What: Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City, MD
Who: Jamie Davis Smith and two of her kids, ages 5 and 9
When: Late June 2020
Clark’s Elioak Farm is a picturesque, idyllic farm geared towards families who love fairy tales. Once inside the castle gates, colorful attractions—many of them interactive—bring the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Jack & Jill, Mother Goose, Humpty Dumpty, Goldie Locks and other beloved characters to life. My kids were particularly excited about a boat floating in a pond that they could pretend to steer.
The farm is home to two magical forests. Hidden towards the back of the farm is a new Fairy Forest. Look for the gate made of logs and walk through to see more than a dozen fairy houses scattered throughout.
Then there’s the Enchanted Forest, a big, colorful maze constructed out of flags with more fairy tale attractions. The maze is shaded and not too long, but you can turn around mid-way at the Tortoise and the Hare finish line (just tell your kids you have reached the end!).
The animals are just as big a draw as the fairy tales. Clark’s Elioak Petting Farm has goats, horses, pigs, bunnies and more. One highlight was being able to pick up an incredibly cute baby goat so my kids could pet him. My kids also spent quite a lot of time feeding the goats; they each picked a favorite and tried to ensure that their chosen goat got the most to eat. Feed bags are only $1.00 each, and I highly recommend this extra.
Another draw of the farm are the train rides. We really liked taking the Enchanted Express Train ride at the beginning of our visit because it gave us a feel for the farm and what we wanted to see. There’s also a cute cow-themed train ride for younger kids that seats one child to a car. And, of course, there are pony rides—my kids loved that.
Clark’s Elioak Farm is a special place that every child in the D.C. area should visit at least once. We spent a few hours exploring and playing. My kids, ages 5 and 9, both had a really good time! As an bonus, they both now have a strong interest in reading classic fairy tales.
Good to know:
- In order to ensure room for social distancing, reservations are required and the number of visitors is limited throughout the day.
- Entry is timed, but once at the farm you can stay as long as you like.
- Admission is $8.00 per person. Children under one are free. Activities like feeding the goats and riding the trains have an additional small fee.
- Extra sanitary measures are being taken at the farm. Trains are cleaned between rides, and rides are limited to one family per car. There are three hand washing stations, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer to use when a hand washing station is not available.
- Masks are required for everyone seven and up. Staff all wear masks.
- There are picnic tables throughout the farm, and visitors are welcome to bring their own snacks or lunches.
What local activity or attraction have you tried that you’d like to share with our readers? Write up your experience and send it to our editor, PJ Feinstein, at [email protected] for a chance to be published online.