After what felt like years of sheltering-in-place with multiple cancelled vacations, my family was in need of a change of scenery. A friend introduced to me a site called HipCamp and a cute, local property called Windsor Family Farm in San Martin, California. It was just the break we needed – read on for a review of our experience as well as a packing list for any family farm stay.
What to Expect
A one night stay is the perfect amount of time to escape. There is only one cabin/site so you will be the only overnight guest. We chose a weekday night and headed over around 5pm. We ate an early dinner at home and then brought some snacks with for later in the evening. Immediately upon arrival, our host, Kim, greeted us, directed us where to park and showed us around. The kids didn’t step foot in the cabin from this point until nearly 9pm because they were having so much fun visiting with the animals (and helping Kim with the evening feedings) and playing in the yard which consisted of play structures, sandboxes, playhouses and trampolines. As the sun set, we started a campfire (Kim can provide the supplies for just $10 more) and enjoyed s’mores.
With three kids (7, 5 and turning 2 during our stay), we opted to forgo our normal bedtime routine and let the kids stay up. When our youngest started getting tired, we put him down in our travel crib and then, around 10pm, the rest of us went to sleep. Definitely expect an early morning as the roosters will be up in the wee hours of the morning. After we enjoyed a hot breakfast (French Toast, fresh eggs, fruit, yogurt and coffee), we helped Kim feed the animals and then left in the later morning.
Things to Keep in Mind
We are not a family who typically camps but this experience was just enough for us to be outside but still have some creature comforts. The cabin itself is comfortable with a queen bed, pullout couch and a loft (we didn’t use as it is quite high and better for an older child). It also had electricity but we only needed that for a light and charging our phones.
The bathroom is a separate entrance at Kim’s house with a toilet, sink and shower. Her family does not use this facility but you do need to walk across the yard.
There are no screens (yay!) and no wi-fi. Cell service is spotty. Use it as an opportunity to disconnect and encourage the outdoors.
Kim does have a small fridge, sink and microwave available but we only ever used the sink for our one night stay.
The cabin is one-room and was a tight fit for 5 of us (we brought a pack & play for my youngest) but, on the plus side, we only really slept in there so we really didn’t notice. If you have older children, you can also put up a tent outside the cabin to accommodate everyone more comfortably.
What to Pack
I actually packed and then questioned whether I had everything. You really don’t need much but here is a quick list:
- Sturdy shoes for running around and helping with the animals (either old tennis shoes or boots)
- Comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting a little messy (you can easily just bring clean socks + undies and do an outfit repeat in the morning)
- Toothbrushes & toothpaste
- Any other toiletries you would need overnight
- Light jacket or sweatshirt for the mornings (it was quite chilly at breakfast)
- Camera/Phone & chargers – so many great photo ops!
- Snacks for the evening
- Firewood & s’mores (Kim can also provide these for a small fee)
- Earplugs (if you are a light sleeper) & eye-masks (there are two small windows that let in the morning light)
How to Book
I booked through HipCamp which is a site similar to AirBnB but for camping & glamping-type properties. If you haven’t signed up, use code KRISTINABC49ED0 and get $10 off your first booking!
We’re definitely excited to come back another time and we are eager to find other farm stay type properties. Know of one that you’d recommend? Share in the comments below!