Have you ever sampled fresh made mead produced from honey bees on a local farm? Ever been up close and personal with longhorn cattle?
Harvested fresh asparagus with your own hands? Cuddled with a two-day old calf? Played beekeeper for a day?
Sampled beer from barley grown on the land you’re standing on? Picked your own free range eggs and fresh vegetables?
I have good news for you! There are plenty of farm tours in Alberta in which you can enjoy all of these experiences at the annual event known as Alberta Open Farm Days.
If you want a taste of farm tourism, rural travel or an appetite to experience country living, keep the weekend of August 19-20, 2023 open.
Or if you’re planning a trip to Alberta in the summer, make sure it’s in August to experience Alberta’s amazing agritourism opportunities.
I’ve been attending every Alberta Open Farm Days event since it started in 2012, so I’ve put together this post about what you can expect and some tips for visiting farms.
This post may contain affiliate links,. This means that on some links, if you click through and make a purchase I may receive a small commission. I only mention products or services that I know, love and trust.
Alberta Open Farm Days Weekend: What is It?
It’s an entire weekend in which over 100 farms, ranches and other agricultural producers open their doors (or gates) to the public.
They invite their urban and rural neighbors to experience tours, demonstrations and samples about where our food comes from.
It’s an initiative that started to meet two goals:
Educate the public about where real food comes from and
Provide an opportunity for producers to get a glimpse into agricultural tourism as a way to diversify their businesses.
Alberta is fortunate to be rich with a variety of farms and passionate agricultural producers.
In my opinion, there’s no better way to experience authentic Alberta than to pay a visit to the local ranches, farms and agritourism operators.
Farm tours in Alberta provide the perfect summer travel experience for the whole family!
Read More Here >> More Agritourism Weekend Getaway Ideas in Alberta
What Kinds of Things Can You Do on Alberta Open Farm Days?
There are so many different types of farms to visit, it will be hard to choose where to go! Here’s a sample of the types of farms waiting to show you around
Large scale dairy operations;
Small hobby farms and livestock (like goats, pigs, chickens and Clydesdale horses);
Meaderies and breweries;
Grain farms; and
Fresh fruit and vegetable u-picks
One on One with the Farmers
The best part? You get to chat, interact and ask questions and watch demonstrations with the farm owners and producers themselves.
At most of the farms you’ll notice it’s usually a family operation.
The entire family is involved in showing their guests around.
This makes for a perfect family getaway as there’s usually plenty of activities for the kids, or at the very least, lots of room to run around!
The other best part about the farm tours in Alberta on this particular weekend is that it’s completely free.
The idea is to provide a free and educational behind-the -scenes look at how food is produced and how farms are run.
However, some sites also offer additional paid services and experiences.
As some farms sell their products on site, like fresh veggies and eggs, and wine.
Some have even setup small farmers markets as well.
Others choose to run special activities like tractor rides or specialized tours for a small fee. Plus, it feels good to support local farms and producers.
Interested in more farm tourism experiences? You might like this: 15 Unique Staycation Ideas in Canada
Tips For the Best and Most Organized Farm Tour Experience:
Plan Your Route in Advance
The best way to plan your weekend is to review the website and find a cluster of farms either near you or somewhere you can drive to.
Make a road trip out of it!
We usually try to hit about 4 or 5 farms per day.
Plot a cluster of farms that are within about 30 minutes of each other to cram as many in as you can!
Pack a Lunch and Find a Park!
Since a lot of these farms are rural (obviously) you might not have many restaurant options nearby when hunger hits.
That being said, Alberta is full of beautiful provincial parks that have many day use areas.
Plus, a lot of farms usually have picnic tables set up for guests to enjoy some time outside.
Another option is to look for farms or experiences that will be serving a lunch.
One year we attended a lunch at a community hall where the local Agricultural Society served homemade chili and pie!
Either way, if you do pack a lunch, you have a variety of options where to eat!
Discover More of the Best of Alberta here >> 27 Things to Do in Alberta That Are Bucket List Worthy
Bring Your Cooler
By the same token, if you’re planning to purchase fresh produce then it’s a good idea to bring a cooler and some ice packs.
Things can get quite warm in the car in the August heat.
This Coleman cooler is compact and great for traveling.
Wear Proper Clothing
This may or may not be obvious, but don’t wear sandals or flip flops to the farm.
You’ll be walking through dirt, mud gravel, long grass, barns, etc., so it’s best to wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes.
In fact, there’s a reason why cowboy boots are worn on the farm, so why not play the part!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
As an urbanite, you might feel a little ignorant about farm operations. In the same way, some farmers don’t realize how little their urban friends know.
This can create a disconnect. But, when you start to ask questions the farmers always open right up.
More often than not they’ll chat with you for hours if you have the time!
You Might be Interested In: The Best Calgary to Vancouver Road Trip Itinerary
For the complete list off farms to visit, head to the Alberta Open Farm Days website.
You Can Also Experience Overnight Farms Stay in Alberta
To round out your rural tourism experience, why not stay on a farm or in a western style cabin?
There are lots of great options to stay on a rural property or experience a farm stay in Alberta.
You can stay at this original homestead log house near Sherwood Park, Alberta.
Or this rustic cabin in Kananaskis to completely unplug!
Time to hit the back roads and explore rural Alberta!
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Pin it to save for later, see you in August!