Monday, April 18, 2016

Let's Visit Bluebird Farm Alpacas in Peapack, NJ!

New Jersey is filled with such beautiful farmland and farm experiences. You can pick your own fruits and vegetables, go on hayrides or explore corn mazes. There are flower farms and herb farms, farms with animals and farms with honeybees. But did you know you can visit a farm and meet adorable, fluffy alpacas, too? Bluebird Farm Alpacas in Peapack, New Jersey, is the perfect place to bring your family and children. Don't have kids? There's a place for you, too, at Bluebird Farm Alpacas. Trust me!  Read on and you'll see what I mean...


Before I even tell you about Bluebird Farm Alpacas, can I just say one thing? Alpacas are not llamas. Although they are in the same family, llamas are slightly larger with longer ears ('banana ears,' as our farm coordinator told us). Llamas have also been known to spit aggressively (if they don't want to be bothered). Alpacas do not do this. They do spit as a form of communication with each other, but not at people (not usually). I can attest that they are sweet, gentle and absolutely adorable. Because every time I mentioned this amazing farm to friends, the first thing they would ask was, 'But don't they spit? Aren't they mean? Aren't they big?  No, no and no. You'll see more below, but I just had to clear that up from the start. Now, onward!

'Nope, I will not spit at you! I look like a big teddy bear, don't I?'

Where is Bluebird Farm Alpacas?

Bluebird Farm Alpacas is located at 44 Willow Avenue in Peapack, New Jersey. It is easily accessible from routes 78, 206 and 287. It's a beautiful drive and easy to get to.

The driveway into Bluebird Farm Alpacas. Ahhhh...breathe...

What is Bluebird Farm Alpacas?

On their website, the owners of Bluebird Farm Alpacas refer to their farm as a 'little slice of Heaven,' and I would most definitely agree. Only an hour outside of New York City, this farm is beautiful, peaceful and welcoming. The owners of this farm have embraced the alpaca industry, offering alpaca education, classes, tours, and small events to the public. You can read all about their mission here.

A collection of awards won by the Bluebird Farm alpacas

What Can I Do at Bluebird Farm Alpacas?

There is so much to do at Bluebird Farm Alpacas, and a little something for everyone. You can check out their website for everything they have to offer, but here is a general idea of what you can do there:
  • Farm visits (you can easily arrange a tour or a visit by contacting them on their website or by phone. The farm is not open daily to the public). Small groups, outings or special events are welcome by appointment.
  • Attend special events (the farm holds monthly special events. Check out their event page on the website or visit their Facebook page for more information)
  • Alpaca story time for toddlers (wouldn't you like to hear a story and then meet the actual animals from the book??)
    Some of the books used during Alpaca Story Time for toddlers!
  • Alpaca Academy for kids (a class devoted to learning about the alpacas, making a fiber craft and meeting the alpacas)
Inside the barn, where they hold Alpaca Academy classes
  • Day Camps (see their website for more information)
  • Field trips and educational outings
  • Adopt-an-Alpaca (they have an online program where you can 'adopt' or sponsor an alpaca. You can do this from anywhere in the country! Check out their website for details).
  • Aside from all of this fun stuff, Bluebird Farm offers an array of farm services for serious alpaca lovers. Check out their info on purchases and breeding, 
  • Much more! They are always adding new events and ideas, so visit their website or Facebook page for the most accurate information
Alpaca Bluebird Farm's events board  (2016)

What Will I See at Bluebird Farm Alpacas?

Stacie, the wonderful coordinator at Bluebird Farm Alpacas, offered me a tour of the farm (along with The Jersey Momma's Boy). We were very excited! The moment we pulled into the driveway, we were greeted by sweeping green hills and fields, and some adorable little alpacas trotted over to the fence to see who had arrived. I immediately started squealing because I had no idea just how cute they actually were (sure, I had seen pictures, but when you see them up close...oh my!).  They looked like giant teddy bears!


