Farm Fun for Kids
Old McDonald's Farm on Nantucket
If your kids love to cluck like a chicken and baa like a lamb (and you probably do as well, come on, admit it…) you won’t want to miss a visit to Ray Owen’s Farm. It’s really one of Nantucket’s hidden treasures. Not far out of town, on Hawthorne Lane, Berry Patch Farm keeps a range of livestock to delight a child’s eyes and ears.
Plucky goats, shy sheep and lambs, exuberant chickens, hugely fluffy bunnies, and stoic horses have their home at this island oasis. Yesterday I took my two-year-old son and the one-year-old I take care of and they had a wildly good time. The chickens sang their greeting the moment we got out of the car, and the goats hopped up on the fence to greet us.
I didn’t bring any carrots along, being unsure of the protocol regarding the feeding of the animals. The pastures down the road from my house have explicit signs asking people to abstain from feeding the animals, so I decided to err on the side of caution. The goats, however, seemed intrigued by the possibility of unseen treats in the human kids’ little hands, and since I didn’t see any signs advising against feeding the friendly critters, it seems safe to say that Ray doesn’t mind if you feed them.
When you pull in you’ll find a small parking area next to an outbuilding with a sign that says “Keep Dogs Leashed.” That is really the only sign, save the hand painted wooden sign at the entrance to Berry Patch Farm. The place may look empty, but don’t be shy. Visitors are welcomed free of charge.
Always be kind to the animals, and use common sense around them. Don’t startle them, and caution the kids from poking their hands or faces through the fences. Don’t let your kids wiggle under the sheep fence, as my little guy did in the fleeting moment when I turned to photograph his little friend. And above all else DON’T OPEN THE GATES.
Otherwise, have a wonderful time enjoying Nantucket’s version of Old MacDonald’s Farm.