August 21, 2017

Taking the Kids to a B&B in Amish Country

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Kate Bottle Feeding a Baby Cow

I’ve stayed at many bed and breakfast inns over the last 15 or so years. They were always quaint and romantic, and the perfect place to get away alone with my husband. We didn’t have kids and there weren’t any kids staying at the inns. Just grown-ups.

Back in June, I went TBEX, the annual travel bloggers conference, and a representative from BedandBreakfast.com reached out to me for a meeting. I just thought, she must not have been to my website, because Kidventurous is clearly designed for families traveling with their children, not for people who want to stay in a bed and breakfast inn.

Oh, how times have changed. Sure, there are still plenty that cater to adults seeking time alone, but it’s not uncommon to find a bed and breakfast that operates with families in mind, and this article by my friend, Colleen Lanin, called Bed and Breakfasts are for Kids, Too, clearly backs this up.

Clare Playing with the Bunnies

A couple of weeks ago, we stayed at a small bed and breakfast inn in Lancaster County, PA called Verdant View Farm Bed & Breakfast and the kids just loved our three days there. As the name implies, Verdant View Farm is a working farm with cows, chickens, goats and sheep. There’s even a rock-retrieving dog named Scooby.

Every morning, we woke up and headed to the barn to milk the cows at 7:30 am. We all got our turn milking cows each day, even three-year-old Paul. We then were able to bottle feed the baby calves, one of which was just four days old when we arrived.

Kate & Molly Feeding Baby Cows

Our second day there, we took part in the Farmers Apprentice program where we were able to make popcorn (I had no idea there is a special kind of corn grown to make popcorn), lead the goats and gather chicken eggs. There are also opportunities to churn butter, harvest vegetables, make preserves and catch fish. It’s best to talk to Ginny, one of the owners, ahead of time so she can get a better feel for which hands-on activities you and your kids want to do.

While the farming activities were the most fun for my kids, we also enjoyed getting to know the other family staying in the four-room house where we stayed. The family was from Paris, France and had five kids ages 11 to 18 staying in the room above us. The last afternoon we were there, my husband, Dirk, taught the boys how to play American football and they spent a couple of hours playing three-on-three. It was so much fun and a far greater experience than we would have gotten had we stayed in a hotel.

Paul & His New French Friend, Jean

The room we had was also perfect for a family. We had the first-floor rooms in the house, which included one room with a queen bed, and a second room with two sets of bunk beds for the kids. Best of all, the kids room led out into the backyard complete with Adirondack chairs and a fabulous evening sunset. The only thing missing was a glass of wine!

If you get a chance, I highly recommend that you check out a bed and breakfast for families, and the Verdant View Farm Bed & Breakfast, in particular. The room rates were extremely reasonably, and there’s a lot to do in the Lancaster area, including Dutch Wonderland, Amish Country and the Strasburg Railroad. We can’t wait to go back!

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