Ready for something different on your family vacation this summer? Feather Down Farms offers authentic farm stays where kids and adults can learn about farm life (yes, there are chores to do) while tent-camping at sites in Illinois, New York and Northern California.
In California, Chaffin Family Orchards in the Sacramento Valley will begin accepting guests in mid-August. The farm raises grass-fed cows, lamb and goats. Its orchards produce olives, oranges, lemons, cherries, plums, figs and other produce year round — fresh fruits that guests may eat.
During the stay, family members can tour fields and gardens, get up to milk the cows, learn to prepare and cook meals on an open-fire stove and even take a dip in a private mountain lake. Other locations include Kinnickinnick Farm in Caledonia, Ill., and Stony Creek Farm in New York's Catskill Mountains.
Guests stay in tents that accommodate up to six people (five adults and one child). Unlike a tent you might camp in, these accommodate up to six people (five adults and one child) with wooden floors, real beds and a flush toilet that. But there's no electricity -- just lanterns to keep the pace of life slow. Stays may be as short as two nights or as long as seven, depending on the location and time of year.