You cannot make it through a fall in the Sarasota area without hearing about Hunsader Farms’ wildly popular annual Pumpkin Festival. The event has grown in size and scale beyond belief over the years. And in 2017, it brought back the Country Christmas festival after a 20 year hiatus. But Hunsader Farms is so much more than just its incredible events — it’s a great place for a visit any time for some outdoor fun and fresh produce.
5500 County Road 675, Bradenton, FL 34211
Admission to petting farm: $5 (Under 12 months free)
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8-4 pm (Closed on Sundays)
Time spent: 2-3 hours
Kid satisfaction: A
The Produce Stand
Hunsader Farms is literally a farm! It’s not just a name; farmers actually grow a variety of fruits and vegetables on their land, and they have been doing so since 1967. They harvest the crops daily and bring the bounty to the produce stand. It’s a win-win! You get super fresh produce and also support a local family at the same time.
The stand also sells jams, preserves, relishes and honey. I have a friend who LOVES the boiled peanuts. Water, sodas, ice cream and snacks are available for sale in case you forget to bring something to drink or eat while there.
Some of my best childhood memories are driving to Hunsader Farms to U-Pick tomatoes and strawberries. They have a lot of vegetables that you can pick yourself. You definitely need to call, or check the website or Facebook page to see what’s available to pick. The offerings change seasonally. The last time we were there, there wasn’t anything available to pick, so if picking is on your mind, you better check ahead. My daughter loves to go ‘picking’!
The Petting Farm
This is why I go to Hunsader Farms now that I am a mama. My daughter is obsessed with animals. You have to pay to get in to see the animals and you can buy corn to feed them. The majority of the animals are tame and friendly, and will happily eat right out of your hand. And if I’m being really honest, I love visiting the animals, too!!
Never in my life did I think I’d be face to face with a camel. Those are some enviable eyelashes, let me tell you! Here are just a few of the many animals you can feed and pet.
The playground could use a few more swings and some of the tricycles are suffering from wear and tear, but it is still a fun playground. The giant sandbox is definitely a crowd pleaser!
The Antique Barn
If you are into antique farm ‘stuff’, then you need to check this place out. I was only ‘allowed’ a quick look around because my girl was excited to see the animals. But I saw a lot of vintage farm implements, the requisite antique Coke signs, typewriters and cash registers. Everything looked really interesting to me, but the animals were calling to my kiddo!