I had the opportunity to visit Fair Oaks Farms the other week. Located in between Indy and Chicago off of I-65, it is a perfect stop for anyone traveling in the area. I had been there several years ago about the time they opened, but SO much has changed since my last visit and it certainly was a day full of learning and playing!My mom had five of her grandkids with her and we thought this would be the perfect place to take them for the day. I underestimated all there was to do and while we spent a good five hours there, the kiddos certainly could have stayed for longer.Anyone is welcome to grab a bite to eat at the Cheese Factory and that is where we began our day. We arrived a little before lunch time and right after we ordered the restaurant quickly became packed! It is easy to see why …As my niece said, “This should be called Grilled Amazing, not Grilled Cheese!” And boy was she right!Once we were full we headed off to begin our “Dairy Adventure.” The admission includes everything that is on Fair Oaks property including:
- 4D movie experience that explains a little bit of the history of Fair Oaks and how education is one of their main goals.
- Tours of the cow milking operation: Here you learn about the over 3,000 cows they milk DAILY and get to see one of the barns where they milk 24/7. Amazing.
- Access to the Birthing Barn (which with the help of a traffic light, you can know at a glance if one of the 80 calves born daily is going to be making an appearance soon!)
- Mooville – a variety of kids activities to enjoy!
- And NEW this year – Tours of the pig production facility. Let me tell you this brought back some memories. My Dad raised hogs when I was growing up and stepping inside their facility (where the visitor is set up high looking down on the pigs) reminded me of all the hard work he put into them.
We ended our day with some tasty ice cream from the cafe. You’ll have to trust me on this one, since I didn’t get any pictures of us scarfing down our cones!
If you are looking to experience a farm, this is the one to go to. It isn’t your typical dairy farm, but you will learn a whole lot about all that goes into raising cows AND now pigs. Don’t rush the visit. Like I said, we spent five hours and the kids were good to go longer. If however you do find yourself driving on I-65 between Chicago and Indy and are getting hungry and don’t have the time to experience the entire farm, then I would recommend grabbing a grilled cheese for the road.
For more information on exhibits, events and admission costs, check out Fair Oaks Farms’ website.