There is a little haven in Issaquah, Washington where tired mothers bring their offspring to run out some energy along side a few barnyard friends. Everyone does not know about it, even people who live close by, but those who do have told their friends. The crowds have not been kept at bay.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I pulled into to the entrance of Fox Hollow Family Farm & Equestrian Center. After the Children’s Museum debacle was I really up for another toddler fest? No. Not really. But Dek needed to get outside. The rain had been keeping us indoors long enough.
A girlfriend I hadn’t seen in a while invited us to join her at this rural hideaway just 20 miles outside of Seattle. Yes, I call it a hideaway. It was the oddest farm I had ever been to.
Fox Hollow is actually a private residence. Animal and kid loving owners Autumn and Anthony Ridnell opened up their home a few years back so children could get up close and personal with a few loveable critters. I’m not sure they were prepared for the onslaught of families or the parking congestion that would soon occur. It’s definitely a tight squeeze if you can even find a spot.
Lounge chairs dotted their front yard where moms were camped out and soaking up the midday sun. Kids ran across the grass. Future farmers drove miniature (and motorized) tractors around the driveway loop.
And then a miniature horse trotted by.
Yes, a horse. He (she? I didn’t check) was just out there grazing away. He could not be bothered by the kids running up to pet him. Had we come to Dr. Dolittle’s house?
This may not be the good doctor’s abode, but the Ridnell family sure knows how to play to what kids love most.
A tractor pulled train, which was included in the price of admission, was by far Dek’s favorite part of the farm. I had to cut him off so we could actually see some animals. Second on his list of favorites would have to be the mini basketball hoop right next to the “big boy” net.
Trains and balls; yes, they had the toddlers figured out and what made for picture perfect moments.
Little riders on ponies sauntered through a beautifully overgrown garden with moms trailing behind, iPhones ready to capture every precious moment.
Cuteness knew no bounds as spring had brought fresh crop of residents to the farm. Baby kittens softly meowed in the hayloft. Tiny bunnies hopped around their mamas and stared down visitors before being picked up and
squished cuddled. A baby goat got very friendly with one of the farm hands.
A haughty peacock strutted around like he owned the place. Ok, so maybe he wasn’t so much cute as he was pretty, even if he was a bit stuck up.
Crowded parking lot aside it wasn’t so bad once you got inside. There were plenty of spots to sit. The farm was sectioned off by gardens, seating areas and activities, keeping families scattered throughout the property instead of clumped into one spot.
It is easy to spend an entire day at this little farm outside of the city. We would just relegate our stay until naptime. Even though it was not as chaotic as museum, I was still ready for a bit of a rest.
Know Before You Go
- Fox Hollow Family Farm & Equestrian Center, 12031 Issaquah-Hobart Road SE, Issaquah, WA 98027
- $8 for all visitors 1 year old and up
- $3 for pony rides
- Concession food is available at fairly reasonable prices (ex. $2 for a hot dog, $1 for a bag of chips)
- Stroller? No. Gravel paths made it very hard to navigate. A baby carrier is recommended.
- Picnicking is encouraged.
- Sunscreen- there is very little shade in the most popular areas.
- Hand Sanitizer- farm animals carry diseases and there were very few places to wash your hands.
- Bathrooms are on sight.