Kids play best when there’s lots of room to run and climb and jump and slide and Prairie Gardens has some of the best outdoor play areas around. (Plus ice cream, mud puddles and pirate dress-up days.)
Mommy, I just need to run!
I know it’s a good weekend for the farm when I start hearing: “Mommy, I just need to run!” and “Blast off!” coming from the playroom. This year, we’ve been exploring the farm a lot with our busy two year old – we spend a few hours outside, let him run loose and burn off some of that boundless energy.
He’s petted sheep, slid slides and run through a straw-bale maze. He’s still talking about the ‘really nice chicken’ he ‘played with’ a few weeks ago (that rooster had three kids running behind him and was not at all hurried – I get the feeling he’s used to it). He’s splashed in about a hundred puddles (that’s his favourite part) and he always sleeps all the way home (that’s my favourite part).
Here’s a starter list of busy-kid-tested fun stuff at the farm, in case you have one that just needs to run too.
There are lots of slides at Prairie Gardens, but the hill slide over by the duck pond is where we usually end up. The slide is so big dad can join in (which he usually does anyway, but this time he won’t get stuck). Plus, you can watch the duckies dive under the water and pop back up again from your way-up perch. And there’s lots of clover to pick for the bunnies on your way from here to the petting farm.
Or little monkeys can scramble up the straw-bale mountain – a big stack of bales made just for climbing and jumping off into daddy’s waiting arms.
Ride around the farm
Tractors are a very cool part of the farm and there’s usually one driving around somewhere so you can admire how big the wheels are (they’re way taller than a two year old).
Take a ride on a mini-tractor (vroom, vroom) then ask at the ice cream stoop when the big red trackless train is running. (Oh yeah, and there’s totally ice cream.)
Run, run, run
Besides all the open space for zipping around, you can also run kids through three different corn mazes starting in August. The beginner’s maze takes just 10 minutes and is great for little ones. The Mindbender is a people-sized puzzle just made for races (winner picks pizza). And the Mega Maze is a family challenge that will require teamwork and imagination – you guys are totally up for it. Then go celebrate your family unit’s triumph of ingenuity with ice cream.
Kids play all day
There are many, many more ways for kids to play at the farm – 50 ways to play, in fact – including pirate and fairy dress-up during the Fairy Berry Festival in August, mining for fossils and gems at the Lost Lemon Mine, a spooky ghost town at Halloween and of course, the famous pumpkin cannon.