South Mountain Creamery boxes are ubiquitous on doorsteps around my neighborhood and when I discovered that the Creamery/Farm gave tours, I knew it would be a great opportunity to show my kids where their food came from and provide a rare opportunity to spend a few hours on a real, working farm.
The tour starts at the Creamery’s small, rustic country store where a guide gives an overview of the farm and its operations. The tour then moves onto the milking area, where visitors can see all of the equipment that is used to milk cows several times a day and ask questions. Then, the group moves on to see the cows eating and resting between milkings. Later in the tour, visitors can see more cows in the calf barn.
On the day of our visit there were many baby cows ready and willing to be pet by the kids. We even got some licks. We also saw a cow that had recently given birth in the pasture with her hours-old baby. Daily at 1:30 p.m., there is an opportunity to view a cow milking so you may want to plan your tour time with that in mind.
The tour also includes a visit to the grain silo and an explanation of how grain is grown and used for food for the animals as well as fuel. You can also see the world-famous chicks and calves of South Mountain Creamery that appear on Animal Planet Live.
At the end of the tour, visitors get a complimentary scoop of ice cream made from the milk of South Mountain Creamery’s cows. You can also buy milk, cheese, eggs and other products from South Mountain Creamery and other farms in and around Middletown. It was too hot the day of our visit to buy anything perishable, but had I been able I would have stocked-up on ice cream and other products made on the farm.
The farm also has a small play area and big rock pile with tons of toy trucks for kids that you are free to use after your tour. Although South Mountain Creamery was about an hour from my home in DC, I thought it was well worth the drive! I’m also thinking of signing up for milk delivery.
Tours are offered from April to October, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and by appointment only. At least one week’s notice is required. The cost is $7.50 per person and includes a scoop of ice cream and a goodie bag for the children. There is a minimum of 10 people required for the tour. This summer Certifikid offered a tour deal so if you can’t get a group together but want to go on a tour keep your eye out for other opportunities to visit!
We recommend wearing close-toed shoes to the farm and trying to arrange your schedule to be able to view the daily cow milking. South Mountain Creamery is situated close to Harper’s Ferry and Frederick. A visit to either town would make a good place to explore or grab lunch before or after your tour.
Photos by Jamie Davis Smith.