Farm holidays are fun! Learning about animals; outdoor activities; loads of fresh air; playing with other children: spending time on a farm is perfect for families. Long a tradition in SouthWest Germany, farm holidays have moved with the times: think apartments and rustic cabins, yurts and tree houses, toys and child-friendly equipment.
Farm holidays: A rural break
Imagine waking up on a farm. After breakfast, children head to the farm yard to see which animals are awake. They might play with the kittens or feed dandelions and cabbage leaves to the rabbits. Next up is a show-and-tell tour of the farm – and who wouldn’t want to collect eggs from the hen house to have for breakfast the next day!
In the Black Forest and on Lake Constance, there are farms, which are specially certified for family holidays. Some raise animals; others have orchards; they all provide a wide range of equipment, from cots and high chairs to toys and books. They also offer dedicated facilities, such as playgrounds, child-friendly toy vehicles, barbecue areas and, of course, all kinds of animals to pet.
On Lake Constance, family-friendly fruit farms are surrounded by orchards, but often have animals, such as dogs, cats, guinea pigs or rabbits. In the Black Forest, the farms focus on cows and chickens, but often have ponies for riding. Some even specialise in riding holidays.
In SouthWest Germany, farming continues to be a way of life. Many farms sell their produce in a farm shop. Some even have their own distillery, continuing a centuries-old tradition of making schnapps and fruit brandies.
Short breaks: Get away to a farm
In the off-season, some farms still offer overnight stays and short breaks. This is a great way to get a taste of life on the farm. The Hirschfeld family farm in the Black Forest near Freudenstadt, for example, offers “taster weekends” between November and March. In the heart of the Black Forest, the Mooshof in Schramberg invites guests to combat the early-winter blues with a 4-night stay on their organic farm.
Even shorter: A day on a farm
Even spending just one day on a farm is special for children. Deep in the Black Forest, the Schmid family’s adventure farm in Waldmössingen has horses, cows and pigs. Entry is free and, as well as seeing the animals, families can learn about life on a farm. During the summer months, the café (Vesperstube) serves meals made with the farm’s own produce.
Down on Lake Constance, a great day out for children is a visit to the Reutemühle petting zoo in Überlingen. There are over 200 different species and breeds on the farm, from llamas, emus and goats to raccoons, meerkats and tame chipmunks that children can feed by hand.