Posts Tagged ‘Family Activities on the Farmcoast’

Shop Local for your Tree this year!

’Tis the season and there is nothing that awakens the Christmas spirit quite like the tradition of choosing your own tree to be cut straight from a local farm. Take a day to wander through the Farmcoast villages, breathe the crisp country air and browse row after row of various firs, pines and spruces until you’ve found your perfect conifer! On your outing, you’ll also discover a bounty of shops and businesses all lit up for the holidays.

In addition to beautiful, fragrant trees, you’ll find festive wreathes, gorgeous garland for your mantel and banister, as well as unique local goods perfect for gifting! Come visit one of our classic New England Farmcoast Christmas tree farms, warmly welcoming you and your family this holiday season.


97 Southlake Rd, Tiverton, RI | 401-625-8733
Open Now:
Saturday 10AM–4PM
Sunday 10AM–4PM
Hayrides, Christmas greens & wreaths, and local products in Gift Shop.

4191 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI | 401-624-4119
Open Now:
Saturday 10AM–4PM
Sunday 10AM–4PM
Hot drinks and sweet treats in their shop as well as hand-made gifts, wreaths, greens, honey, jams, syrup, and ornaments.

4484 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI | 401-624-4872
Open Now:
Monday through Friday 1–4PM
Saturday 10AM–4PM
Sunday 10AM–4PM
Blue Ribbon Christmas tree farm with hayrides to the fields.

993 Puncatest Neck Rd, Tiverton, RI | 401-624-4107
Open Now:
7 Days a Week 8AM–4PM
$50/tree plus FREE POTATOES with your tree purchase.

Little Compton

255 Peckham Rd, Little Compton, RI | 401-635-8582
Open daily through December 24th, 10AM–4PM
Kids hunt for the Charlie Brown Tree. Santa December 3rd, 10AM–3PM.


285 Pine Hill Rd, Westport, MA
 | 774-309-0522
Pine Crest Website
Open Now:
Saturday 10AM–4PM
Sunday 10AM–4PM
Sleigh for family pictures. Free hot chocolate and cookies; tree ornaments for the kids provided; Treasure Hunt.

779 Sodom Road, Westport, MA | 508-636-8433
Open Now:
9AM to dusk.
Free Hot Cider & Coffee



Hayrides and Superheros are Autumn’s Best Friends at Patchet Brook Farm

It’s true, fall has arrived, vibrant foliage and all. But here on the FarmCoast nothing says autumn like an old fashioned, slow and jostled hayride through the open fields. And if you like just a tad more excitement on your hayride definitely find Pachet Brook Farm where a hidden cast of characters await you in a surprising assembly along the 30 minute ride through the Pachet Brook forest.

It’s not quite haunted but surely a crowd and kid pleaser. Everyone from Spider-man to Shriek can be spotted if you keep your eyes open. Jean Bento is in charge of the operation and the farm, which has been in her family for some 107 years. That’s almost as impressive as the collection of costumed characters she’s amassed since her inheritance, not to mention the fact that she hides them single handedly along the 20-acre farm trail.

Traveling to Pachet Brook Farm is a small treasure in itself. After journeying the scenic Route 77 you will come to a small sign welcoming you to Pachet Brook. Turn into the drive and find a family of ducks frolicking in the autumn sun and a long dirt road ahead. When you finally make it to the top, rest assured, their are cookies– as well as pumpkins galore and some friendly farming faces waiting to greet you.

After the hayrides, kids are invited to pick a pumpkin from the scarecrow-lined field and play to their hearts content in the adjacent play yard complete with a slide, sandbox, and more spooky decor.

Even though the hayrides will only last through October, there’s no need to dismay. Next up will be tagging one of Pachet Brook’s 7 varieties of Christmas trees which are already filling the open space on the farm making for a charming addition to autumn hayrides and a welcome abundance of clean air. As we’ve been told, the smaller the Christmas tree the more oxygen they give off, so skip the small ones and head right for the big guys! Tagging starts in November.

We think Pachet Brook Farm is the perfect family outing for the autumn season. What’s your favorite fall tradition?

For more information on hayrides, the tree farm, and birthday parties visit

Our Springtime Secret

A well-kept springtime secret is being uncovered by local visitors in search of a fresh dose of spring. Growing in the backyard of FarmCoast, just south of Russells Mills Village, you will find a vibrant field of daffodils…but only if you know where to look! 3 acres of glorious yellow daffodils have bloomed and, because New Englanders like to keep their treasures hidden, there are no signs on how to find the field. It remains tucked inside the paths of Parson’s Preserve –part of Dartmouth’s Natural Resourses Trust– creating an exciting springtime scavenger hunt for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. If you’re looking for a seasonal family outing follow our directions to this wonderful spring display!

