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I think kids should be raised on farms. It is spacious, and they can run around freely without fear of breaking or running into anything. It’s also the best way to teach them to treat animals kindly, how to care for them and what they can give you in response. Lake Metroparks Farmpark is such a place. Endless, full of interactive activities, friendly workers to answer all your questions, and good food.

Lake Metroparks Farmpark. When to go?

We got here in mid-November and were very glad that the crowd was low. Usually, this place is filled with families, and no wonder why. You can celebrate a birthday party here, milk a cow, groom a horse, pick up and buy fresh vegetables, get honey, take horse and tractor trolley, play on a playground, pet animals, and have a picnic or eat at their cafe if you get hungry. 

I think it’s a perfect place for a half or the entire day’s visit. Our kids ran around, read all the posts, did all the activities, and didn’t want to leave. 

The Lake Metroparks Farmpark is an award-winning park and one of the top 10 educational sites to learn about farming. It is located at 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094.

Importance of Lake Metroparks Farmpark.

Going to the farm reminded me of another trip to Dubai, Arabian Emirates. We were on an excursion, and a tour guide told us that there were no farms in their city for several years. Since it’s a desert, it is cheaper to import rather than grow. So they delivered everything from other towns, but they found out that school-age kids didn’t know where such products as milk, eggs, veggies, and raisins came from in a few years.

When the teacher asked them when these products come from, kids said that milk and eggs come from a fridge or a store and raisins come from buns; some kids even could not recognize a potato. So immediately, the head of the country made an order to create a farm specifically for educational purposes, and since then, farm tours have been one of the school field trips. 

Back then, I thought, OMG, how strange! But it is not odd at all; kids will not know what we don’t teach them. 

So we headed to Lake Metroparks Farmpark to learn about farming and gardening, and we had a memorable experience. 

At the front desk, a lovely girl asked us if we were here before (and we didn’t), then she gave us a map and pointed directions where to go to find activities. 

Milking a Cow by hand.

How does that sound to you? We visited many farms before, but none of them ever offered such an activity. I must confess that although I saw hundreds of cows in my life, I never milked one. I was pretty excited. 

Milk the cow. Lake Metroparks Farmpark
Lake Metroparks Farmpark. What to do in Cleveland with kids? Milking a cow by hand.

We walked into a red barn. It is warmer than outside, and cows are lying in stalls. We come and pet their furry ears that feel warm and soft. A guide comes over and brings one cow to a stage where tubes and canisters hang. She tells us some facts about cows. Did you know that one cow eats about 24 pounds of food a day and drinks a bathtub amount of water to give 6-7 gallons of milk?! Kids learned that cows have to have a baby before starting producing milk. 

The worker shows us how what to do and it is my turn to milk a cow! I come over, stretch my hand and grab a teat. It feels warm and soft; it is unique but comparable with touching an earlobe. My hands are cold, so the cow moves and stares at me with the “What’s up” look.

I find the situation comic and smile but keep holding the teat like I grab a mug by the handle. Eventually, I did what the worker taught us. Squeeze thumb and pointer first, then squeeze the teat with the rest of the fingers in the following order – middle finger, ring finger, pinkie—the milk squirts on the floor. Easy peasy! I did it one more time and let my daughter take a turn. 

She had a turn before me but was too scared even to touch the udder. It was apparent she wanted to do it, but the novelty of the experience would hold her back. Eventually, Kevin asked: “Let’s do it with Daddy!” And Maria said: “yes!” And she did it!

I love to see how my family bonds while we experience new things while traveling. Today, I felt like we were in the right place and at an important time. Together. 

We head to the next activity with one new thing off our bucket list and a victory in our hearts.

Grooming and petting horses is so calming.

I patted horses before but never had a chance to groom them, so I am curious and anticipating the activity. So, first, we got two beautiful horses to pet. Oh! I don’t know how but I never realized how soft is horse’s fur is. I heard an expression, hard as a horse’s hair, so I presumed it’s more like a bristle on a cleaning brush, but no, it is as soft as plush, and only mane hair is stiff, and you can use them as strings on musical instruments or brushes. 

For grooming, they surprised us with a BIG horse. His name was King, and I wonder, was he born big? Because, if you get a name like this being a foal, you have got to be extraordinary. King appeared to be still 230 pounds horse. I am 5,5, and this is how tall King is at his back level.

The worker had to use a stool to groom his back and head. I am glad that the horse is meek. I took a brush and slightly passed it over King’s side. He didn’t move. I did it repeatedly, but once I stopped, he turned his head, asking me to continue. 

Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect when we were heading to the farm, but I got a boost of adrenaline and excitement from just these two activities. 

We spent some time at a petting area too.

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Lake Metroparks Farmpark. What to do in Cleveland with kids. I am just cute.

I liked one goat especially. It didn’t let anyone pet her; she just wanted to stand there being cute.

We drove to the Plant Science Center with another family chatting on the way.

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Lake Metroparks Farmpark. What to do in Cleveland with kids. Catching snowflakes.

It snowed that day, and it was cold, but it felt much warmer in the horse pulled wagon covered with plastic.

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Lake Metroparks Farmpark. What to do in Cleveland with kids. Horse-pulled wagon.

They told us they have a membership and come here often and that every season is beautiful and fun on its own. In spring, the farm has baby animals and chicks and blooming flowers all over. They have Festivals and birthday parties throughout the year. Fresh veggies and fruits in fall, and during the warm season, they have beehives. And I believe you can buy honey.

They have Christmas lights drive-through and workshops and lunches/with Santa in winter. The farm is crowded most of the days, especially sunny days, but there were a couple of birthday parties and many families with kids even today. The farm is open all year round and hosts activities both indoors and outdoors. 

The Plant Science museum is indoors, but they keep flowers and other plants outside during the warm season. The building is spacious and clean, with visual displays and a play area in the middle room, and two greenhouses attached to it on each side. One had veggies, and another was warm and humid with tropical flowers.

We found fresh veggies and fruits here, and my youngest wanted a tomato and an apple. The apple was an attractive purple color. I’ve seen nothing like this before. It is hard by texture and sweet with a hint of sour. My son didn’t like it, but I did. I wish we had bought more. 

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Lake Metroparks Farmpark. What to do in Cleveland with kids. Purple apples.

Once we searched the place, we asked a worker how we could get back, and she used a radiophone to call a wagon, so we hopped on and said bye to the Center.

There is a hilltop courtyard&machinery building where we found antique tractors collection.

Kids asked lots of questions. Sure! They never saw machines like this before, and honestly, neither did I. Good things we can read!

When we were leaving, my kids asked if we could come back. Of course! We will be back, and I am sure there will be new things to try, see, and learn. 

So if you are looking for something unique for your kids to learn about reality, bring them to Lake Metroparks Farmpark at any season and then bring them again because they will want to come back.

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