Monday, August 27, 2012

Maple View Agricultural Educational Center

Aren't these cooler temperatures making you dream of fall?  And farms?  Us, too.  We were actually able to get our first farm trip in this season last week.  We were part of a group trip to the Maple View Agricultural Educational Center.  We had a blast, friends!

Now you may recall we've mentioned Maple View Farms before.  We talked about how you could head out to the country, get some delicious ice cream, and rock on the front porch. But we warned you that you couldn't get up close and personal with those cows here.  The Ag Center is where that happens.

Maple View Ag Center is by appointment only and you have to have a group of at least 10 kids to go (although call them to work with them because they are fairly flexible and certainly nice).  You do not have to be associated with any organization to go, just get a playgroup and your friends together.  The Ag Center loves birthday parties, too.

When you make your appointment you will be given a couple of different topics and packages to choose from.  Our group had picked milk-making and cows for our topic and the package with just 1 learning lab. 

We started with a talk, complete with visuals, to explain to the kids how milk making (and ice cream making) works on the farm.  We then went on a hayride, checking out the grounds and the cows.  From there we were led through the barnyard portion.  The kids were able to pet cows, goats, see chickens and llamas up close, and feed a donkey.  The gentleman who led the children through this section of the visit was particularly fantastic. 

After that we were set loose on the huge playground facility on the farm.  Our group had elected to pre-order scoops of ice cream for an additional fee of $2 per scoop (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry sorbet available) but you can instead choose to stop at the general store after your visit if you would rather.

In addition to the ice cream cost, a visit will be $9 per child and $5 per parent/teacher/guardian for the 1 learning lab option.  Prices are $10 per child and $5 per parent for the 2 learning lab option. Note that they offer a special for the fall months, too.  The farm visit costs a little more but includes a pumpkin to take home.

Strollers are not permitted on the hayride or during the petting portion, but jogging strollers can be pushed by the playground and picnic area.

The inside of the Ag Center is very nice and clean (and air conditioned) and bathrooms are available.

We particularly loved the opportunity to see the cows up close (including calves that were 2 days old!), the hayride, and how wonderfully friendly and happy all the staff were.  Considering that our children had varying degrees of interest and attention span during the different parts of this visit, the Maple View farm folks still treated us so patiently and friendly.

So get your friends together, get a picnic lunch, and go enjoy this fabulous place!

Maple View Agricultural Educational Center
 3501 Dairyland Road


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