Sunday, June 30, 2013

Davis Farmland: A Two-Under-Two Review

Davis Farmland in Sterling, Massachusetts is a family fun center that has a TON to offer.  They have typical farm trappings like hand-feeding animals and hayrides, amazing playgrounds with dramatic play centers, a huge splash park, and some really great safety measures that make it easier to enjoy the day.  Very Instagram-able moments, if you know what I mean.  We're season pass holders this year, but I have not been paid for this review.  Davis Farmland doesn't even know I'm writing it, and I'm sure they don't care that I am.

Usually when we visit, we start off in the Animal Discovery area.  There are pens that are color-coded as to the friendlier and less-friendly animals, and a huge common area of grass where you can find random baby animals just living their lives.  Pictured above, Milo is literally squatting to watch a goat pee.  You can also feed them.  There is a reptile house, a chicken coop, a huge fenced aviary with binoculars for bird watching, and tons of larger animals in pens.  There is a hayride included with admission that is narrated by a friendly "farmer" (all the employees are farmers) and lets you get an overview of all the animals.  You can buy a cup of animal feed for $3 and get cutely attacked   If the animal area was all the park had to offer, it would still be really cool, but there's more.  

Imagination Acres is a huge section with sheds designed to be a life-sized dramatic play area.  They have a grocery store, veterinarian's office, flower shop, and other dreamy places for kids to live out their fantasies.  There are tons of Fisher Price lawn mowers and tractors and a swingset with a sandpit and diggers.  Milo loved the fenced toddler area, with a track for kid-sized toy cars and huge plastic boats that fill deliciously with mud when it rains.  Once when we were there, there was a huge cow-themed bouncy house.  It really does feel like each part of the park could be it's own place to spend a day.

Adventure Land is a playground situated on the opposite side of the central farm area.  The real draw here for Milo is a huge sandpit with little cabanas that let you cook and dump and pour to your heart's content.  They wisely have a little water pump so kids can wet the sand and build and make a terrific mess.  There is a buried set of dinosaur bones that you can uncover.  They also have a lot of things that older kids can get into- a huge, huge slide that you soar down on a burlap sack, a go-kart track (we only got this picture because we were there ridiculously early, before the crowd), and little scooters on a square of asphalt.  Like every section, there are slides and climbing structures to add to the fun.

This is probably my favorite part of the entire place.  The spray park is huge and there is tons of space and Milo loves it; watching him go crazy is too cute.  There are spontaneous fountains from the ground, water tunnels to run through, a crazy wet tractor, and a water table set up.  Adirondack chairs are spread all around so adults can sit in the shade and watch the action.  Around the corner, there's a smaller and quieter toddler spray park- Milo has always preferred the larger, so it works for most ages, but it's nice to know the tiny one is there.

Davis Farmland works because they've thought of EVERYTHING.  There are picnic tables in every section of the park, tons of shaded areas, several snack bars and an indoor restaurant, family bathrooms THAT FIT A DOUBLE STROLLER, a fully stocked gift shop, stroller/wagon rentals, changing rooms, a nursing room, lockers, a really organized birthday party package, a great membership program, and the wristband situation.  One of the awesome (for people with kids) and disappointing (for regular people who like baby animals) things about Davis Farmland is that no one over the age of 12 is admitted without a child, and all members of a party wear wristbands with matching numbers on them.  When you leave, they check to make sure that the numbers match.  No one is getting out of there with a kid they shouldn't have.

There aren't too many pictures of Elliott shown here.  He's still small enough that he spends most of his visit tucked in his side of our stroller.  When Milo is going crazy at the playground, I usually lift him out and let him check out the situation.  I can't wait until he's old enough to enjoy it a little more, but for now, he's happy to watch it all and have his toes nibbled by the occasional sheep.

We love Davis Farmland; over the past month we've gone around once a week, and now that the summer is here, we're definitely going to be going a lot more often.  Check out their website to get more information about the pricing (it's different throughout the season), their calendar of special events, and their daily availability due to weather.  Get out and get farmy!

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At March 29, 2016 at 7:09 AM , Anonymous Nicole B said...

Nice post. I was looking like this. Really it is very useful and informative post. Thanks for sharing. Thanks again!


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