This fun year-round guide details family-friendly farms, activities, events, special days and festivals for kids and families in Minnesota. One of the great things about agriculture is that it is necessarily unique to its environment. So, while there are farms all around the world, you will get a uniquely Minnesotan experience visiting these working farms.
Spring Family-Friendly Farms
Spring is the time to find farm babies, to begin planting for a fall harvest and to welcome pollinators back to the barnyard. Strawberries ripen in the late spring, beckoning families to come pick their own tasty treats. A working farm is busy in the spring and there is plenty of family fun to be found.
Of course the Minnesota Zoo is the go to place to find baby farm animals, but options don’t stop there. Special events, petting zoos and open barnyards happen all over the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Piglets, chicks, kids, lambs, ducklings and other babies are all ready to be viewed and possibly pet.
Strawberries usher in the pick-your-own produce season toward the end of spring in mid-June. Weather permitting, we can continue to pick into July. Visitors will sometimes find other spring vegetables – like asparagus and salad mixes available to purchase as well.
Summer Farm Life
Summer is hopping on local farms. Pizza farms gear up for a summer of delicous opportunities to visit the country. Special family programs abound throughout the metro area, summer camps introduce kids to farm life and many farms offer summer birthday party packages.
Worth a special mention, Three Rivers Park District’s Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista offers its weekly Saturday Mornings on the Farm, where families can explore the barn, participate in farm chores, a meet a variety of animals. This is a drop-in event with a small admission fee. Sometimes they offer breakfast on the farm events where you can eat those eggs you helped gather.
Many of our favorite pizza farms have animals of all kids in residence. Most are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and have picnic tables where you can enjoy your pizza dinner.
Among our animal-loving birthday ideas are farms, mobile petting zoos, pony rides and horseback riding opportunities.
Strawberries are still available into early summer, but you’ll also find raspberries and blueberries in July and a host of harvest veggies ripening in August.
Fall Fun at the Farm
September, October and part of November offer bountiful supply of harvest festivals, pick-your-own opportunities and chances to visit the farm.
Kick off the beginning of fall with the Minnesota State Fair. Close to both Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul, its a great opportunity for city kids to see pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits and more farm animals.
Picking apples is the beginning of harvest farm season. Many of the orchards on this list are also part of our pumpkin patch and corn maze lists.
Pumpkin Farms are so much more than pumpkins. They often offer hayrides, corn pits and wagon rides.
Like pumpkin farms, corn mazes are usually part of a bigger farm package. Kids can climb in a corn pit, play on a farm-themed playground and visit the petting zoo at most of these corn mazes.
Gianna toured as many Twin Cities Stables as she could a few years ago and has reviewed each of them for riding with kids. While horseback riding can be a year-round activity, we think it has particular appeal in the fall – before its too cold but after the bugs have died down. Add colorful trails to the mix and the autumn riding experience can’t be beat!
Winter is a quiet time in farm life, but many of the historic farms in the area offer Holiday festivals and sledding opportunities. Don’t forget to visit a Christmas Tree Farm! Before you know it, it is Maple Sugaring weather.
Christmas tree farms offer a peak at rural life during the quiet of winter. You might get a chance to go on a sleigh ride, roast marshmallows or chestnuts around a camp fire, visit the animals or just walk through the acres of farmland to find the perfect Christmas Tree on a crisp, cool day.
Farms and parks around Minnesota harvest maple sap in March (sometimes February or April) each year. Join a community event to learn more about Maple Sugaring and maybe sample some of the product.