Working Farm Tours

Ontario Orchard’s Fall Jamboree in Sterling.
Ontario Orchard’s Fall Jamboree in Sterling.

Some farms in the region open their barn doors to the public for touring their operations

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Whether you’ve never seen a cow in person or you grew up doing daily chores, working farm tours can provide a fun outing for you and your family. While New York abounds with farming exhibits, farm stands, farmers’ markets, fairs, farm festivals and agritourism farms, working farms typically are not open to the public. These are a few examples of farms in the region that open their barn doors to the public for touring the farm’s operation and enjoying some fun for just a day or two a year.

OlFactory Farm’s Annual NY Lavender Festival is held this year July 8-9 (12973 Upton Road, Red Creek, 315-754-8828, Contact for admission rate). Though the farm does operate a small gift shop year-round, it primarily functions as a working farm. During the festival, numerous vendors, performers and exhibitors come to the farm. Visitors can also go on hay rides, make crafts, join the 5k run/walk and pick their own fresh lavender.

Ontario Orchard’s Fall Jamboree is Sept. 23 and 24 (15273 Sterling Center Road, Sterling, 315-343-6328, The annual free event includes games, hay rides, magic shows, crafts to make, face painting, corn maze “u-pick” apples and pumpkins and wine and hard cider tasting.

Farm Fest at DiNitto Farms (6585 Benton Road, Marcy, 315-736-3394. Free). This farm welcomes visitors June 2 for a day of agricultural education and fun. Against a backdrop of a working farm, guests can enjoy hay rides, hay maze, pony rides, petting zoo, games, music and food.

Ontario County’s Fun on the Farm (Lightland Farms, 3090 Depew Road, Stanley,) takes place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30. Organized by Ontario County Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, the event occurs biennially on odd-numbered years at a different farm in Ontario County. The free event includes many educational demonstrations, hay rides, games, crafts, and farm tours on a farm that usually never hosts an event. Call 585-394-3977 ext. 427 for further information.