Park at the Russells Mills Landing.
Cross the street and walk to your right along the road until you see a metal farm gate between two posts.
Follow the path to the left of the gate and up the hill.
At the top of the hill you will be greeted by a DNRT sign welcoming you to the preserve.
From that point you must follow the yellow squares tacked to the trees, they will lead you all the way to the daffodils…

“A host of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees. Fluttering and dancing in the breeze,” says William Wordsworth’s poem just as you enter the field. “I gazed –and gazed –but little thought what wealth to me this show had brought…” You might want tell your friends about this dancing garden, or just keep it as your own secret treasure.

Either way, families will enjoy a delightful gallivant through the fields. You can make a day of it by contining your hike through the DNRT woods (maps are provided at the first yellow marker), exploring the animals at nearby Alderbrook Farm, and stopping lunch in Padanaram Village. Going on a hunt for daffodils has never been more fun.

Spring has sprung on FarmCoast! Visit our Spring Ramble page for more day-trip ideas on a refreshing retreat to the country.

I Scream, You Scream

We all scream for local ice cream. While sitting on the couch with a pint of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s can be entirely satisfying, summer calls for something a little more fun. This summer, FarmCoast invites you to take a tour of our ice cream stands, road trip style, and the local businesses that make this delightful summer treat a beloved gathering for friends, family, and strangers alike. The stands along the rural South Coast boast awarding-winning, homegrown flavors and charming atmospheres, not to mention smiling small-town service. If standing in line for a sugar cone is your idea of an evening adventure, the four towns of FarmCoast welcome you to experience their unique, drippy summer treats…

We start the tour in Dartmouth, where Salvador’s Ice Cream has been serving up cones since the 1930’s and we think serving ice cream for over 70 years will make you an expert. Dartmouth locals recognize the giant milk urn-turned-small-business from miles away, and travel to hangout with the food, ice cream, and wooden game tables. Owned and operated by Len and Beth Gauvin and family since 2005, the building has a long history of ownership. Len and Beth restored the building to it’s original black and white appearance, and were meticulous enough to win a restoration award for their efforts. They now serve more than just ice cream (visitors love the lobster rolls and hearty burgers) but  strive to keep it simple. “This place has a lot of history,” says Len, “people have been bringing their children and grandchildren here for years.” Salvador’s is located next to Cornell Farm, so you can watch baby sheep graze against a picturesque landscape while you climb the trees, play checkers, or enjoy a cone on one of the picnic benches. Salvador’s is entirely family friendly.

Next, make your way to Handy Hill Creamery in Westport where locals swarm (usually from Horseneck Beach) for salty snacks like salt water taffy and oyster bellies. “People are usually lined up all the way to the street,” says a Handy Hill employee. Handy Hill is family owned and operated but employs dozens of happy faces for the summer to accommodate their enormous popularity. Each summer they feature specials, like this summer’s $1 soft serve cones. Handy Hill is on Hixbridge Road, a quick stop off the highway with tons of space to park, and plenty of room for a large crowd. Pets welcome!


Conveniently located across the street from Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures you’ll find the Head Town Landing Country Store, awaiting those customers seeking a refreshing break from the heat of the Westport sun. “We opened in the summer of 2008,” said local owners Rory and Kathy Couturier who quickly established a loyal and local customer following. The small shoppe features isles of mom-and-pop style service, proudly offering 40 flavors of Bliss Ice Cream year round, Del’s Lemonade, and the town’s largest selection of penny candy. After a long day of paddling, they also provide satisfying pick-me-ups like Coney Island hot dogs, Green Mountain Coffee,  and fresh baked pastries made right in store. Accessible by land or water, they invite you to sit and relax by the beautiful Westport River.

Next stop, Margaret’s Corner Cones in Little Compton. On the corner of Willow Ave. and Simmons Road this little shop is a perfect destination or pit-stop for bikers roaming the hills and backroads of the FarmCoast. The shop features a wide assortment of unique flavors including “Graham Central Station,” and “Purple Cow.” Margaret’s is a rare, peaceful and quiet outdoor place to relax while enjoying an ice cream. If you do make the stop, be sure to try the Black Rasberry Yogurt, otherwise known as a happiness on a cone.

Our last stop is in Tiverton Four Corners at Gray’s Homemade Ice Cream, now in the Rhode Island Monthly‘s Hall of Fame for Best Ice Cream. Not only has it been voted the best year after year, it’s one of the oldest too. For 88 years, the ice cream at Gray’s has been handmade in Tiverton, now featuring over 40 flavors. The historic establishment has been in the hands of Marilyn Bettencourt since 1981 but has never lost its authentic old town charm. Behind the outdoor ice cream stand, Gray’s  has a small general store where you can get everything you need to make a perfect sundae at home, including containers of Gray’s homemade flavors. We recommend one of the original four: Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, or Strawberry. Marilyn stays open 365 days a year.

