Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
I love visiting farms with Lucas, it’s fun to interact with different animals and bring what we read about in his books to life. That’s why I was excited when we found Back Home on the Farm in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This working farm is so much more than just a farm, it’s family amusement for the whole family.
We visited during the Fall Pumpkin Festival, so there were a lot of different types of pumpkins for sale, many we had never seen before. You could also take a socially distant tractor ride to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin. We picked one for cooking (side note: I made this instant pot gluten-free and dairy-free pumpkin soup from Noshtastic and it was really good) and Lucas picked another for decoration. Lucas loved his pumpkin so much that he carried it around with him everywhere for days. 😊
One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new place is to check out the food markets and local shops, so I was happy to do a few laps around their cute little market. The Farm store sells gifts, canned goods like jams and pickles made at the farm, as well as a few treats: like apple cider slushies, fudge, and baked goods. They even had gluten-free cookies, which I of course had to try!
If you prefer to skip the store, there is plenty to keep you busy outside. An interesting feature here is that they combine nature play with the repurposing of materials to create the play structures. For example, the 60-foot underground slide was not your typical slide. The slide was created using what looked like construction tunnels you see getting installed on the highway. Lucas was hesitant at first, but we all had fun sliding underground through the tunnel on burlap sacks.
In keeping with the repurposing of materials theme, there were several old tractors and play structures to climb on, as well as a giant seesaw made with wagon wheels, and the cutest tire swings shaped into farm animals.
Another fun feature here are all of the outside games. From rubber duck racing, to bowling and a giant slingshot, there is something for everyone. I love wooden toys for kids, and there were plenty here, including musical instruments, giant building blocks, and large wooden blocks for Jenga. As if that wasn’t enough, we also played a round of minigolf and Lucas had fun on the kid-sized zipline (with some help.) This is one of the few places I’ve visited with Lucas where I’ve seen the whole family (from toddler upwards) enjoy the same games. It’s the perfect spot to relax and act like a kid again. When you’ve had enough of the games and playground you can visit the friendly farm animals. When we visited there were goats, donkeys, and horses, all willing to socialize in exchange for a treat.
We spent hours here but there were a few things we didn’t have time to explore. If you have the time (and your kids have the stamina) there is a corn maze, as well as a few other cute play areas like a fairy garden in a greenhouse. If you’re in the Harrisonburg area, Back Home on the Farm is worth a visit!
Things to know for your visit:
- There was no on-site restaurant as mentioned on their website. There are plenty of picnic tables and you can bring your own lunch.
- Parking is free but there is an entrance fee ($10 pp, including kids over 2.)
- Public restrooms are available.
- Staff and visitors are expected to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. There is enough open space that you don’t have to wear a mask for your entire visit and still be safe.
- Plan to spend several hours here if you want to get through all of the attractions.
- All of the games and activities are outdoors, be sure to prepare for the weather.
Address: Back Home on the Farm, 2915 Willow Run Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.