It's been a long time since I've missed one of N.C. State's Farm Animal Days, but, this year, my kid are getting too old. The free, long-time event is designed for preschool and early grade school field trips and runs for three weekdays in April.
This year, it's this week! The event runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, rain or shine. While it's designed for field trips, families and individuals are welcome to join in on the fun - checking out the displays, seeing the animals and enjoying some free ice cream.
Farm Animal Days is at N.C. State's Beef Educational Unit, 4505 Mid Pines Rd., which is about two miles south of Interstate 40. The event is very popular. I always got there right as it opened at 9 a.m. to beat the crowds. You'll see everything in about an hour. If you can't get there at 9 a.m., the event organizer's also recommend a 1 p.m. arrival when the big groups start leaving.
During the event, visitors will get to see and touch farm animals and learn about farming. Kids will get to touch chicks, turkeys, ducks, pigs, sheep and goats. Cows and horses will be on display. (There are several hand washing stations and bathrooms so you can wash up after getting a close-up look).
At the end, you can pick up a delicious cup of Howling Cow ice cream, which is free. At 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., each day, there will be short, informal programs for kids to learn more about farming and animals.
I made lots of memories with my girls here over the years. If you can swing this weekday event, I highly recommend it!