The other day I had a friend over for tea and she suggested we take the kids to Kildare Farm Foods (kildarefarmfoods.com), not too far from us, for something inexpensive to do with them. I’m always looking for new ideas of free places to take them because, with five kids, a day out has potential to break the bank!
We woke up this morning, started getting the kids ready for school as usual, when my oldest decided to inform us that there was no school today. Yeah right, Titus. We pushed on for him to get dressed and ready for school, and he pushed on with this notion of a ‘no school day.’ As we did a little more research (as in, looking at the calendar in my phone and texting a school mom,) we found out he wasn’t just trying to get out of his Friday spelling test. It was indeed a free day-why in the world would they close schools just because it’s voting day?! Beats me. Needless to say, we were left to drum up an activity of some sort to pass the day…and Kildare Farm Foods came to mind-yippee!
My mom and I loaded up the kids (okay, she loaded up the kids while I put 205 flowers Titus had picked for me in some vases), and off we went. My mom had a farm she had been wanting to visit that sells organic produce and raw milk, among other items, open only a couple days a week- one of which happened to be today! It is called Castlefarm in Kildare (castlefarmshop.ie). As we pulled in, we were greeted by two friendly dogs, excited for some children to run around with. Inside the shop they have fresh local meats, organic produce, their own jams, chutneys, honey, apple juice, cheeses (which they will happily sample for you,) fresh organic eggs, and raw milk available for preorder at €1 per litre (what a great value!) Jenny is very kind and informative, offering to show us how she makes her cheeses next time we are in. We bought some cheese, apple juice, a roast and a few other bits, sure to be back for a return visit for some raw milk on another day. It is definitely off the beaten path, but very worthwhile if you are hunting for local, organic items.
Back on the road we went, toward Rathmuck. On they way, we drove through Nurney and saw a lovely little park seemingly calling out our names, asking us to come play. I pulled over and let the three olders get out some of their wiggles on the swings and other play equipment.
Finally we arrived at our destination: Kildare Farm Foods. As you walk in the main entrance, it takes you through the food shop and around to the spacious, inviting cafe.
With two full walls of windows, it’s the bright and cheery kind of cafe where I want to spend my time. The food choices are basic, but delicious, with paninis, wraps and the like. They also have some gorgeous desserts worth saving a little extra tummy room for.
The outside cafe doors open up to an area with all kinds of animals, very accessible with a nice paved walkway all around. They have everything from chickens and pigs to more abnormal animals, like ostriches and deer.
For €1 you can purchase animal feed to give the animals as you meander throughout the property.
Alternatively, there is a train that goes around the property regularly for €2.50 per person (including adults). We took the train ride and my kids loved it. Next time we will walk around instead, as the property is not huge and it’s nice to be able to visit with the animals and get a closer look.
Make sure to check out the bargains in the food shop on your way out-they have some great prices, especially if you want large quantities on meats, cheeses, or condiments. They have a large selection of frozen foods, fresh produce, and some nice specialty items as well, all nicely displayed.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful, which only adds to the family farm charm. We thoroughly enjoyed our time, as I’m sure you will too!