These local farms provide activities for all ages, including introductions to animals from alpacas to camels to goats (oh, my!)
By James Dupree | Photography by Beth Mann, Jackie Dodge and John Michael Simpson
Learning doesn’t have to stop when the kids are out of school. These farms offer educational camps and classes, fun-filled family activities and opportunities for volunteer work.
My Little Farmer is an educational program founded in 2017 by Lindsey Schwartz. Its summer camp for ages 4 to 6 begins June 12 and runs through August at several locations throughout the Triangle. Campers get cuddle time with goats, rabbits, sheep, chickens and more. Other activities include farm chores, arts and crafts, waterplay and nature adventures.
Carolina Sunshine Alpaca Farm in Pittsboro offers a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life with a chance to experience a beautiful outdoor environment and feed and interact with alpacas. Farm tours are self-guided, allowing visitors to freely explore the farm. Private guided tours are available for families, school and youth groups and must be booked in advance. The farm is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Old Mill Farm in south Durham is across the street from My Little Farmer and owned by Lindsey’s husband, Alec Moore. Old Mill Farm holds its summer camp for children ages 5 to 12 from June through August. Activities include feeding and caring for the animals (goats, sheep and alpacas), fishing in the pond, gardening, outdoor games and gem mining. Old Mill Farm is also open to reservations for birthdays, special events and weddings.
Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge sits on a 45-acre plot where abandoned and mistreated farm animals are given a sanctuary with high-quality housing, food and medical care. The farm is open to the public for feedings with the animals, which include goats, cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys and ducks. The refuge also offers volunteer opportunities and monthly animal sponsorships.
The Farm at Piper Hill is a 100-acre farm in Silk Hope with a country club approach, offering educational opportunities via My Little Farmer (owner David Schwartz is Lindsey’s dad), as well as an peaceful outdoor recreation and quality family time. Meet camels, Highland cattle and many more farm animals in the idyllic setting. The farm hosts a “pristine seven springs-fed pond loaded with trophy-sized fish” and plans to allow members to keep their own farm animals and grow their own crops.
The Inn at Celebrity Dairy in Siler City invites the public to partake in its dairy farm tour and midweek lunch. Participants will get the chance to meet with 100 resident alpine goats and are treated to a delicious three-course meal. Packages for groups between 15 to 25 people are available, with reservations made in advance.