Stacie met us in the little red barn, which also serves as the Alpaca Farm Store. They sell all kinds of neat alpaca products in there, but I'll get to that in a minute.

The farm store and barn at Bluebird Alpaca Farm

Stacie greeted us in the barn and introduced us to each other. We experienced this beautiful place with another mom and her son (Hi, Ashton! The Jersey Momma's Boy was so happy to have made a new friend!) and a professor and her student from FIT in New York. They were there to learn about alpaca fiber for their industry (isn't that cool?), and had taken the train from New York to visit.

Then we met the alpacas! Stacie told us all about them, and even let us feed them from our hands. You could touch them, too, and they were so soft! They are not scratchy like sheep or llamas. 

Look at that  face! It looks like she is smiling.
The alpacas walked between us as we fed them and learned about them from Stacie. You can't imagine how soft and puffy their coats are. They are only sheared once a year!



One of the coolest things here is that you're not looking at them over a fence (although you can do that, too). You are there in the pen with them and they are walking beside you. They are gentle and sweet, and will take food right from your hand. Two important things to note: 
  • they can't bite you because of the way their teeth are. You might feel a little tickle in your hand while they are eating, but their teeth can't clench down on you.
  • they don't have hooves, they have toes and a padded foot, so they can't kick you the way horses or ponies can. If they do kick at you at all, it is usually because they're being bothered, but it's certainly not life-threatening the way a horse kick could be.
Alpaca feet! They look like furry booties, no?
Baby alpaca toes!

For some inexplicable reason, The Jersey Momma's Boy didn't want to feed the alpacas from his hand. But he still enjoyed touching them and meeting them, and said it was one of the 'most fun trips we ever had.' Awww!

Note to self: 'wear sunscreen next time'- Jersey Momma's Boy got a bad sunburn on his neck!

I particularly enjoyed the pen of young alpacas. The babies were incredibly adorable, and even made a little humming noise that melted my heart. Little Angelina totally stole my heart. I mean, look at her!

Angelina, I love you.



Stacie knew so much about these adorable creatures and there really is a lot to learn. I had no idea how many things their fiber could produce, and just how hearty they are in the rain and snow. They don't eat much, and they have three stomachs! I won't tell you all the facts, because I think you should learn about them yourself. But trust me, you'll be amazed at how much these little guys offer our planet.


We visited two pens of alpacas- the younger ones, and then the adults. The adults were just as sweet as the young 'uns, and came over to greet us, too. They were also a great 'alarm system,' and made these funny little chirping noises when they spotted a man walking his dogs on the other side of the field. Who knew?

The alpaca adults!

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Bluebird Alpaca Farm?

The cost of your visit varies depending on what you choose to do (tour, group visit, class, camp, etc.) so check with the farm or their website for more information. Most of their posted monthly events are free.


What Else Can I Do at Bluebird Alpaca Farm?

Everyone knows I love a good gift shop.  But I particularly love an eco-friendly gift shop, filled with gifts made from alpaca fiber and other cute alpaca items! In the farm store you can find hats, socks, mittens, teddy bears made from alpaca fiber, and more!

A knitters dream! Look at all of that alpaca fiber yarn!

Alpaca buddies 

Just some of the many cool goodies in the alpaca store

An alpaca fiber handmade teddy bear!

And shout-out to the talented Rikki Rao who handmade these alpaca-faced pendants to sell in the shop. Aren't they the cutest? Of course I had to have one for myself! You can find Rikki Rao's work in her Etsy Shop, Rikki's Charms.


Here are my goodies from the farm store! I am hoping those mittens will keep me nice and warm this winter. They're soooo soft, not like scratchy wool at all.

My goodies from the alpaca store- although I didn't get the hat on the left. I should have!

If you are not able to visit their alpaca store personally, or you are not in New Jersey, they do sell some of their items online. Be sure to check it out!

