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Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
 Farm Stay Family Vacations - Free Range Family Fun with Mother Nature and Her Support Team. Lazy Horse Ranch at FarmStayUs.comLooking for an easy way to slowdown, disconnect and unplug? Consider a family farmstay holiday. Escape to rural America with your kids and enjoy your own free range family fun.
 
It seems to me that family vacations, the precious time during the summer when memory making is the whole point, now come with too many connections – cell phones, texting, IPads, Ipods, laptops, Facebook, Twitter. The result – parents, children and even grandparents are tethered to the chaos of the world. Imagine a recess from the social media stream. Perhaps a respite from the media sound bites and spin that matters not to your own family’s peace of mind.  I am describing a family vacation without connections – back to basics family fun.

Here’s the scoop. I have discovered a great resource for planning just such an escape – FarmStayUS.com. This delightful site serves up so many tempting family vacation possibilities that no matter where you live in the U.S. there is a place within a half day’s drive. No two locations are the same and each offers unique benefits - the most obvious advantage  - a chance to unplug, disconnect and discover the gift of time.

Farm stay activities include gardening, animal grooming, crop harvesting, and stargazing. It is often possible to milk a cow or gather eggs; hug a lamb or feed a goat; nestle with bunnies or swim in a creek.
 
Some locations are associated with working farms or ranches while other offer rural experiences al fresco. It is possible to stay in a farm house on an organic farm, or sleep in a bunk house with views of the Rockies. Some locations have no electricity, no televisions, video games, computers or even a telephones and cell phone reception is spotty (nice benefit) while others have connections available if needed. This means everyone has the chance to unplug, slow down, relax, and reconnect at their own pace.

Get “real” with your kids. A farm stay vacation is not complicated nor does it involve tickets for long lines, one more gadget or gimmick. There is no need for an alarm clock. The genuine, simple, and tranquil atmosphere allows guests to reconnect with nature and the simple pleasures of a lifestyle many of us remember from our grandparents’ time. The FarmStay.US.com vacation directory showcases small family farms, ranches, and vineyards where owners are passionate guardians of the character of the surrounding countryside. The locations are typically about two to three hours from major urban areas.

The farm-stay famiHullo Farms New York State at FarmStayUS.comly vacation. The concept of a farm stay family vacation best suits urban families with children aged two to 12. Farm vacations allow families to develop a deeper connection with rural living, Mother Nature, and our food sources.  What a great way for kids to learn that milk comes from cows and not cartons in the supermarket. Through hands-on experiences children have to possibility to learn the values of conscious, responsible living.
 
Life in the slow lane. Farm stays offer simple pleasures – starry nights, cricket choirs, berry picking, and farm-fresh cuisine. The rhythm of activities is often random and meal preparation simple, encouraging families to interact with each other and appreciate their surroundings. The result is an experience that is worlds away from the corporate holiday package.

An un-hotel experience. Families can easily spend a long weekend or weeklong stay having fun on the farm. Rural properties also make an ideal base for hiking and biking and exploring local music and art festivals, antique shops, historical sites, fishing holes, vineyards, and state  & national parks as well as wildlife refuges.

Browse FarmStayUS.com and discover great possibilities for family vacations. Stay on a salt farm in the Florida Keys or a safari tent near the Rouge River in Oregon. Hand-milk cows and goats and bottle-feed a variety of small farm animals on a National Bicentennial Farm in New York State or embark on a "classic" farm experience near Galena, Illinois. The variety of choices is quite exceptional.  I have selected a couple of my favorites as examples worth considering. Libert Hill Vermont at FarmStayUS.com
 
At Liberty Hill Farm in Vermont guests stay in the farm house and enjoy both a country breakfast and an evening sit-down family style meal. Guests are encouraged to cuddle barn kittens, collect eggs, chase chickens and feed newborn calves. Activities include milking, berry picking, hay wagon rides, yard games and catching fireflies and counting stars. Bonus Points: During the summer roll inner tubes down the road to the White River for a leisurely float or in winter access cross-country trails from the farmhouse doorstep.
 
Stay In a rustic lake cottage on a 150-acre farm in the Amish area of Northeastern Indiana. Mirror Lake B&B on Hog Back Hill Farm defines the simplicity of country living. Ride in a horse drawn wagon or take riding lessons; watch deer grazing at sunset or view sand hill cranes and blue herons at sunrise; travel around the countryside and watch as Amish farmers tend their crops and livestock. Activities include livestock encounters, board games, bonfires, stargazing, hiking and swimming. Bonus Points: If primitive camping is for your family, Hog Back Hill Farms has two primitive cabins (sleeps 4) set deep in the woods one on the Little Elkhart River and the second on the lake.
 
At Ridge to Reef on St. Croix, USVI it is possible to become part of a living-working farm community in a tropical rainforest and enjoy the slow pace of living green, island style.  Volunteer in the fields and gardens; feed the chickens and the rabbits; stroll the property or hike to beautiful Annaly Bay or Sunset Beach. Activities include harvesting, bird watching, encounters with rabbits and goats, u-pick berries, yoga, bread making, plus volleyball and awesome bonfires. Bonus Points: Each summer they conduct “green” camps for children and families.

Make it happen. With a farm stay vacation staying connected to the electronic world is optional. Connecting with your family is the obvious benefit. To sort out the possibilities for a family vacation without connections, start by browsing www.farmstayus.com 

Content researched and posted based on by Family Travel Files with images provided by Farm Stay US properties. Comments by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Copyright Updated 2015.



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