Nickajack Farms makes an average Saturday afternoon an educational adventure for the kids.
Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays. Except for the candy. I love the candy. And the costumes, those are cool too. Oh, and haunted houses, I loooooove haunted houses! Put those aside and I could take or leave Halloween.
Maybe it’s because I don’t care much for pumpkins. Well, except for pumpkin seeds. And carving jack-o-lanterns. Put those aside and I could take or leave pumpkins.
Now that I think about it, I kinda do like Halloween. Well, aside from the fact that it’s Satan’s birthday. (j/k)
This time of year provides all kinds of out-of-the-ordinary activities for kids, and Nickajack Farms is just one of those places. Jen tries to plan weekly Monday outings with her kids and since the weather was nice she decided to take them (and me!) to Nickajack Farms. We went to an early dinner at Rooser’s and I tormented the waitress with 80′s music trivia. After dinner, with the bark collar having already been put on the dog, we headed out.
Nickajack is only about 12 miles from where I live, but it’s a lot of stop-light ridden back roads. We arrived around 6pm on a Monday night and stayed for about two hours, though we easily could have stayed three or four hours had we given ourselves more time. I suggest coming on a Saturday or no later than 4pm on a weeknight.
At first glance Nickajack Farms doesn’t seem to add up to a whole lot of anything at all. But a lot of little things add up to several hours worth of fun and activities for kids, and adults can enjoy it right a long with them.
Upon entering Nickajack Farms, off to the left, just behind a wagon train, is a mini old west town front where kids can pretend to be cowboys and cow girls. Or cows, they can pretend to be cows too. There are a few cut-outs that adults and kids can stick their heads through for the traditional “I’m a farmer” or “I’m a pumpkin” photo-op.
In the middle were pumpkins, lots of pumpkins, and more pumpkins. Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Hey look! Even more pumpkins. On the far right was the straw maze for kids. Careful, cheaters are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!
Next to the straw maze is pumpkin bowling. Set up your bowling pins (the real thing) and let the kids roll the pumpkins down, down, down and, oooh, gutter ball. So sad.
The highlight of Nickajack Farms is the corn maze. At least it was for me. I’ve been to one corn maze before and it stunk in comparison to the one at Nickajack. Well, it stunk period. I guess that’s what you get for going to a corn maze in Reno!
Nickajack Farms’ corn maze was a lot of fun and very well thought out. Each intersection had a corresponding question provided to you on a sheet of paper. Signs were posted at the intersection with two answers. Get it right, you go the right way. Get it wrong you hit a dead end. (Don’t worry, answers are provided.) I guessed most of the answers correctly on my second try!
We had to rush through the hay maze in order to catch the last hay-ride for the night. That and the kids didn’t particularly enjoy the semi-muddy path. Ladies, wear sneakers, not heels!
We caught the last hay ride just as it was getting dark. I figured it would be a quick 10-15 minute ride. Instead we got a 30-40 minute ride through the cornfields, bean fields and around the farm. It was fun. And then it was amusing. And then it got annoying. And then it became frustrating. Then it became funny. By the end of the ride I was thinking, “I should have bought a squirrel.” (Obscure movie reference. Any guesses?)
As fun as it was, we were glad it was finally over. I was half expecting that they would dump us out in the middle of some cornfield miles from our vehicle and strip us of our cash!
Even though everything had closed for the night, the good people at Nickajack farms were kind enough to let us drive up to the discovery barn and petting zoo. Once we parked all daylight had vanished and we had a heck of a time finding which barn was the discover barn. But finally, (pun alert!) that discovery was made.
Had we come at a time when more kids had been present the Discovery Barn would have been a lot more enjoyable, buzzing with activity. But even still the kids had a lot of fun.
When you walk in you immediately see the cornbox (sand box with corn instead of sand). Around the sides of the barn were all kinds of information on agriculture and kid-friendly learning stations. A couple of craft tables filled the center where kids can make a bee, trace pumpkins and create a Jack-O-Lantern mask. There was also coloring stations, a “corn picking” field, information on wool shearing and lots more.
By the time we left the Discovery barn we needed to head back so the kiddies could go to bed. We had to pass up the petting zoo all together, but I got some pictures anyway. One question that had been bugging me since a discussion I had with Jen’s mother at the Canfield fair was, do sheep and goats speak different dialects of the same language or different languages all together? The non-scientific opinion of the person who worked there was: different languages.
BLAST! I owe Jen $5!
Nickajack farms is a great day-time place to take the kids for some cheap fun and games and some education to go along with it. The only complaints we got from the kids was the corn maze. They were anxious to move on to other things fairly quickly.
I suggest you give yourselves at least 4 hours and take your time with each game and activity. The kids wanted to spend more time bowling and playing in the straw maze than we were able do. But they did have a good time and were quite ready to fall asleep by the time we were done.