Vermont's Favorite Animal Farm
Computers, cartoons, cell phones, MP3 players, gaming systems, tablets, digital readers... Sometimes kids need a break from technology. At Retreat Farm, kids can get back to nature and learn a little about farm animals too!
Retreat Farm, Brattleboro
Getting urban kids interested in checking out a farm can be challenging — luckily your kids will get a kick out of knowing you're actually taking them to a crazy farm! How is that? The history of Retreat Farm includes being part of a large psychiatric hospital back in the 1840s. All kidding aside, the real treat of Retreat Farm is the incredible petting zoo it has become.
But Retreat is so much more than a typical petting zoo — here your kids will be able to do more than feed and pat the random lamb or goat. At Retreat Farm you'll get the chance to hold newly-hatched chicks and feed a one-ton oxen. Your kids can even learn to groom miniature horses and drive mini-trucks.
Aside from the petting zoo, Retreat Farm is home to one of the five trail heads for the Retreat Trail recreation network. The nine-mile trail is open year-round for walkers, hikers, Nordic skiers, snowshoers and bikers. The trails are great for family hikes, but it's best to avoid them in the fall as the surrounding forests are open during the fall months for archery hunting. If you do venture onto the trails in October, November or December, it's best to wear bright orange or red clothing.
One of the newest trails at Retreat Farm is the Woodlands Interpretive Trail, which has an accompanying MP3 podcast tour which details points of interest along the nature trail. The trail is also marked by a number of placards notating important sites along the trail, such as the spot where lightning struck a tree on the trail.
More about Retreat Farm
Address: 350 Linden Street, Route 30, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
Rates: Ages 12 and up $6, ages 2-11 $5, under 2 are free.
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