In the mid-1980s, the McCray family decided to diversify into ice cream and took the next step in their journey into the world of farm-based fun. Since then, Steve McCray and his family have built a hive of activity around the heart of their farm—the dairy operation— to create one of the area’s favorite destinations. Their bakery and grill, mini golf course, bonfire pit, pumpkin patch and haunted hayrides draw about 50,000 visitors a year from as far as Boston. “We love operating a place where the whole family can come and enjoy a night out that doesn’t break the bank,” says Steve.
It was actually a tragic event more than a decade before the ice cream that started the McCray Farm on the path to welcoming visitors. In 1972, Steve’s father, Don, opened a free petting zoo in memory of his son, Allen, who was killed in an accident on the farm. Allen had always told his dad that they should have a petting zoo so that other children could see and visit the farm animals. “Thanks to Allen’s dream,” recounts Christy, the youngest of Steve’s kids, “the petting zoo has become a staple of childhood memories for multiple generations.”
The most recent addition to the farm is a milk processing plant that enables locals to purchase fresh, bottled milk straight from the farm and also provides milk and cream for the truly farm-fresh ice cream. Steve does a fair bit of the churning himself. Does he like ice cream? “Do bees have knees?” he responds with a chuckle, noting this his favorite is appropriately called Barnyard Blast.