One of the most life-giving decisions we've made as a family is the decision to prioritize experiences over things. We try to devote at least one day of our weekly rhythm to exploring a new place, whether it be a museum, a park, a hiking trail, a beach or in this case a quintessential New England farm.
Appleton Farms is the oldest continuously operating farm in the US, established in 1638 and farmed by 9 generations of the family before being placed in public trust. We spent several hours traipsing through the tree-lined lanes with fields of Jersey cows and calves on either side. Abigail enjoyed mooing back and forth with them. When we got tired of walking we hopped on a wagon ride through 200 acre acres of rolling fields where generations of Appleton men went fox hunting.
Our wagon ride ended at the farm store where the kids climbed trees next to a beautiful field of sunflowers. It's a rare outing for our family that doesn't include at least an hour of climbing!
We also got to visit the old carriage house which has been converted into a play space for kids. One of the original stalls houses antique harnesses, saddles and fox hunting apparel from the farm's history, while other stalls have been converted into homes for rabbits, goats, and sheep. There is a classroom area with toys and books for the kids complete with chickens wandering underfoot waiting for a pat and a handful of grain.
One of the instructors took the kids to visit the henhouse and collect eggs. Then she showed them how to card their own wool and spin it into yarn. Abigail enjoyed making a yarn bracelet.
All the staff members were so friendly and happy to engage with Moses and Abigail's curiosity. We are looking forward to going back again soon!
Happy adventuring to you and your family!