JONESVILLE — For those ready to hop out all that Easter and springtime energy, HDK Ranch in Jonesville is offering its first Easter EGGstravaganza this Saturday. Attendees can hop til they drop in a sea of inflatables and bounce houses. Other activities featured in the $15 all-day, all-inclusive pass include hopping on for a pony or hay ride and visiting the barnyard petting zoo.
Of course, no Easter festival is complete without an egg hunt. HDK will offer egg hunts at noon and 3 p.m. Each time slot will offer hunts separated by age group to keep the seeking fair.
“Because it’s an all-day pass, a lot of our families come in the morning to play and then come back in the afternoon to hunt,” said owner Kimberly Dale.
The Dales purchased the 75-acres farm on Little Mountain Road two years ago, after previously running similar riding stables and event centers in Lenoir and Hickory. They wanted the extra space that the Jonesville farm offers — they have 22 horses and ponies for lessons and trailrides, and an expansive petting zoo.
“We’ve got about every animal that you can think of as far as in the petting zoo for kiddos to go and the pet and to feed,” Dale said. “Our petting zoo is designed where you can walk completely through it. We set it up so every animal has its own pen or lot.”
Any gate without a lock on it is a space that welcomes visitors to come inside and feed and pet the animals. The festival pass comes with a cup of feed and treats.
The petting zoo features goats, sheep, mini donkeys, mini horses, pigs, ducks, chickens, peacocks, alpacas, turkeys and the star of the season — bunnies. Unusual residents include large African tortoises, a mini cow who is currently being bottle-fed, a creature that is a cross between a kangaroo and rabbit, and pigeons.
“I don’t mean like pigeons you see in NY,” Dale laughed. “I’ve got exotic pigeons.”
In addition to regularly offering riding lessons and trailrides, HDK Ranch plans to offer a special event each month, often centered around a holiday such as a Fourth of July or Halloween festival. For Valentine’s Day, then offered a “Cupid Couples” trailride package with a mountaintop picnic and a cozy fire.
“We had a romantic old farm table up there and it was really nice food,” Dale said.
This Saturday’s EGGstravaganza runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The ranch is located at 4128 Little Mountain Road. In case of weather, check the ranch’s Facebook page.
Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.