The Jersey Momma's Final Thoughts

I can honestly tell you (I am always honest on this blog, you know) that Bluebird Farm was one of the nicest places I have ever visited. Stacie, the farm coordinator, was so knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The owners are lucky to have her on the farm! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any of my friends, even friends with young children.



You don't need to have children to visit the farm. I think anyone would find it interesting, and the alpacas themselves are both cute and fascinating.  Be sure to check out their events page and their website to see if you can find a visit that's right for you.


Other Tips and Suggestions

-If you do decide to visit, they have a little picnic table area and you are permitted to bring your own foods/drinks for a small picnic. There is a port-o-potty available, too, and it's cleverly disguised in its own little shed and even has running water. It's lovingly nicknamed 'The Bean Shed.' (alpaca manure is referred to as 'beans,' get it?)

-Dress accordingly, as it is a farm, after all. Wear comfy shoes and remember that you'll be outside. There is not a lot of walking, so don't worry about rough terrain. We visited in April, but it was a sunny day, and The Jersey Momma's Boy wound up getting sunburn because this slacker momma didn't even think to put sunscreen on his fair skin! 

-If you're not keen on purchasing alpaca fiber items, know that alpacas also produce wonderful fertilizer! Bluebird Farm will eventually be selling these funny 'poo tea bags' to help your gardens. Soak them in water and use them to fertilize your gardens! 

Alpaca fertilizer to be sold soon at Bluebird Farm Alpaca Store

-These animals are extremely gentle. Nirvana, one of the alpacas, even sat down with the young boys and allowed them to lean on her, hug her, and pet her. I think Ashton might have even given her a kiss. That being said, I hope you will respect them in return, and treat them kindly and gently when you visit, too.

-If you don't bring a lunch, there are some cute places right down the street that you can stop at to eat! Cocoluxe Fine Pastries on Main Street is a lovely little place (try their chocolate mice if you can!). A little further down on Main Street you can find Cafe Azzurro. I have not eaten there personally, but friends have and they say it's great. You can even eat outside (weather permitting, seasonally). If you're looking for quicker food service, you can head into Bedminster down Rt. 206 to find a Kings Supermarket, pizzerias, Fresh Market, and even a Burger King. Check Google maps and you'll see!

Chocolate Mice from CocoLuxe Pastries in Peapack

I always encourage New Jersey residents to shop local when they can. But visiting and supporting our local farms is important, too. Learning about the impact these amazing creatures have on our environment is an invaluable experience for us all. I am grateful to people like Stacie and the owners of Bluebird Farm Alpacas for allowing the public to experience just a little bit of their magic.


If  you'd like to visit Bluebird Farm Alpacas, you can find them at 44 Willow Avenue in Peapack. Call ahead 908-234-9772, email them, or check their website in advance, as they are only open by appointment, for classes, or during special events. If you visit, please tell them The Jersey Momma sent you. And tell Angelina that I love her.

Angelina <3

Disclaimer:  I received a free tour in exchange for an honest blog post. And I gave you exactly that, because I really do love this farm and every single alpaca in it.

14 comments:

  1. Oh wow!!! This place looks like so much fun. Alpacas are adorable. Thanks for sharing <3

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    1. I agree!! Thanks for visiting, Kimberly!

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  2. OMG. i have to look into how far this is from where I live in NJ, because my kids would go NUTS for this. so fun!!

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    1. Definitely look it up, Alyssa! It's such an adorable place. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Wish they had public sessions where people could come visit even if it was by sign up/monthly... I dont really have a small group to bring unless you consider my family one lol Would love to visit somehow...

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    1. I think you can actually do that, Foffie, especially since you have a large family. You should email them or give them a call and ask!

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  4. Omg cutest place ever!!!!! Not only would my daughter love to visit this farm, I would too!!!!

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    1. You totally would!! I already want to go back myself! lol

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  5. These photos are awesome! This farm isn't that far from me, and my kids would love it! I should check it out!

