One of my favorite winter activities in Kuwait is a visit to the farm. When you think of Kuwait, most people think either of the sea or the desert. But tucked along the border region to the north and to the south are a growing number of lush green oasis hidden just off the highway.
We made our first foray into Kuwait’s countryside in 2013 with a visit to Yasmin Farms. At that time, the farm wasn’t really as developed as now and hadn’t been set up for visitors. But the late owner, Mr. Jamil Al-Sultan was kind enough to indulge a mom who wanted her kids to ‘explore’ a farm and get so fresh air. So he agreed, when asked, if we might wander about, check out the cows and buy some milk and cheese.
Four years later and winter trips to the farm are now de rigueur for my family. Like ‘Yes Day’, my girls wait all year for the chance to go exploring. They love the fields of green, the chance to see real life farm animals and to just spend a day away from the urban sprawl of concrete, paved roads and city life.
Last year we visited two farms in Wafra and the year before that two in Al-Abdaly. Both have lots of beautiful countryside, though you can find more farms in Al-Abadly that are open to the public. The drive to Wafra takes about 45 minutes from Kuwait City and to Al-Abdaly around an hour.
Even the drive up can be fun. I always pack a range of snacks (fruit and chips usually) as well as toys, games and other car-friendly distractions. We sing songs or play road trip games to pass the time. We always stop to take photos of the camels grazing along the side of the highway. If there’s been rain, for sure, the desert will be carpeted with the yellow sunniness of fresh arfaj and alnowair flowers.
The pent up energy from the road trip spills over just as we pull into our destination and for the next few hours, the girls scramble all over the farm. They may be running and playing with other kids or simply exploring the countryside.
Escaping to the farm is like leaving Kuwait just for the day. The air is fresher, cleaner somehow. There is also a quiet impossible to find in the city. Most of the public farms allow you to walk around and a long, quiet stroll is a great way to stretch your legs after an hour’s drive. Some farms allow fruit or vegetable picking (like Al-Bohayra) and in others farms, there are activities like bon fires or small petting zoos or even bike rentals and farmer’s markets.
Want to visit a farm? Here are a few open to the public:
•Sadeer Farms in Al-Abdaly (9444 4911) – usually open on weekends for tours. They offer farm tours, fresh, farmer’s market and yummy food and have other activities for the whole family.
•Yasmin Farms in Wafra (www.kuwaitagro.com) – open 8am-8pm, seven days a week. They have a petting zoo and play area for kids. Also you can ride a cart or walk around the farm and buy fresh produce from their local shop.
•Al-Bohayra (Blue Lake) Farm in Al-Abdaly (5505 8663) – offers strawberry picking (seasonal), fresh veggies, a children’s play around and a chance to tour the farm. They also rent tents for the day and a shop for fresh food.
•Bab Dokalh (6665 3910 or 9940 3434) – Large petting zoo farm in Al-Abdaly with a range of animals. Open for tours.
Jamie Etheridge is a writer and mom of two and the founder/editor of @KuwaitMomsGuide.