My twins have been asking to visit Kimball Farm (Westford, MA) since they first discovered it on a 2nd grade field trip. We finally made the trek out to Westford on a recent Sunday. Check out my tips below for how to make the most of your visit.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
First of all, it’s not a farm. I assume the name’s a reference to some past incarnation of the property. Today it is not quite a theme park but neither will you find rows of veggies or pick your own activities.
It was an easy 45-minute drive from Newton. We had no issue with parking as Kimball Farm has several satellite lots. That’s not to say it wasn’t busy. It was fairly packed by about 11:30am on a Sunday. (We’re told Saturdays are even busier.) Your best bet is to hit the park the moment it opens and head out just after lunch to bypass the worst of it. (Yes, this is my standard advice but I swear it never fails me!)
Purchase the “Give Me Five” Wristband
When we first arrived, we were confused. Where to buy tickets, passes, what have you? After a moment of head-scratching, we decided to ask another park-goer. Here’s what we learned: You can buy your wristband in the Country Store but you’re better off heading straight back to the Mini-Golf building. Take the path between the Country Store to your left and the Seafood & Grill Shack on the right and walk toward the back, following the signs for Mini-Golf.
We purchased the “Give Me Five” wristband for $37.50/pp with a $5 discount from an ongoing promotion. This wristband allowed us to choose any 5 activities. For example, you can ride 5 different “rides” one time each or repeat any combination of ride(s) up to a total of 5 times. Ride attendants simply mark your bracelet.
ABOUT THE RIDES
For our 5 rides, we chose the Bumper Boats, Soaring Eagle Zip Line, Spin Zone (bumper cars), Animal Adventures, and the Olde Sawmill Arcade. We found this to be just right for our 3 elementary-age kids. Here’s how it went down.
We figured this might be a popular ride so we headed here first. We thought wrong. It turned out there wasn’t much of a line, and we got on right away. Everyone except my husband loved this 5-minute ride where we each drove our own bumper boats around a small lagoon. Note that riders do need to be able to operate the boats via hand controls, so I suspect it wouldn’t be appropriate for kids younger than 7. (There may also be a age/height requirements but we didn’t check.) My husband found the diesel fumes overwhelming. Oddly, I didn’t smell a thing. Still, if you tend to be sensitive to fumes, this might be a “pass”.
Soaring Eagle Zip Line
Kimball Farm calls this a zip line but it’s not your typical setup. Instead of being harnessed in, you sit comfortably in a two-seater that shoots quickly backward to its apex in the trees, pauses briefly then reverses course propelling you back to the base. It’s a very short ride yet it had the longest line of the day. If we go back, we’d probably head here first to beat the crowds. One of my daughters sat this one out (due to a fear of heights) but the rest of us enjoyed this flight through the canopy. Notably, we saw kids as young as 5 enjoying this ride.
The Bumper Cars are directly adjacent to the Soaring Eagle and had absolutely no line. We made a bee line to this ride and hopped right on. These cars are different (in a positive way) than any other bumper cars I’ve ever tried. The driver sits high above the bumpers in a chair. Music plays loudly during the ride, and the genre seems geared for the parents. We started our bumping to Living on A Prayer by Bon Jovi. Very fun!
One of the downsides of Kimball Farm is its limited shade. The paths are in full sun as are some of the lines we stood in. The sun was hot and bright the day we went, and when I spied the darkened Animal Adventures shed with its big fan, I was sold. Happily, we discovered that the next show was to start in 5 minutes. Bingo! I convinced my girls to give it a try (it took a little cajoling). Despite their initial tentativeness, they ended up enjoying themselves. The show mostly featured reptiles, with a small alligator stealing the show at the end. Afterward, the girls visited the “petting zoo” shed with its barnyard animals, koi pond and exotics. The turtles seemed especially friendly and would climb on anyone who entered their enclosure.
Olde Sawmill Arcade
It was around 1pm when our thoughts turned to lunch. Unfortunately, the grill line snaked around the front of the Country Store (i.e., it was crazy long). We decided to hit the arcade first, which made our girls very happy. What made us (mom & dad) happy was the fact that the arcade counted as a “ride” meaning each of us was entitled to an arcade card worth $8 (i.e., 5 cards). Any tickets won get recorded on these cards, which can then be redeemed at the candy counter. No unwieldy paper tickets to deal with.
Seafood Grill Shack
While my husband and girls cooled their heels in the arcade, I stood in line for lunch. Their speciality seems to be fried seafood (clams, shrimp, scallops), fresh lobster, and lobster rolls, but they also served more terrestrial fare such as hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and corn on the cob. The food was prepared quickly (I’d say in under 10 minutes). I texted my family and they met me in the tented area. I’m happy to report there seemed to be adequate meal time seating and most of it was shaded.
But Wait! There’s More
Among the many activities we didn’t try were the pony rides, batting cages, driving range, pitch & putt, and two mini-golf courses. We also skipped Kimball Farm’s “famous” ice cream. The girls were disappointed about that, but my husband and I were ready to head home for a nap.
WE GIVE IT…
A thumbs up! My girls are — of course! — already asking to go back. Kimball Farm is a nice alternative to a big theme park. In our opinion, it offers just enough to do without being overwhelming. And it’s less than an hour away. Can’t beat that!
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