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  6. OMG Alpacas! I love them! I'll have to look into taking my son here! I know there is one up here in Vernon, somewhere, but I don't think it's open to the public.

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  7. Hello from Ashton's mom! Wonderful read...I have been talking non-stop about alpacas!

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  8. Hi Ashton's mom!! Thanks for reading the article! I'm all about the alpacas now, too! Did they replace your love of goats?

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  9. TheJerseyMomma, thank you for the wonderful article! It was what drew me to the farm. Unfortunately, my family and a few others that I know who visited the farm on National Alpaca Day Sept 25, 2016 had a less than satisfactory experience.

    First off, as soon as we pulled into the long narrow one car width driveway, we realized that the owner had set up the pay station before anybody could get a glimpse of the farm. With no way of backing out gracefully, we almost had to pay as she gleefully declared "24 dollars!" after peeking into our car.

    I was disappointed as soon as we saw the farm. There was a tiny pen, much less than 1000 square feet where a few alpacas were mingling with visitors. You had to enter the pen through a store. Add to it a couple more outside the pen behind fences and that was it! For the $24 we paid! And I used to think that the zoo was expensive!!! I cannot imagine spending more than 20 minutes here unless you are an avid alpaca fan. Or an avid alpaca shopper, in which case I don't know why you need to pay to shop.

    I was further disappointed upon entering the pen, to find that the only baby alpaca was sheared down to her skin! "Just last week!" as cheerfully declared by another owner. The baby doesn't look at all like in the photos above. All the other alpacas had short hair too. I don't want to judge the look of animals but again, when you pay to see them, you naturally want to see them in their best form!

    The worst point came when the owner in the pen refused to give my daughter a tiny feed refill after seeing that she dropped hers, explaining that "there are simply too many people!". He then suggested that we leave to *make room for* the next wave of people they let in!!! Of course you gotta kick the earlier customers out if you keep taking new ones in! This was within 15 minutes of us entering the farm! It took me control not to confront him in front of all the visitors.

    Overall it was a horrible experience being a customer of the farm. Our friends who visited were all shocked and disappointed by the greed the owners displayed throughout the event. Don't get me wrong, the farm was well kept and the animals were cool. We also loved the fantastic lady who spinned alpaca fur in the store. But I hope the owners realize that after they take people's money, please do not forget to provide them an experience they deserve. I hope that they read this.

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    1. Thanks for your comment and for reading my post, Sining! I'm so sorry to hear that you did not have a positive experience at Bluebird Farm Alpacas. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the National Alpaca Farm Days event, so I can't attest to what it was like there personally. We have visited many other times, and enjoyed it every time. I can't speak for the owners, but I can tell you that this was their first event open to the public with a fee (as far as I know- there are other events/classes at the farm with fees, but space is usually reserved in advance for those). Their monthly public events used to be free to visitors, but I can understand if they need to start charging some kind of fee in order to maintain the farm. The event you mentioned (National Alpaca Farm Days) was a national event, so it might have attracted more customers than they anticipated. It is indeed a small farm, and usually visits are private and have to be reserved. The alpacas are sensitive animals and only a few people at a time can be in the pen to see them. If the farm was very crowded the day you visited, perhaps the owners were trying to regulate how many people were in the pen as well as how long they stayed. The alpacas are only sheared a few times a year, and this has to be done on certain days of the year, when the shearer is available. So unfortunately, I don't think that part could be controlled (I still think the alpacas are cute, though, even when they are sheared!) You do bring up many valid points, so if the owners read this, perhaps they will consider your comments. Maybe a good suggestion is to sell tickets in advance so they can regulate how many guests are on the farm at one time, or even sell tickets for certain time slots, to assure each group gets a fair amount of time with the alpacas. For those wanting to make sure they see the alpacas with their full coats, you can always call in advance to check when their shearing schedule is. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment! I appreciate you pointing out the good aspects of the farm, too.

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