Image courtesy of Pexels.

Visiting a farm or going to a harvest event is a great way to celebrate fall with your kids and remind them where their food really comes from. Don’t limit your farm fun to picking out pumpkins. We’ve found farms offering animal visits, apple cider squeezes, and even overnights to help you have down-home fun whether you have country kids or city slickers. Note that small farms are usually also the farmers’ homes, so you’ll want to confirm open times before you go.

Also keep in mind that these are real, working farms. Dress accordingly — this is a good time for boots! And be prepared for your kids to get dirty. Pack wipes and a change of clothes if you aren’t going straight home. Here is a list of fall experiences to try:

Wild Hare Organic Farm

The former Terry’s Berries on River Road in Tacoma offers organic produce shares year round and traditionally has offered cider squeeze events during October. Got a pre-school or parents’ group? They’ll take the kids on a hayride and let them harvest some veggies to take home. These opportunities fill fast, so be sure to book soon..

Mason Jar Farm

This farm offers a CSA, community events, kids’ camps, and a bed and breakfast option. Visitors will likely get to see what’s growing and meet the chickens. The farm typically closes November-April, though it has special events during those months. Watch the Facebook page or subscribe to the newsletter for the latest.

Key Peninsula Farm Tour

This event is always the first Saturday in October. Get a map and visit as many participating farms as you’d like. Past activities have included bouquet making, petting zoos, and tractor rides. You’ll want to make a plan before you start out! Bring some money along for food vendors and to buy some products from the farms you visit. 

Firwood Farm Alpacas

This Fife-area alpaca farm has traditionally hosted Alpaca Days in September. You also can meet the herd during regular open hours, though you’re encouraged to call ahead as, “Animals keep their own schedules.” There’s also a shop selling socks and cozy knitted items.

Mountain Lodge Farm Eatonville

This farmstead creamery is a “save the date” spot, as its monthly open house events begin in spring. How often do you get to take your kids to meet goat kids? You’ll want to buy and taste the cheese while you’re there.

Nature Nurtures Farm Olympia

Open farm days are held the first Saturday of the month April-September Animal lovers can groom horses, pet rabbits, and feed goats. They also host camps and childcare and offer group tours.

Apple Squeeze

The Steilacoom Apple Squeeze is Oct. 1. You can make fresh-squeezed cider and take part in activities, and usually there are pony rides. There is no actual picking, but Steilacoom has plenty of old-fashioned, farm-inspired charm. The Meeker Mansion in Puyallup also hosts a fall cider squeeze, Oct.14. Make fresh cider, pick out a pumpkin, and buy a treat. Again, there is no actual apple picking — but it’s fall fun at its finest.