I had heard the name Celestial Farms before but no one we knew had been there before so we decided to check it out ourselves. We are always looking for outdoor activities, especially given all the current entertainment restrictions.
Celestial Farms is a non-profit farm animal rescue and educational center located on Duval Road, close to the airport. It is open Monday through Saturday 8:30am – 4:00pm. There is no entrance fee however donations are accepted via cash, Venmo, or PayPal. The farm runs mostly by donation, with all proceeds going straight back to the farm. In addition to monetary support they accept donations of services, materials, and goods. They are also a popular venue for photo shoots and birthday parties.
The boys and I took the 30-minute drive on a Thursday, arriving mid-morning. PRO TIP: Best to wear sneakers or shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy. There were young volunteers at the entrance to greet us, as well as the lovely owner of the farm. There is a hand washing station just before seeing the first of the animals and many signs around the farm asking you to wash before and after touching the animals.
My son’s eyes lit up when the ducks started waddling towards us. There are tons of ducks, chickens, and roosters roaming freely that will come right up to you. We walked the perimeter spending time at each of the animal stations. There are goats, horses, mules, a cow, bunnies, and pigs. You can feed all of the animals, however there are specific diet restrictions for the bunnies (leafy greens only). PRO TIP: Bring crackers, graham crackers, carrots, and leafy greens if your kiddos like to feed! We also had pretzels and cheerios on hand. I couldn’t believe how fast we would go through a sleeve of Ritz but feeding the animals was by far my son’s favorite part! My kiddo got a little frightened when the chickens started “chasing him”. I’m sure they just wanted more crackers but they did nip at his legs once so he learned how to hide the food in his pockets, rather than walk around holding the bag of treats.
My son did have a few questions; “why does he have bumps all over him?” and “why does his leg look like that?” Something to keep in mind is this is a rescue farm, not Old MacDonald’s. Many of the animals are sick and often received poor care prior to being rescued. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of treating animals with respect, compassion, and care.
They DO have a bathroom and changing table (complete with baby supplies) as well as a small gift shop, which includes a few refreshments and items for purchase.
Our last stop was a tractor ride, which was a huge crowd-pleaser among the littles! The owner herself took the kids on a ~5-minute ride where they can see the animals closer and even some out-of-sight creatures. She was so patient with all the kids and allowed them to go on more than one ride, which was appreciated. PRO TIP: Bring cash for the tractor tip jar!
We had a great experience at Celestial Farms. We spent ~1.5 hours there and my son asked the next day if we could go back! Yep, buddy, we will be back!
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