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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

Local Farms: Where Can We See Animals?

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

With two kids under 3, seeing animals is one of our favorite things do to. It's so much fun to teach children about animals & their sounds, and then let little ones meet the animals in real life. We've enjoyed Maymont, Meadow Farm and The Richmond Metro Zoo these past few months, and in my search for social distancing friendly activities, I have found some new farms to add to our adventure list too!

Here is a round up of our animal experiences from the past couple of months. I've linked my Instagram reviews, and I've got more pictures in my highlights (#RVA Farms, #VA Farms, Maymont, Zoo, and Henrico Parks).

1. Maymont: With 100 acres and 400 animals, Maymont is the perfect spot to explore with children. There are goats, chickens, pigs, horses, cows, bears and more! The open spaces, garden and children's play area are open - no reservations or no masks required. The Robins Nature Center is an indoor exhibit at Maymont that showcases the animals & plants of the James River and Chesapeake Bay. You can learn and explore the ecology of the James River through play, aquariums & interactive animation. This 29,000 square foot attraction also has bathrooms including a family restroom, a sitting area, a gift shop & beautiful views of the park. Masks are required for people 10 and up in the nature center, and you need to purchase tickets in advance.

*Maymont is also on my list of favorite stroller friendly places. Click here for the entire list.

2. Meadow Farm at Crump Park: Crump Park has a massive playground, picnic shelters, trails, large open fields, a fishing pond, and historic Meadow Farm. Meadow Farm is an 1860 living history farm site & museum, plus it has animals, too! As a bonus, RF&P Park is located inside Crump. No reservations or signups are required to visit. Masks are not required, and there is plenty of room to social distance.

We spend the majority of our time at Meadow Farm looking at the animals, running down the hill & having picnics. Both my umbrella and Nuna strollers have worked at Meadow Farm.

*While Meadow Farm does not have a lot of shade, the walking trails and playground at Crump Park are on my list of places to play in the summer. Click here for the entire roundup.

3. The Richmond Metro Zoo: Located on 150 acres in Moseley, The Richmond Metro Zoo is home to 2,000 animals and 190 different species! Besides walk-in tours, guests can zip line on the Tree Top Zoofari or participate in kids camps. Our favorite part about this zoo is the feeding experiences with the giraffes, barn yard animals and birds. 

Quick Facts & Tips: We are members of the zoo & it is worth it - visit 3x in a year & it’s paid for itself. An adult membership is $50 and a child membership is $37.50. It costs $18.75 for adults and $12.75 for children 2-11 each visit. The Safari Train is $4 per person - this is our favorite way to rest & cool off. The Zoo Treats (animal food) are $3 a cup, and Budgie Sticks (bird food) cost $2.  Masks are only require in the indoor facilities.

Click here for the Instagram Review.

4. Flat Creek Farm: If you have ever been to the spring petting zoo at Short Pump Town Center, you will recognize all of the animals at Flat Creek Farm! This family owned farm is in Amelia County, about 45 minutes from Short Pump. The 11.5 acre farm offers by-appointment only animal experiences year round. Families get to pet and feed llamas, goats, horses and more. By August, the barnyard will be ready for birthday party rentals with a fenced patio & grill, picnic tables.   

Quick Facts & Tips: The farm is open by appointment only. Appointments are on a first come first serve basis. Call (804) 873-3620 to schedule your visit. It is open rain or shine from 9-1 every day but Wednesday. It costs $30 for 30 minutes & $50 for an hour - the hour visit is worth it! We went with our friends & split the cost. Masks are not required because it is a private petting zoo. Only the owner is with you, and there's more than enough room for social distancing.

Click here for the Instagram Review.

5. Braehead Farm: This Fredericksburg farm has been family owned since 1937. Braehead Farm has pick your own produce fields for strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, sunflowers & more. The market has prepicked produce, goods and ice cream. Behind the barn is an amazing play area for children with farm animals. Chickens roam freely! It’s located about 50 minutes from Short Pump, and it’s right off 95 - perfect for a day trip. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣They have lots of events throughout the year, too! No reservations required - you can just show up. Mask are required inside the barn for people 10 and older.

Click here for more details on Braehead Farm, and click here for the Instagram Review.

6. The Red Barn Farm: Located in Dinwiddie County, The Red Barn Farm is a historical farm that has family farm tours, offers summer camps for 6-11 year olds, and hosts birthday parties & field trips. We participated in the family farm tour & it was so much fun! The tour is interactive & great for all ages. All of the animals have been rescued & the owners rehabilitate them. You have to call ahead of time to schedule your farm tour. Masks are not required, and the majority of the tour is outside in the barnyard. Farm tours have groups no bigger than 12 people.

Click here for more details on The Red Barn Farm, and click here for my Instagram Review.


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