Sweetwater Farms, 14412 Beatties Ford Road, in Huntersville, is just outside of Charlotte, but can feel like it’s miles away, with plenty of open space, gardens and a menagerie of rescued farm animals, including chickens, horses (including miniature horses), donkeys, goats and pigs.
It’s a natural oasis with a mission to empower and educate children.
Sweetwater Farms has developed a curriculum that teaches empathy for animals, including kind and humane ways to care for them, social confidence, relationship building, gross motor skills and more.
They offer inexpensive field trips ($10 per child), special occasions like birthday parties, farm experiences for seniors, and team building.
You can also bring your child for a farm visit on Fridays and Saturdays, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and (just added) Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., this summer.
You can bring the whole family, have a picnic, enjoy the peace and quiet, meet the animals and take a stroll on the paths.
Maybe best of all, kids have the opportunity for truly free play in a natural setting. Normally, there’s a tire swing, a see-saw, some musical instruments, and much more, but right now the toys are not available. They have added some no-contact features, like an obstacle course and a stump walk.
You need to sign up in advance for a 2 hour time slot, and they are strictly limiting the number of people visiting at any one time, so you will not experience big crowds.
The cost is $4 a person, with children under age 2 free.
Please be aware that certain areas of the farm are not available right now, in the interest of health and safety.
You can still visit animals in this beautiful setting, and you can bring your own toys as well. They’ve added some new activities that allow for social distancing.
Bookings will open up 7 days in advance.