and rabbits
Bottle-feeding of lambs and kids
Farm tour and the opportunity to feed the larger animals, such as goats and sheep
Picnic area (BYO lunch), or the Feed Shed Café is open on weekends / public holidays
31 Darling Street, Abbotsbury - (02) 9823 3222 - 40mins from Sydney's CBD (in non-peak traffic)
This farm experience has come highly recommended to me by parents with pre-schoolers, and you've probably heard about it on the mummy grapevine too, but have you been?
Set on 400 acres of land, Calmsley Hill offers a traditional day on the farm, with activities for all the family to enjoy, including shows and exhibits. It's a little like a farm-themed amusement park.
The great thing about Calmsley is that it is open 7 days a week from 9am - 4.30pm (bar Easter, Christmas and New Year public holidays). And like Golden Ridge, it's designed as an out-of-the-ordinary venue for kids' birthday parties and special family occasions.
Meet farmyard AND native animals - Photo c/o- Calmsley Hill City Farm Facebook page
What does Calmsley Hill offer kids?
Getting up close to a range of native and farmyard animals
Activities and shows for kids of all ages, including the working dog show, koala talk, sheep-shearing and stock whip show
Picnic area for BYO lunch, or use the electric BBQs
31a Mallett St, Camperdown - (02) 9559 0050 - 20 minutes from Sydney CBD (in non-peak traffic)
I always like to throw in something a little different and I'll admit that this one is just as much for mums as the kids, but hey, why not?
For those who don't have Camperdown Commons on their radar yet, it is pretty cool. It's located just outside the CBD, and its a working urban farm, so it offers a different and more contemporary kind of experience than the two traditional rural farms I've listed.
The Commons is a Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club initiative, in collaboration with Pocket City Farms. It's been designed as a 're-invigorated community hub' that provides space for 'locals to relax, learn and belong'. Sounding a little like a new-age farm experience? What could be more perfect and relevant for urban-dwelling Sydney families?
Learn about organic farming with your kids - Photo c/o- Camperdown Commons Facebook page
What does a visit to Camperdown Commons offer kids (and mums)?
A working ecological urban farm where you can keep an eye on what’s growing, participate in workshops, take a Yoga class, or learn how to garden more efficiently
Buy organically grown produce at the Food Stall
Enjoy a bite to eat at Acre eatery, a sustainably-focused eatery with a commitment to locally-sourced seasonal produce
Loads of family fun at the unique, interactive Kids’ Play Space, including a Chicken Coop with 5 rescue chickens
A relaxation space on the lawn
The Childrens’ Area was in fact constructed from elements made of 100% recycled, re-purposed materials. Great care has been taken to ensure safety, with carefully selected logs, boards, hollows and wheels. Good old-fashioned farm fun, with a contemporary feel.
Enjoy the innovative Kids' Play Space - Photo c/o- Camperdown Commons Facebook Page
What You'll Pay:
Free entry to the Commons
Bring spending money for the Cafe and any food you wish to buy at the organic Food Stall
Special events and workshops may incur a fee
Have you taken your kids to any of these farms? We'd love to hear from you. Join the Conversation and leave a comment here, or on the Sydney Mums Group Facebook Discussion board.
Vivid Sydney at Chatswood is one of the precincts for Vivid Sydney and offers up an unforgettable experience for kids with Lightscape, an eclectic celebration of food, fashion, light and the planet cosmos.