After a hot day at the beach, pool, or office, stop by one of our ice cream stands and for a deliciously cool treat. After all, summer’s never complete without a melty cone and beautiful sunset. FarmCoast is proud to be a part of this timeless New England tradition: eating good ice cream.

Peace of Adventure at Osprey

Located at the head of the Westport River’s East Branch, Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures is a private and serene access for boating of all sorts. A small little shop on the corner of Old Country Rd. and Drift Road is where guests arrive, usually greeted by gentle sunshine, chirping birds, and a friendly staff member who will probably refer to you as “man.” But you won’t mind one bit.

The shop is owned and operated by adventure enthusiasts Carl and Samantha Ladd who both have years of outdoor education experience under their life jackets. Carl, a Little Compton native, and Samantha have been in Westport for 11 years, but adventuring for much longer than that. They’ve both spent most of their lifetimes training and teaching in various outdoor ed. schools and training programs and have now welcomed a small staff of ACA (American Canoe Association) certified tour guides and instructors to their small business. The whole group’s patient and personal instruction is what keeps all levels of boaters coming back. That, and of course the view.

Westport River stretches 9 and a half miles long and overflows with picturesque beaches, marshes, wildlife (a prime location for bird watching), and if you look closely enough, you’ll see a rope-swing on almost every bordering tree. Once you paddle out into the open, placid water, a sudden rush of silence allows your limbs to give into the grace of the tide. It’s a one-with-nature experience to be had.  If you decide to visit, you have plenty of choices depending on your interest and experience. Osprey has sunset and moonlit tours, rentals, basic instruction, and challenging assessments or training for the most advanced. They also welcome custom trips for large and small groups. This summer kids 9-14 have tons of opportunity to learn about this water sport through a host of exciting programs.

The newest trend in water sports–you can shout this if you want– is SUP! Which of course stands for Stand Up Paddling. Breaking new ground in the community, and at Osprey, SUP is a fresh and fun way to experience the water on your feet, and it’s great exercise too. Check out the website to learn more about SUP and to see a full list of their tour and rental information.

Adventures at Osprey make their overseas to the Bahamas, Greece, and other exotic destinations throughout the year . Stop by the Westport base through October for an uncomplicated good time. Of all the beautiful places along the FarmCoast, Carl Ladd admits, “We’re certainly the most fun.”

Right on Man.


For the Love of Farming: Families and Geese Welcome

Every day, at around 4:30 in the afternoon, the animals at Alderbrook Farm come inside to eat, a high point in the day for them, and also for visitors to the farm who get to see, and maybe pet an animal or two. This time of day also calls in Rock to follow his adopted relatives. Rock came to Alderbrook Farm as a gosling and grew up amongst the donkeys, now he thinks he’s one. C’est la vie…at least at this farm. Here, a colorful array of friendly and very well-kept animals are lovingly cared for by Nancy and Allen Manley of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, the born, raised, and the wandering. You can find Rock hanging out in the donkey pen, but be warned, if you get too close to his family, he may snap, geese-turned-donkeys can be very protective…

An all-around rooted family establishment, Alderbrook Farm spans over four generations of Manley’s. The first to operate the farm was Thomas Manley in 1889 who passed it to his brother Charles, and then to the hands of Geneva Manley. Allen, the son of Geneva, and wife Nancy now handle the 16 acre land. They rise early and lovingly care for their animals, farm, and produce; the Alderbrook farmstand is open every day at 5am.There you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, farm-raised eggs and honey, coffees, breads, jams, birdseed, cut flowers, and a sure crowd pleaser: peacock feathers from the proud and beautiful “Argus.”

The sweetest part about this family-run farm is its honor-system morale and sustainable mentality.  Their old fashioned/twenty-first century value system does not go unnoticed. Along with many modern business, they have a facebook page. When a “friend” on facebook asked about rhubarb at Alderbrook, they received a swift reply: “The rhubarb is up, if its not in the stand just ask and we will cut it fresh for you.” Their business involves simple hard work, and careful attention to the things they love. With such a long history it’s comforting to know the Manley’s have their hearts in the business.

Alderbrook Farm is located on Rustill Mills Road in Dartmouth, MA and was recently voted “Massachusetts Century Farm.” It’s truly beautiful place to see and shop year round. If you get a chance to visit, bring your camera and sunglasses. The grass shines brighter at Alderbrook Farm, where families are always welcome (even hybrid ones).