Gettysburg is a great place to go for a day trip that is less than a two hour drive from DC. Open since 1971, the Land of Little Horses is a 100-acre farm park and home to a large number of adorable, miniature horses.
The picturesque park is nestled in Adams County, Pennsylvania where one lane roads are quiet with the odd car passing by. The entrance is a gravel road set on a steep hill near the woods. Parking is also on a gravel surface. The outside doesn’t look like much, but when you enter the Holly Hobby gift shop, the horse enthusiast comes alive. They have a variety of Breyer Horses, horse themed books, figurines and souvenir clothing, Webkinz and Melissa and Doug toys. Invest in the $4 for a souvenir cup of horse food which makes for great pictures and great laughs.
Exiting the gift shop leads you to an open area where you ask yourself, where are the miniature horses? Unless there is an arena show, which at the time of our visit, one just ended, most of the horses are in the stables. There were horses to pet and feed in the stable although the door had only a small opening making it hard to take photographs. However, they do have ‘close encounters’ when the horses come out for viewing and grooming (check the website for when they offer it).
These horses are in cramped stalls so you could only see their faces. Some were very friendly and some would bite your hand off. We were lucky in that the first barn also had a giant corn box in the center of the room. Two teenage employees were doing a scavenger hunt in the corn box which made my child very happy. I think she enjoyed this more than the first round of horses she met.
Between the two stables were bunnies, chickens, pigeons, goats, llamas and a comical coati. I laughed at the large sign that read “Please do not feed fingers to the horses” considering we were feeding them food and some of them horses were hungry! The second group of horses was housed in what was a new barn. This building was bigger so that the horses could freely move in their own stall and it felt brighter and cooler for the animals well being. Oddly enough, a friendly pot bellied pig was in the mix. There were also a few horses fenced in large, outdoor pens.
There is a small trail leading away from the stables where a pin-sized hay bale maze is set up for youngsters. There are a few neat tire swings shaped like horses for kids to ride on. Follow the roaming chickens to the wild west saloon area. There are cowboy/cowgirl photo cut-outs and a sluice where kids can mine for gems. Pony rides take place here and cost an additional $4. The pony rides are for a maximum height of 4’11 and maximum weight of 70 pounds. Several activities cease one hour before the park closes so keep that in mind when planning your visit.
Back near the entrance is a small playground along with pedal karts and John Deer tricycles. There were a few vendors selling crafts there and the area was beautifully decorated with scarecrows and pumpkins. Don’t be surprised if the two friendly resident dogs approach you for some attention.
While the Land of Little Horses is a great concept, I think it needs some improvement. Earlier I mentioned the stables and one was new and roomy, while I felt the other one was too confined for the horses making them unable to turn around in their stall. Bathrooms are outdated and had no soap or paper towels. The Hobby Horse cafe only serves fast food and there are no nearby places to eat.
Things to Note
- Open weather permitting. Call before you visit.
- They accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit cards.
- If you enjoy your visit, consider investing in a $40 seasonal pass which includes camp and gift shop discounts.
- On November 26 & 27, 2011, they are hosting a Christmas in the Country Open House. Both the farm park and the gift shop will be open.
I think I would return in the summer which appears to be prime time for tourists. Perhaps paying the full admission by going earlier in the day would allow for more up-close opportunities with the horses.