Poplar Spring is an animal sanctuary that serves as a home to farm animals in need of rescue due to abuse or neglect. Poplar Springs is normally closed to the public but a few times a year they open their gates to the general public to educate others about animal care and allow lots and lots of one-on-one contact with the animals.
We recently attended the annual Farm Tour and had a great day. The Farm Tour is a very family-friendly event filled with kids delighted to be spending the day wandering the beautiful, vast open land and getting up close with animals usually only seen on a farm or at the zoo. On our visit we got to pet goats and rams, some of which had been rescued from DC parks and apartment buildings, pet hogs, hold a chicken, watch a wheelchair using sheep lazily eating, and see free-roaming turkeys, peacocks, and chickens among other animals. In addition to the animals, there is also live music, delicious vegetarian food, a swing, hay rides, and a yard sale. Since the farm is 400 acres there is also plenty of space to just run around or sit down to relax enjoy the scenery.
Although we have been to the petting zoo plenty of times, this was a different experience entirely, since children are allowed near unrestricted access to most animals. Plenty of farm volunteers are on hand to supervise and answer any questions children (or adults) may have about the animals. Admission is free but donations are requested.
They hay ride costs $2.00 per person but all other activities are free of charge. You are welcome to bring your own food and set up a picnic or purchase food at the farm. Some tables are set-up but many families choose to pick a quiet spot to set up a picnic. The farm is mostly grass but there were plenty of families pushing strollers with little difficulty. There are port-a-potties available but no changing tables.
It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon at Poplar Springs and we highly recommend taking the family to visit the animals and enjoy the farm. Two other annual Poplar Springs public events are their Open House and Fundraiser in October and Thanksgiving with the Turkeys in November. If you missed the Farm Tour you may want to put one of these events on your calendar now!
Photos by Jamie Davis Smith.