5 Local Farms Where Kids Can Connect with Animals

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I have two very hilarious little humans in my house, full of depth, interests, and curiosity. For as much as they laugh and play together, they can also be like night and day. My daughter has been drawn to animals since birth, so much so that she has declared herself a vegetarian 5 times in her 8 years, once making it 2 months! My 5-year-old son, on the other hand, has been fascinated with hunting and told us that he wants to get enough meat to “feed all the hungry people in the world!” 

Close Up Sheep Face

While their perspective on animals vary, one thing doesn’t: they both know that animals are to be honored and respected. That might present as protection and conservation, or as gratitude for all that they give us and a commitment to the most humane practices possible. One way that this sense of honor and respect has been honed in them is through local farms.

Favorite Local Farms

Below are some of our favorite places to experience farm animals over that last few years. I hope they’ll become some of your favorites, too!

Kennon Kamp Farm

This farm is a great place to hold chickens, gather eggs, pet bunnies, feed goats, and even walk a llama! The setting is small and individualized, ideal for kids navigating sensory needs. 

Rock Creek Farm at PCC

This farm is located on the campus of Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus. Here you can observe cattle, pet bunnies, and feed goats and pigs. And it’s free! 

Belmont Goats

Ok, we haven’t been to meet the Belmont Goats yet, but we really want to, so I included it! Though this herd of goats is now located in North Portland (no longer at the lot on Belmont that resulted in its namesake), you can still stop by to see them. It’s goats. In Portland. Need I say more?

Tollen Farm

This one was really special! Some visits include an art session, as well as getting to be with the donkeys in the fields. Specific visits can also be arranged for kids with different abilities.

Triskelee Farm 

Kids bottle feeding goat

Triskalee Farm is a working farm in West Linn  where you can see ostriches, peacocks, pigs, chickens, bunnies, horses, and alpaca! (And, you can make it a Tipsy Tour with a glass of beer or wine in hand!)

Whatever your family’s approach to food and animals, farms are a beautiful place to connect your kids to the creatures who bring both joy and tangible goods into our society. Let’s plant seeds of empathy, appreciation, and understanding in the hearts of our kids by connecting them with these special animals!

 

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Cheryl is a nearly 20 year Oregonian who grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. She learned to turn down the sarcasm dial, hike in the rain, and keep an IV drip of coffee at all times, making the PNW deeply home. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Pastoral Counseling and, in her pre-kid years, worked in substance abuse prevention, special needs tutoring, and as administrative support for the psychiatric care of at risk children. She and her husband, BJ, are two-time adoptive parents to Nora (8) and Evan (5). Together, they love discovering nature, mountains of library books, and endless hours of legos, art, and YouTube. A potent cocktail of pandemic school closure and a growing understanding of neurodivergent needs led Cheryl to educate their kids at home. She spends much of her time geeking out over resources for Child-Led Learning (Unschool, Self-Directed, Natural Learning -whatever your flavor!). Through NEST she has obtained certification in supporting individuals with the Pathological Demand Avoidance profile of the Autism Spectrum. She enjoys encouraging families in their journey as they seek to understand and love their children well. You can find her at WhatHelps.me, where she educates and supports in areas of OCD, PDA, Unschooling, and Open Adoption.

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