You can do a little of everything at Hidden Valley: Shop for fresh produce, pick-your-own grapes and pears, visit the petting zoo, or just grab a “Thriller” apple—a large apple dipped in caramel, then dipped in chocolate and rolled in peanuts, then drizzled with even more chocolate—and have yourself a sit. The farm store, located in an historic barn, has baked goods, 100% grape juice and apple-cider, raw honey, Amish dairy and meat products, and seriously good homemade pickles for sale. Check out The Grape Escape festival from August 31–Sept 2, which features arts and crafts vendors, carnival rides, hay and train rides, and plenty of farm-fresh snacks. 5474 N. State Route 48, Lebanon, (513) 932-1869, www.hiddenvalleyfruitfarm.com
Sunrock Farm, in Wilder, Kentucky, has every farm animal you could think of: goats, sheep, pig, rabbits, chickens and chicks, turkeys, alpacas, horses, donkeys, and—wait for it—emus. Visit the farm for a two-hour hands-on tour of the animals, where you can milk the goats, gather some eggs, hold teeny woodland creatures (bunnies!), and bottle-feed the lambs. $10 per person (cash only). Call for reservations. 103 Gibson Ln., Wilder, Ky. (859) 781-5502, sunrockfarm.org
Located about 70 miles northeast from Cincinnati, Young’s Jersey Dairy is a working dairy farm with one very special feature: ice cream. You see, when you have some of the best milk on offer, making top quality ice cream is a natural next step. Young’s also has a veritable campus of family fun activities, like miniature golf, batting cages, a 10-pasenger train, and “Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral,” a special area for little kids with straw bales, an inflatable obstacle course, tractors, a slide, and more. Enjoy it all at the upcoming Labor Day Family Value Weekend. Of course you can’t leave Young’s without a scoop of that famous homemade ice cream. Starting Aug 26, the featured flavor is Sea Salt Caramel. And since you’ve already made the trip, stay for dinner at The Golden Jersey Inn, located in a barn built in 1869. 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, (937) 325-0629, youngsdairy.com
For going on six generations, McGlasson Farms has been operating on rural Route 8 (now called River Road) in Hebron, Kentucky. During the growing season, you’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables at their roadside stand. Pick up a bushel of McGlasson’s many apple varieties for baking into pies—or for munching on, at your desk, of course. 5832 River Rd., Hebron, Ky., (859) 689-5229, mcglassonfarms.com
Gorman Heritage Farm’s family history dates back to the 1830s, and continued on up to 1943, when owners Jim and Dorothy Gorman handed over operations to the Cincinnati Nature Center, who then eventually turned it over to the Village of Evendale. The property now functions as an education center with hiking trails, a children’s garden, plenty of chances to learn all about a working farm, A Farm Camp, and a store with local grown and raised produce, flowers, and meats. 10052 Reading Rd. Evendale, (513) 563-6663, gormanfarm.org
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