9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Daily
A Metroparks Vehicle Entry Permit is required to visit.
Meet farm animals and get a glimpse of rural life at Kensington Metropark’s Farm Center. Take in the sights, smells and sounds of life on the farm and see live farm animals like chickens, sheep, cattle and draft horses. Visit a 150-year old restored barn (winner of the MBPN 2012 Barn of the Year), the poultry house or the barn exhibit room and kids’ area. Take a short walk to the riverside where a one-of-a kind “green” building (made exclusively of natural materials), a stone labyrinth, a grass maze and the new early skills area including a blacksmith shop and brick oven can all be found. An herb garden, field crops and old-fashioned farm equipment are also on display. Special programs on the animals, historic techniques, and other farm-related topics are held throughout the year.
During weekends in March, visitors can visit the sugar shack and observe as maple trees are tapped and the sap is boiled to make maple syrup. In October, visitors can take a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins and gourds. Public hayrides or sleigh rides are offered on weekends and holidays; privately chartered hayrides are also available. Farm tours, maple sugaring, fall harvest and Kids’ Cottage programs are available for interested school groups.
About Our Animals
Kensington Farm Center is home to many species of domestic animals. Horses, cows, pigs, sheep, donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits are all permanent residents of the farm. You will also notice different body shapes, patterns, and colors since there are a variety of breeds represented. Brown Swiss or Holstein? Saanen or French Alpine? Look for the signs posted around the farm with interesting information and help on recognizing the different breeds.
Many of our animals live their whole lives at the farm, so you can visit them each time you stop by. We also welcome new animals every year as many animals are born at Kensington Farm. Though births happen throughout the year, spring is the season when most farm babies are expected. Stop out often to see which newborns or hatchlings have arrived. Many babies have even been born right before our visitors’ eyes!
You don’t have to just stand there! Some of our goats and cows really enjoy a good back scratch. As you visit the farm, feel free to pet animals that approach you. We encourage gentle contact with the farm animals and that’s what some of them even expect.
We ask that you please do not feed the animals. Our animals at Kensington Farm are on controlled diets. Just like kids, animals thrive when they are fed only nutritious foods and don’t get snacks all day. Also, hand-feeding encourages bad habits that we want to avoid.
Kensington Farm Center Summer Camps
The Kensington Farm Center offers many exciting and memorable summer camp experiences for children age 6 to 15. Camp descriptions are below and check out www.metroparks.com/summercamps for links to all the other great camps offered by the Metroparks.
June 20 – 23 · 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Kensington Metropark Farm Center · $175 per child
Farm Camp offers children a memorable experience and the opportunity to discover the wonders of life on the farm. Each day will offer a new adventure. The camp is very much hands-on and provides children with farm experiences that will leave a lasting impression. Campers will participate in daily farm chores as well as various organized activities. Planned activities may include: outdoor adventures like fishing, hikes (with goats!) and scavenger hunts; craft projects such as candle-dipping, pierced tin, and paper mache; pioneer life experiences like barn-raising, rope skills, or playing old-fashioned games; milking a cow or goat; or grooming and harnessing draft horses before going for a horse-drawn hayride. Currently full, but please check out our other day camps. Registration for Farm Camp 2018 begins Jan 1st, 2018. For ages 8-13. Please preregister, (248) 684-8632.
Farmer for a Day
July 7, 11 & 27; August 2, 8, 24 · 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Kensington Metropark Farm Center · $40
Designed to be educational and fun, this program allows kids the chance to work alongside our farmers taking care of animals. Each program includes a chance to meet all of the farm’s animals. Kids will perform hands-on tasks such as feeding and watering animals, mucking stalls, and hauling hay and grain sacks. They will also get a chance to make a tasty farm food such as ice cream, bread, or cider. Space is limited and days fill up fast! For ages 8-15. Please preregister, (248) 684-8632.
July 13, 17, 25; August 10, 15, 22 · 12 – 3 p.m.
Kensington Metropark Farm Center · $30
Now younger kids get their chance to work at the farm! If your child has the energy and enthusiasm for farm chores, but maybe not the muscle power yet, this is their program! Similar to our popular “Farmer for a Day,” but designed for the capabilities of younger kids. Farmer Jr. has kids work alongside Kensington Farmers to learn about life on the farm: meeting and feeding animals, hauling straw, doing chores and having fun! They will also get a chance to make a tasty farm food such as butter, bread or cider. Space is limited and days fill up fast! For ages 6-8. Please preregister, (248) 684-8632.
