One of my favorite outdoor destinations with my 5 and 3 year old kids is Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. For an outing more extraordinary than a visit to the park, but not quite as big and audacious as the zoo, we opt for a morning or afternoon at the Farmstead. It is an experience we never tire of and we seem to find something new each time we go. We can catch a fish, ride a pony, pedal a tractor, bottle feed and hand feed the animals, play at one of the parks and explore the nature trail, among other things. Here are a few insider tips to make the most of your day at the Farmstead:
- Go to the dairy barn for a cow milking demo. They do one in the morning and one in the afternoon. My daughter got to bottle feed a calf when she was 3 and two years later still talks about that experience. The barn also has pretend cows for the kids to milk. The Cinemoo Moovie Theater is housed in the dairy barn as well that plays a short video on the history of dairy in Kansas. Even if you’ve seen the video before it’s a great place to sit in the AC on a warm day. There is also a bathroom & concession stand in the dairy barn making it a great place to stop.
- Bring quarters! There are plenty of opportunities to feed the animals with quarter machines that dispense a hand full of food. My kids enjoy feeding the chickens the most. The goats are always up for a nibble, but keep your distance if you don’t have a hand full of food or a bottle for a buck because they will nibble your clothing and fingers and it sure does tickle!
- Utilize the hand washing stations located throughout the farmstead. Since I never know when one of my kids will stick their fingers in their mouth I like that there are several hand washing stations along our path.
- Grab a hand-dipped cone at the ice cream parlor or a piece of old-time candy at the general store along with an old-fashioned toy souvenir. Want a unique photo souvenir? Visit the photography parlor to transport yourself into an old photo!
- Last, but not least, get a discovery passbook at Ben’s Bank to make sure you experience everything the farmstead has to offer! Visit all nine discovery stations, answer the questions in your book and return it to the bank to redeem a prize!