Most kids love animals of all kinds, and taking the kids to meet farm animals is an easy, fun and educational outing. We are lucky to have some great options near Portland where you can get up close and personal with animals. Here are some of our favorites:
Although it’s only a short drive away, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a farming oasis when you cross the bridge into Sauvie Island to check out The Pumpkin Patch. The Pumpkin Patch’s barn is stocked with kids’ favorite barnyard animals. You’ll see an alpaca, goats, chickens, bunnies — even peacocks! Above each animal’s stall, you’ll find a sign with interesting facts about them. You can also do some u-pick, from berries in the summer to pumpkins in the fall.
Another great Sauvie Island option is Topaz Farm (formerly Kruger’s Farm). There are animals like chickens, goats and pigs, plus they have a great farm store and the grill is going over the weekends for hotdogs, brats, corn and more. We stopped by this summer for u-pick flowers and a picnic and had a great time.
Triskelee Farm in West Linn offers tours of their farm to meet alpacas, goats, pigs, ostriches, peacocks, ponies and more. You’ll even get a chance to feed some, and can schedule a pony ride. Email for a reservation. $9/guest for the farm tour. You can read our review of a recent tour here.
Combine meeting farm animals with another kid fave — a train ride — at Flower Farmer in Canby. On the weekends, the miniature train will take you out to see the animals, including chickens, rabbits, sheep, a goat and an alpaca, and the driver will hop off to tell you more about them. The farm store and outdoor area has a fun, vintage feel, and the staff are friendly and welcoming. Train rides are $9 for adults and $6 for children.
If you want to get even closer and more personal with animals, book a time to visit the goats (often adorable baby goats) at Portland Goat Parties in the Scholls area of Beaverton. Rather than a walk-through visit, this is an hour-long slot to hang out with, pet and feed the goats. $40/hour for a group of four people.
Head to Hood River’s Draper Girls Country Farm. In addition to lots of opportunities for fresh u-pick and they-pick fruits and veggies, they’ve got goats. You can purchase a small packet of goat food for a few dollars if you want to have the goats really eating out of your hands. Or you can just watch them nurse, climb and chew. Definitely bring a picnic for you and your crew. They’ve got lots of tables and chairs for you to sit at while you enjoy the unbeatable view of Mt. Hood. There’s also a large wooden swing, big enough for two or three kids to play on.
Old MacDonald’s Farm, a nonprofit in Corbett, aims to educate youth about farm animals, agriculture, gardens and natural resources. Gather a few friends for the morning chores package, an intense educational program where kids can learn how to feed and care for all types of livestock. They also offer less intense options, Saturday programs and host special events throughout the year.
Located in Sherwood, Oregon, Heart 2 Heart Farms is a permaculture farm that specializes in education. Be as involved as you want — from a fun family farm day, to a six-week piglet fostering program.
The Belmont Goats are currently not offering open gate hours due to COVID, but are a fun local option in regular times. You can stay closer to home, and head to N. Portland, where The Belmont Goats have found a new spacious lot to play in. During visiting hours, you can get up close and personal with the goats, or you can drop by to see them through the fence at other times.
Located on an old dairy farm in the Lents neighborhood, Zenger Farm is now cow-less. It remains an animal haven though, with volunteers tending to chickens, worms and bees. While there are no open tours of the farm, there are a number of ways to visit. You can gather a group of friends to schedule a field trip, volunteer at a honey bee work party, take part in a community cooking workshop, or keep on top of their events on their website. Currently, due to COVID, they are not allowing children on the farm.