If your Little is in love with animals, nature, food, or all of the above, look no further than Underwood Farms for your next outing! Underwood Farms is located in Moorpark, hosting a plethora of outdoor activities to captivate and entertain you and your Little.
The start to our outing was slightly dampened, as my Little begrudgingly entered my car to set off for Moorpark. Despite not knowing exactly where we were headed that morning, she knew her siblings (who are also in BBBSLA) were doing what she thought were much cooler activities with their Bigs- going to see Finding Dory in theaters, and playing video games.
Generally, I like to spend as much time outdoors with my Little as we can. After all, she’s mostly cooped up inside at school, and when she’s at home, there aren’t a ton of opportunities for her to explore outside.
“Those do sound like cool outings,” I noted, referring to her siblings’ plans. “I think you’re going to love what we’re going to do today! Wanna know what that is?” I asked.
“No.” she responded bluntly.
“Okay,” I replied. As a 12 year old girl, she has a right to be moody, but I was confident this outing could change her tune.
After a wordless ride up to Moorpark, we finally arrived at Underwood Farms. It was an unwavering sunny day on the farm. We were greeted with a farm stand near the parking lot with an abundance of produce. After paying for tickets, I approached the park map, with my Little still out of sorts.
“Let’s see- should we pick the strawberries first, or maybe we could watch the farm show? Oh, it looks like they raise alpacas here, too,” I said, glancing to see her reaction.
She glimpsed up, her interest slightly piqued at the mention of alpacas, which happen to be her ultimate, favorite animal. At BBBSLA’s Sports Day a few weeks earlier, she had asked for a unicorn version of a alpaca to be painted on her face. That’s how much she loves them. “Wait, they have alpacas here?”
“Let’s check it out!” I replied. At last, she was a willing participant. Preteen moodiness is prone to come up, especially when we embark on outings that are new to my Little, but her attitude typically does not last very long.
Throughout part of the park, there are wooden walkways raised above the paths, but they aren’t for humans- they’re for goats! For a girl who rarely sees outside the city, watching goats walk along these raised paths was a fun sight for my Little. In the alpaca enclosure, they have a pipe you can slip alpaca treats into to feed the animals, but otherwise, there isn’t a ton of interaction you can have with them. Still, not an animal we get to see everyday in LA!
Even better than seeing the alpacas was the chance to feed a baby goat. I didn’t know it until this outing, but apparently my Little LOVES baby goats. Apart from the petting zoo (which comes at a cost), you can pay for the opportunity to feed a baby goat. I’ll admit, this was an adorable activity. If you haven’t fed a baby animal before, you best resolve that.
Underwood Farms also presents a farm animal show where pigs, chickens, dogs, goats, and other animals perform, responding to cute jokes and prompts. This may have been geared toward a younger audience, but even I found myself entertained.
We closed out our visit in the U-pick area of the Farm, where we hopped aboard a tractor-led wagon headed to the strawberry section. Apart from strawberries, Underwood has rows of different vegetables ripe for the picking. Depending on which season you visit, there could be anything from berries to squash present. My Little hadn’t seen food growing like this before, so it was an awesome learning experience.
As we walked back to the entrance to purchase our pickings, we talked about how we may have started off on the wrong foot at the beginning of our outing. Sure, everybody gets in bad moods, but it can be hurtful to bring that out on others. We also need to give new outings a try, because we might end up loving them, like when we see alpacas and feed baby goats. This is a topic we revisit now and then, and one I’ve come to find a balance with- sometimes we’ll try new things, other times we’ll rely on “safer” outings, i.e. ones we’ve done before that we know my Little will enjoy.
With all the strawberries we picked, and our love of stirring things up in the kitchen, we set homeward to create something tasty. I had bought a pie crust and Jell-O cheesecake pudding before the outing, because with most of our time spent at the farm, we had less time to spare cooking, plus my Little had never eaten, let alone prepared, this sort of treat before. We made the pudding and poured it in the pie crust, and let that set according to the directions before slicing strawberries and placing them on top. Perfection!
All in all, this was one of our favorite outings. Despite the rocky beginning, there was plenty to do at Underwood Farms, even outside of the U-Pick. Parking is plentiful, and unless you live in the Moorpark area, you may want to set out early, because it is far from most places in LA. Check out Underwood’s admission and tickets page for more information on what is included in your ticket purchase, and what costs extra (and for how much). With the additional activities, it can add up, as there is a base admission price per person.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever been to Underwood Farms, or taken your Little to another farm in the LA area!