July 27th, 2014Promise Land Farm and Petting Zoo
As you may have noticed from my recent posts, we’ve been on kind of a farm bender the last couple of weeks. I have an unspoken goal to visit as many Ontario Animals, farms & Zoos that I can drag my husband to. While I am not a pro at the best farm for a family to visit, I know what I like in a petting zoo. There is nothing more rewarding than when you see some goats come up to great your 17 month old daughter.
Promise Land Farm is a family business owned and operated by Don and Cheryl Dowswell. Located at 640 Hamilton Road, Quinte West, the Farm became open to the public on October 6, 2012, offering a full wheelchair accessible petting zoo, snack shack, bbq area and playground.
If coming from Ottawa to the farm you want to take exit 538 for Country road 1 Wallbridge loyalist road towards sterling turning right onto Wallbridge loyalist road and then right onto Hamilton Road. If traveling from Toronto area, take exit 526 for County Road 4/Glen Miller Road toward Trenton/CFB Trenton. Turn left onto Glen Miller Rd/County Rd 4 (signs for County Road 4 S/Glen Miller Road S/CFB Trenton), then turning left onto Hamilton Rd/County Rd 22.
A very reasonable 6.00 gets you admission to the petting zoo, with special rates for children and seniors. Children under 2 receive free admission. Please note that the farm accepts cash only, so make a stop at the bank before you visit.
There is never a dull moment at the farm, whether it is the free roaming friendly billie goats that come up to great you, the peacocks fanning their beautiful plumes or the loveable llamas and alpacas that like to entertain. Have you ever touched a llama or a alpaca? So soft!
Follow the goats as they cruise the grounds, while a kitten scurries by. Hop in the bunny patch to cuddle with cottontails, or have a conversation with a duck.
There are feed machines on the property, which for $2.00 you can feed the animals, setting the stage for picture perfect opportunities. In our opinion the $2.00 is a little steep compared to the 25 cent fee at other farms, but admission to the farm itself is lower than other farms. Children and animals are able to interact through the fences for feeding and petting, with the acceptation of an area that is double fenced.
At Promise Land Farm we also met sheep, pheasants, miniature horses, miniature donkeys, a donkey, a horse named Jewel, and a galloway cow, who were all too happy to submit to our attentions.
There is more to do at Promise Land Family Fun Farm than seeing and feeding animals though. They have an area where you can purchase hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, snack food, beverages and ice cream.
There is also two different play areas that include climbers, slides, a 56 foot train climber and lots of area for sitting.
Please remember to wash your hands after any contact with the animals, before leaving the animal contact area and prior to eating or drinking. There is hand sanitizer areas throughout the farm. Promise Land Farm takes their health and safety obligations very seriously and insures their guests do too.
Both Cheryl and Don were very knowledgeable, experienced, and able to answer any questions my husband and I had about the farm. It was easy to see that both Don and Cheryl have a huge heart and love for animals. Over the last few years they have worked really hard to pull it all together and have a great program now running.
Cheryl even stop to get a kiss from a llama during our visit, before she went on to share with me her future hopes and plans for the farm, which includes more animals, play equipment, a birthday party bus and a corn maze.
Many of the animals that you see on display at the farm, like the patagonian cavy began their lives on the farm inside the Dowswell’s house, until they were tame enough to join the rest of the animals.
Promise Land Family Fun Farm is a great chance for the young and the young at heart to interact with farm animals and enjoy quality time with family. Most families need about two hours for a good visit, but stay as long as you like. Once you’ve experienced Promise Land Farm, you will want to stop by again and again. I have to admit that I had a hard time leaving. The animals were just so friendly, as were our warm and welcoming hosts.
For any Belleville or Quinte area residents who might be reading this, Cheryl and Don would be more than happy to host your child’s next birthday party. You can find more information on the Promise Land website plfarm.ca, and be sure to like their Facebook page for the most current pictures and up to date info on hours and special events.