Green Meadows Petting FarmMay 28, 2013 07:44PM ● By Julie Henning
If you have elementary-age kids and live in Wisconsin, it's somewhat inevitable you will find yourself at a farm (assuming you don't already call one home). From class field trips to hay rides with the entire family, agritourism is a viable business model in the Midwest and Wisconsin has a plethora of choices.
Recently our family took a Sunday drive out to the Green Meadows Petting Farm between the towns of East Troy and Waterford. If you live in Racine, Kenosha, or Greater Milwaukee, this is an easy drive for you. Owned and operated by the Keyes family, the Waterford location is one of six Green Meadows Petting Farm locations scattered across the US.
General admission to the farm is $13 per person, with seniors receiving a $2 discount. Kids under age one are free. For our family, this is a little more than what we would pay to see a movie (with snacks). Frequent visitors may consider purchasing an annual farm pass, which is available for $30/person and offers unlimited visits to the farm year round.Featuring the standard pedal carts, PVC duck races, and tractor tire-themed playgrounds, Green Meadows Petting Farm boasts some unique and clever activities including life-sized checker and tic-tac-toe boards and a noise instrument (vehicle?) called the "Magical Music Machine."
Upon first impression, the general cleanliness and upkeep of the farm is quite impressive. The bathrooms, out buildings, and even the animals are tidy (the milking cow receives a bath every day). Farm staff are stationed around the grounds to answer questions and ensure the safety of the animals and guests.
Interacting with the farm animals is encouraged ("Whoa There!" signs mark animals that are on display only. For example, the 700 pound pig named "Patty"). From the "Kitty Barn" to the ponies and donkeys who loved to be brushed, the animal pens, activities, and buildings are spread out over several acres and a family could easily spend half a day taking it all in.
Note that pony rides are available to visitors before 2PM (one ride per child is included with admission). Goat feed is available for 25 cents/handful, and this is the only extra incurred cost, unless you want to buy a sloppy joe sandwich or souvenir chicken hat ($4 - what a deal!) in the small gift shop. Guest are encouraged to bring sack lunches, and plenty of picnic tables are available in a shaded corner of the front grounds.
A special thanks to Green Meadows Petting Farm for providing our family with five admissions to the farm for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.