Early American Skills Experience
Would you like to learn past skills, such as blacksmithing, woodworking, tinsmithing, brick oven cooking, open hearth cooking, Dutch oven cooking or weaving? Did you ever want to learn how day-to-day tasks were accomplished, such as lighting a fire with flint and steel? Would you like to learn beadwork, cordage and twining? Then the Kensington Living History Village may just be the place for you! Classes are in-depth and taught in small groups by Living History instructors who are experienced in teaching Colonial American era skills.
Classes are offered as a 4 hour block of instruction. For more information or to register, contact the Kensington Living History Village at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hayrides & Sleigh Rides
Pile into our straw-filled wagon for a rustic ride pulled by a team of our draft horses or a scenic ride pulled by our tractor! If there’s enough snow,* enjoy an old-fashioned sleigh ride instead. All rides (public or charter) are wheelchair accessible & are subject to change to tractor-drawn at any time. (*Enough snow refers to a minimum base layer of 6 to 8 inches).
Public Weekend Rides
Hayrides are available for families and individuals without an appointment noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays & some holidays (weather permitting). Tickets are purchased in the Farm Center office. We, also, offer weekday rides October 1- 31 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for “Pick Your Own Pumpkin” program.
- Adults: $5
- Seniors (62+): $3
- Children (3-12 years): $3
- Children (2 and younger): Free
Chartered Group Rides
Day and evening group rides are available for private charter. To schedule, please call the Park Office at 800-477-3178 a minimum of 10 days in advance. The wagons can accommodate approximately 20 passengers per ride.Day reservations are available from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday. Fee: $50 per half hour. Evening reservations are available at 5, 6, 7 & 8 p.m. on select Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings. All evening rides are tractor drawn.
Day reservations are available from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday. Fee: $50 per half hour. Evening reservations are available at 5, 6, 7 & 8 p.m. on select Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings. All evening rides are tractor drawn.
- 1 Hour: $150
- 2 Hours: $250
- 3 Hours: $375
- 4 Hours: $500
- Add a Bonfire: $50
Do you homeschool? Did you know you can request any of our school programs at the farm? Get your group together and register for a tour of your own.
Farm Tours, Maple Sugaring, Harvest Adventure and Kids’ Cottage tours are all available for Homeschool groups. Registration steps and requirements are the same as is listed for School Programs. See the School Program guide for all the information.
Kensington Farmers Market
The Kensington Farmers Market is open 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, June through October at the Kensington Metropark Farm Center. Purchase locally grown produce and artisinal goods while enjoying entertainment, kid’s crafts, and other activities.
If you are interested in being a Farmers Market vendor, the Kensington Farmers Market is accepting applications from both producers and artisans.
Kensington Farm Grille
- Fountain Drinks
- Bottled Juice/Water
- Coffee/Hot Chocolate/Hot Tea
- Candy/Chips/Fruit Snacks
- Ring Pops/Suckers
- Fresh Popped Popcorn
- All Beef Hot Dog
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Grilled Cheese
Ice Cream Flavors
- Mint Chocolate Chip
- Grand Traverse Bay Cherry Fudge
- Cake Batter
- Butter Pecan
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Raspberry Sorbet (Dairy Free)
The Farm Center has a heated classroom available for rent. Open to groups and the general public, this room is conveniently located off the main barn. It can comfortably seat approximately 60-80 people and its available tables and chairs can be configured in a number of ways. The room has a kitchenette, whiteboard and projector screen. Or – rent our barn for a good ‘ol fashioned square dance! Great for birthday parties!
- Day rate = (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) $50 per hour with 2 hour minimum required
- All day rental (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) = $300
- Evening Rate (5:00 pm – 10:00 pm) = $100 per hour with 2 hour minimum required, $75 each additional hour after the first two hours
- Day rate = $50 per hour with 2 hour minimum required
- All day rental (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) = $300
- Evening Rate (5:00 pm – 10:00 pm) – $100 per hour with 2 hour minimum required, $75 each additional hour after the first two hours
Attention Boy Scouts…it’s the Fort Pontiac Challenge!
The Fort Pontiac Challenge program, all the original great sessions along with some new ones, is now being offered at the Kensington Living History Village for everyone ages 14 and older. Come back for blacksmithing, woodworking, campfire cooking, Life Skills, tinsmithing and the wood-fired oven. All skills are presented in a distinctive old world environment by skilled instructors. Choose your own program and build your own patch! Check out the possibilities at www.ChiefPontiacPrograms.org