Nate’s mom, two sisters, and our adorable little niece were in town briefly this past weekend. They all live in North Carolina, so unfortunately we don’t get to see them very often.
On Friday, we went to Charmingfare Farm. We thought it would be a fun place to meet.
While the kids did have fun, it was not worth the $11 admission fee – $17 if you want to go on the “unlimited rides.” The farm’s version of “unlimited rides” was to offer 1 pony ride 3x a day and if you did want to ride the pony, it was only one pony for however many kids were in line. Even with it being Friday and not very busy, there was still a wait. It was a bit ridiculous. I hardly consider that “unlimited.” And to pay $17 for that? Sorry, not worth it. Plus, they insisted we buy an extra $17 ticket for one of us adults because “we had to walk next to the kids on the pony ride.” Really? You can go to Story Land and pay $25 for truly unlimited rides, and there you get your money’s worth!
The animals were less than worth the cost too. We were under the impression that there would be a petting zoo-type-environment, but there wasn’t. The “bunnies” exhibit consisted of one bunny in a pen that was too far back from the fence and mostly covered with bushes so we could hardly see. And forget getting to pet the animal as we had hoped. This was the case with many of their “exhibits” – the chickens, the pigs, the turkey (or whatever animal it was – it looked rather sick and you could hardly see it), the “birds of prey” exhibit (we still have no idea what was in there as it was impossible to see inside – there was a fence keeping the bird display 3 feet away and then dark bars so no matter how nice of a day it was, you couldn’t see inside! It was pretty pointless.) The “exhibits” were poorly designed and it was really hard to see the animals, muchless interact with them. Also there were very few signs to direct you to the different exhibits and the employees – who we had expected to be around to answer questions about the animals, help the kids pet them, etc. – were virtually non-existent.
The “zoo” part was pretty disappointing – again the enclosures were much too small. They had a mountain lion in a cage that was scarcely bigger than my dining room. He looked frustrated and …”caged-in.”
The goat pen was fun for the kids, where they could walk among the goats, including cute babies. But in that barn was also a rather sick-looking cow and calf (the only cow we saw on the whole place) and some ducklings. Sitting next to the ducklings on this ledge was a plastic container filled with a nasty substance. I was a little afraid it was dead baby ducks, but I didn’t look too closely for fear of losing my lunch. It was SO disgusting and it sat out there the entire day. We couldn’t believe it.
Overall, we felt the farm was poorly maintained, it was very overpriced, and some of the animals seemed downright sick and neglected.
My review? Poor. It’s not worth it. We won’t be going back and if you’re in the area and consider this place, I do not recommend it.
We did get a few cute pictures.
The other thing: They had warnings signs for “electric fences” on several of the enclosures! These ‘electric fences’ were easily within reach of small children and I was quite shocked. I hope they were turned off, but needless to say, we were not going to find out! Does that make any sense to you?! See the fence in the picture below? Electric!
See how the kids could barely pet the pony here in this “petting area”?
Cute little lambs:
Nate with Elianah:
Grandma (Nate’s mom) with Nathan & Emily:
Nathan’s turn on the pony:
When I showed Emily this pictured, she informed me: “I wasn’t scared or sad in this picture, Mommy, I was just being shy.” That’s my Em!
Aunt Jennah and Nathan in the goat pen:
Joshua loved the baby goats:
And here’s a few more pictures from the next day at a family cookout:
Elissa (Nate’s younger sister) and her little girl, Elianah:
Uncle Mike & Joshua – Joshua was quite grumpy that day and wouldn’t let anyone hold him unless they were giving him food… Mike pulled out the animal crackers and those were a big hit:
Nate & his uncles talking:
Aunt Kathy & Joshua:
Grandma & Emily:
Elissa & Elianah:
Thanks for looking!