We visited the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary with a two-year old and a three-year old, and we all left disappointed. From what we had heard about it, we expected a petting zoo of rescued animals in a park-like setting. Instead we found a few animals roaming freely - unclear at first if they were approachable or safe for children to pet - and many others in pens. We had read that there were tours every half hour, and we arrived shortly before one started. The guide said the tour would last an hour to an hour and a half, which was a surprise for a place that seemed like it catered to young children. The tour guide introduced himself as one of the founders of the sanctuary and our first stop was the chicken pen, which is where the proselytizing began. The guide spoke in graphic detail and at length about the conditions of most commercial egg and chicken facilities, and the side of the chicken coop where the speech took place featured some disturbing photo placards of mistreated chickens right at toddler eye-level. Our children, as well as several other children under the age of 12, seemed bored and restless. The first 25 minutes of the tour was devoted to the chickens and the lecture on the inhumanity of eating chicken or eggs. After that the tour moved on to the duck habitat, but we chose to leave the tour at that point and have a look around on our own - the children were bored and wanted to see animals; we were bored and sick of the heavy-handed messaging. It took all of about 10 minutes to see everything else - a few pigs, some goats, some sheep, and three cows (most of these animals were in stalls in the barn). For $10 per adult this was pretty disappointing.
The people who worked there seemed friendly, and the animals appeared well-cared for. We have no objection to vegans or to people communicating their ideals, but there ought to be a warning or disclaimer that that's what is coming - it was inappropriate for children, despite being advertised as an attraction for all ages and one not to be missed. We left feeling frustrated and felt like we'd been subjected to a bait-and-switch scheme. To add insult to injury (or vice versa), one member of our party was stung by hornet while washing her young son's hands at the only hand-washing station on the premises.
If you want to hear a high-pressure lecture on the horrors of eating meat (or thinking about eating meat, or knowing someone who has thought about eating meat), be sure to check out the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. If you're looking for a place to take your children to see animals while on a trip to the Catskills, look elsewhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.