With not one but two fantastic local zoos in the Twin Cities, there are plenty of great opportunities to get up close and personal with exotic world animals. But sometimes these kids just want to be on the farm. Many sites around the Twin Cities area have family-friendly farms to help tell the stories of what farming once was and how it is still today.
Check out many of these sites to get on the farm through hands-on learning opportunities that are a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. Plus, who doesn’t love petting a sweet baby animal?
Barnyard Buddies MN | 10132 235th St W. Lakeville, MN
Barnyard Buddies MN, is a working farm that cares for a variety of animals including Goats, Mini cows, Emus, Sheep, Ducks, Chickens, Mini horses, Turkeys, Peacocks, Porcupine, and many more. Proceeds go towards their Senior Smiles program as well as care for their rescued, surrendered, or rehomed animals. SENIOR SMILES brings Barnyard buddies to senior living facilities such as care centers, senior apartments, or assisted living facilities. The farm is only open during the Farmyard Fun Fair weekend once a month when you can buy food to feed animals, meet the animals, games, food, and more. Please bring cash, NO ATM on site. See the website for other ways to support this farm.
Open May 20-21, June 24-25, July 22-23, Aug 19-20, Sept 16-17, Oct 21-22. 10 am-5 pm.
Price: $3 donation for entry. $1+ for other activities. CASH ONLY.
Gibbs Farm | 2097 Larpenteur Ave W, St Paul
Gibbs Farm allows you to travel back in time while visiting the barm animals you love so well. Costumed interpreters provide a pioneer and Dakota life from the 19th century. Experience the stories through tours, crafts, gardening, animal husbandry, and more.
Open starting Memorial Day weekend, during specific events, and other public hours throughout the summer. See website for details.
Historic Eidem Farm | 4345 101st Ave N, Brooklyn Park
This historic farm tells the story of farming long ago through a variety of experiences and events hosted onsite. While it’s not open daily, there are plenty of unique ways throughout the summer to visit the farm and animals up close and personal such as Spring Baby Event, movie nights, happy hour, family concerts, porch story times, and more. There are plenty of trails to explore while you are visiting, as well. See the website for all events. Many are free.
Open during specific timed events. See website for details.
Price: Many are free. See the website for full details.
Holz Farm Park | 4665 Manor Dr, Eagan
Holz Farm is a National Registered Historic Place in Eagan demonstrating what farm life was like in the Great Depression through World War II. There are festivals and summer camps throughout the summer but families can also come to explore the culture and history of farm life any time. See chicken and horses and cows living right on the farm, and maybe get the chance to help out with farm chores.
Open: 5 am-11 pm.
Joyer Barnyard at Waldoch Farm | 8174 Lake Dr, Lino Lakes
Participate in the life of a farm by helping to pick produce and feed the animals. You’ll find sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, chickens, and pigs. Don’t forget your quarters to buy feed for the animals!
Open: June 15th – October 30th. Various hours/timed admission
Price: Admission to the barnyard is part of a ticket to Joyer Adventure Farm. $10.99/ticket, purchased online.
Oliver Kelley Farm | 15788 Kelley Farm Rd, Elk River
We’ve already written all about this family-friendly farm and what they offer on a Go, See, Explore post over here! Not only do they offer hands-on learning experiences on the farm, but you also have a chance to visit the animals and help care for them. The farm opens for summer on June 16.
Open: Wednesday – Sunday 9 am – 3 pm
Sunrise River Farms | 7602 Wyoming Trail, Wyoming
Come meet all of your favorite barnyard animals at Sunrise River Farm! Their petting farm is open during special events and select weekends throughout the year. Take a hayride, grab a snack from the market, play on the playground, pick apples in the fall, and of course meet all the wiggly animals.
Open after Labor Day til the end of October, 7 Days a Week 10 am – 6 pm
Price: Admission is FREE
WEE Farm | 4562 McColl Drive, Savage
At WEE Farm spend the day and meet the animals! Learn all about farm lifestyle, and how to care for farm animals like horses, goats, and chickens. Bonnie and Jason Laabs, owners of WEE Farm, are passionate about education, wellbeing, and providing a rural, earth-friendly culture. Their goal is to provide an educational experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit! WEE Farm is a working farm so the public is welcome to visit during events and tour times only. Be sure to check the website for upcoming events and tours!