Disclosure: I was provided free admission to Paws Discovery Farm to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Do you love adorable animals? Do your kids love feeding and petting adorable animals? Do you love indoor AND outdoor play spaces, gnomes, butterflies, family fun with an educational flair or yummy cookies? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then Paws Discovery Farm needs to be at the top of your ‘Awesome Places We Need to Visit’ list.
Located in lovely Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Paws Discovery Farm is nestled on the historic property of the Darnell Farm from the late 1700s. Now known as Paws Discovery Farm, the grounds contain a large welcome center, a reptile house, a stable, a barn, a petting zoo, several walking trails, several indoor play areas, a playground, butterfly garden and picnic area. Inside the Paws Welcome Center, you’ll not only encounter the sweetest staff ever, but you’ll also find a fantastic indoor play space and a truly wonderful gift shop (with really yummy cookies).
The original Darnell Farmhouse, smoke house and ice house from the 1780s are still located on the grounds, and if you follow the farm’s beautiful Wildlife Trail, you’ll even catch a glimpse of the historic Darnell family cemetery. Today, the farmhouse is home to a fantastic variety of birds, snakes, turtles, iguanas and other reptiles and is surrounded by the Discovery Farm’s many areas of interest.
As you wander the grounds of Paws, you can meet the farm’s newest additions at the Baby Animal Nursery. Truth be told, I’ve never considered stealing a piglet before, but the thought definitely crossed my mind more than once as my kiddos and I fell in love with the adorable baby farm animals! Next door at the Horse & Donkey Stable, you’ll meet the darling mini ponies, alpacas, donkeys and the most playful and inquisitive emu I’ve ever encountered…and yes, I’ve encountered a weird amount of emus in my day. Continue along the path to the Discovery Barn, which houses a second educational indoor playspace and provides some shady relief during hot summer days. If you’re able to pull your kiddos away from the fun indoor experience, you can feed the animals in the Storybook Barnyard. The kids and I loved feeding the goats, chickens, bunnies, pigs in the petting zoo, and even took a selfie a gorgeous swan! We continued on to the Wildlife Trail where we encountered all manner of birds from vultures to hawks. The trail led us past the Darnell cemetery and down towards the historic farmhouse. Inside the farmhouse, we made friends with some very large snakes, fascinating reptiles and curious turtles. The house itself is beautiful, and if you’re a history lover like myself, you’ll appreciate the home as much as the animals it houses.
When we stopped at the picnic area for lunch and a potty break (bathrooms with changing tables for the win!) we met a stunning peacock, who enjoyed sitting atop our picnic table and preening forus while we ate. If I’m being completely honest, I maaaaaay have thought about bringing him home with us too. After lunch, the kids LOVED playing on the adorable playground near the picnic area, which features a playhouse, a choo choo train, a pirate ship, and a tractor. We completed our visit to Paws with a stroll along the Magical Woodland Trail, where we had a blast searching for all the gnomes on the checklist provided at the Welcome Center.
Paws is open daily year round from 10am until 6pm. General admission is $10 per person (children under 1 are free) and there are special discounts for seniors and residents of Mt. Laurel. In additional to family visits, Paws also offers special seasonal events, overnight camping experiences for scout groups, birthday parties, and special event rentals. For more information about this fantastic farm experience, visit the Paws website. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Instagram!
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