Hours 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
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 Camps
The Kensington Farm Center offers many exciting and memorable summer camp experiences for children age 6 to 15. To learn more about upcoming camps at the Kensington Metropark Farm Center Click Here. If you would like to learn more about camps happening throughout the Metroparks Click Here.
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, visit the Kensington Living History Village website at http://www.chiefpontiacprograms.org/Skills_Experience.html.
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.
Welcome Teachers! The Kensington Metropark Farm Center is ready to serve your class’s needs with STEM-based agricultural education, with hands-on activities, facilitated animal interactions, and critical thinking discussions. Programs meet NGSS and GLCE standards. See the School Program Guide for all the details.
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
To learn more about upcoming scout programs within the Metroparks Click Here.
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
Kensington Seasonal Festivals
The Kensington Metropark Farm Center’s tri-annual festivals are family fun for all ages. Each seasonally themed 2-day festival is a full weekend of activities!
2019 Festival dates are:
Spring Festival – April 27th – 28th
- Enjoy a fun filled weekend of activities for the whole family. This two-day event centers on shearing the farm’s flock of sheep. Tour the farm and see our spring babies. Take a hayride (standard public hayride rates apply). Be entertained by Rosco the Clown. Kensington Living History Village will be open, showcasing early pioneer skills. Come out to see these and other family-friendly demonstrations and activities!
Summer Festival – July 6th – 7th
- Enjoy a fun-filled weekend of farm-themed activities for the whole family. Tour the farm and view traditional demonstrations and games, listen to folk music, and visit with the food and craft vendors of our Festival Market. The Kensington Living History Village will be open, showcasing early pioneer skills. Make sure to take a horse-drawn hayride around the Farm’s wooded trails (Standard public hayride rates apply). More Info
Fall Festival – October 5th – 6th
- Enjoy a fun-filled weekend of harvest-themed activities for the whole family. Tour the farm and view traditional demonstrations, visit with the food and craft vendors of our Festival Market, and be entertained by Rosco the Clown. The Kensington Living History Village will be open, showcasing early pioneer skills. Make sure to take a horse-drawn hayride to and from the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkins for you and your family. Pumpkins and gourds are priced per size. Standard public hayride rates apply.
All Festivals have activities from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and are free to attend (hayrides not included).
In conjunction with the Kensington Metropark Farm Center’s tri-annual festivals, the Festival Market is open to vendors of locally grown produce and artisanal goods.
If you are interested in being a vendor, Kensington Metropark is now accepting applications from farmers, artisans, and select non-profit groups. The Farm Center’s Festivals draw large crowds and the number of available stalls is limited so submit your application early.
Kensington Farmhouse Grille
Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- 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