I was able to get four passes through a Groupon deal to take the kids to Green Meadows Petting Farm in
Kissimmee, Florida. Since it costed me no out of pocket money, I decided we'd check it out. It's a bit of a drive from where we are in Port Orange, over an hour each way, but we made a couple of stops off in Orlando as well.
There are some things that I liked about Green Meadows Petting Farm and some things that I did not like. Here's a re-cap of what I liked and didn't like:
What I liked:
The kids get to get up close and interact to a lot of different animals. It's a great experience for them and they never stopped smiling. I was actually impressed with how excited my son was. He was thrilled, running from place to place and couldn't wait to see each of the animals. I also found the tour guides to be friendly and I love their beautiful nature setting. I also like that the experience includes a hay ride and train ride, which the kids really enjoyed. I try to get my kids the opportunity to connect with animals, so this outting did help serve the purpose.
What I didn't like:
They gave pony rides (my kids refused) and the ponies looked miserable. The workers in that area were yanking the ponies around by their bridle and they looked to me like they were living a sad, miserable life. I also didn't like how the cow was chained up so that people could milk her (although this could also be a good way to help people make the connection). I also didn't like how the employees would often tell you how the animals tasted. I'm there to help my children make a connection to animals, not discuss how taking their life and eating them would be. Another thing I didn't like is that they have a small snack bar and they sell animals at it (animal "foods" like burgers and such)! Yikes. That seems a bit odd to me. I didn't see anyone buying any food from it, but how many parents take their kids to visit with the chickens, which the kids clearly are loving every minute of, and then feed them chicken moments later?! Also, some of the animals should not be handled by the public. For example, there were baby rabbits that were only two days old and I saw kids squeezing them, dropping them, pulling their ears, and the mother rabbit was clearly distressed by all this.
Overall, I'm glad I didn't pay full price to go here, because it is bit pricey ($23 per person for 2.5 hours). But it was worth going since I got the passes for free with my groupon credit. If you do go, check their site for coupons to save on admission. The kids really loved it and it gave them an interactive experience with the animals. I can't imagine any kids not enjoying visiting this place. There was a lot of positives and a few negatives. It would be nice for them to take the animals off their menu, do away with the pony rides, and stop talking about how the animals tastes, and just help people make a connection and enjoy visiting with them.