A Visit to South Mountain Creamery with Kids: Feeding Baby Cows Near Washington, DC

Feed calves directly from a bottle at South Mountain Creamery.
Feed calves directly from a bottle at South Mountain Creamery.

If you've got a child who loves cows, like my daughter, South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, MD is a must-visit. At this family-owned farm less than a 90-minute drive from DC, visitors can tour the maternity ward and other farm areas, play on a playground, eat delicious homemade ice cream, and even feed baby cows. And the best part is, it's FREE to visit (though you'll have to pay for the calf feeding and certain other activities).

Read on to learn all about my family's visit to South Mountain Creamery. Then visit our Guide to Farms in Washington, DC for more farm fun with kids, from great animal farms and petting zoos near DC to awesome places to pick your own produce.


There are so many baby cows to meet!

Our Visit to South Mountain Creamery

When we visited South Mountain Creamery a couple of summers ago, my daughter (then 7) was two years into a raging cow obsession. She brought her stuffed cow, Butter, literally everywhere we went. So visiting a dairy farm that's home to over 500 cows was a dream come true for her.

We arrived a few hours before our scheduled calf feeding, and the first thing we did was hit up Karen's Kountry Store for some homemade ice cream. It's made fresh using milk from the farm's dairy cows, so you can only imagine how decadent and delicious it is! There are a variety of flavors available, including our favorite, chocolate chip cookie dough. We enjoyed our cold treats at one of the outdoor picnic tables.

After we finished our ice cream, we walked around and explored much of the 3,300-acre farm. We saw cows being milked in the milking barn (milking happens at 1:30pm daily), visited newborn calves and their mothers in the maternity ward, got up-close with goats, and just enjoyed breathing in the fresh mountain air. My daughter had a blast on the playground structure, which includes a swing set and a tire swing.

But the highlight of our visit was bottle-feeding the baby cows! Each of us got our own large bottle of milk to hold and feed directly to a calf. All of the calves were so happy to see us, and many allowed us to pet them. We were able to spend as much time with the cows as we liked. Even our twin boys, who were 10 at the time, really enjoyed the experience (as did my husband I).

What to Know about Visiting South Mountain Creamery with Kids

Farm Hours

South Mountain Creamery is open every day for visitors. Hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-6pm, Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, and Sunday 11am-6pm.

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Feeding time is the best time at South Mountain Creamery!

Calf Feeding

Calf feedings take place daily at 4pm. You must make a reservation online ahead of time. Bottles cost $7.50 each and all ages can participate, though children ages 3 and under will likely need help. The farm asks that you arrive by 3:45pm and meet under the pavilion near the playground. If you're later than 4pm, you won't be able to participate.

Farm Tours

South Mountain Creamery offers three tour options. For $5, you can purchase a self-guided tour booklet from Karen's Kountry Store and follow the path to each stop as you discover how a functioning farm works. (Note: The tour booklet is free if you purchase a calf feeding.) The tour includes stops at the milking and loafing barns, the maternity ward, and the calf barn.

South Mountain Creamery also offers guided tours every Saturday at 2pm for $8 per person. (Kids 2 and under are free.) The tour lasts roughly one hour and includes discussions of how the milk gets from cow to bottle in the milking parlor, how the farm keeps calves healthy and safe, and more.

For $10 per person (free for ages 2 and under), you can also schedule a private tour that includes a scoop of ice cream. Add on a calf feeding for a total of $15 per person. This would make for a perfect birthday party for a cow-obsessed kid, especially if you reserve the covered pavilion!

Eating at South Mountain Creamery

Outside food is welcome at the farm, so feel free to pack a lunch to eat in the covered pavilion (unless it's reserved) or at one of the picnic tables. You can also purchase fresh produce, baked goods, and of course ice cream from Karen's Kountry Store. During special events such as spring festivals and pumpkin patches, you'll find food trucks serving burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, and other favorites.


Restrooms are limited to portable toilets located throughout the farm.

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Don't forget to show the goats some love, too!

More to Know

There is plenty of on-site parking at South Mountain Creamery. Leashed dogs are welcome, as long as they are well-behaved. And be sure to wear closed-toed shoes!

All photos by author Jennifer Marino Walters, for Mommy Poppins

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