For spring break, our family decided on a staycation. We are animal lovers and I wanted my child to experience spring on a farm. She doesn’t remember her last visit to Frying Pan Park or Kidwell Farm because she was a toddler then.
The best way to understand the history of the park is by starting at the visitor center. A helpful employee will give you the skinny on upcoming events while the adjacent room gives an introduction into farm life.
Children can learn what roles they played on the farm along with quizzing yourself about cows. You can walk to the farm from the visitor center, which would take about 15 minutes, but on warmer days you can drive to the adjacent lot.
Frying Pan Park is all about the animals and there are many to adore here. Goats, rabbits, sheep, Belgian draught horses, pigs, turkeys and chickens. You can milk a virtual cow in the barn or see real ones in the fields.
Spring is the best chance to see new babies being born. During our visit to Kidwell Barn, a goat had just given birth the same day to two babies.
My daughter was grossed out to see the placenta on the hay, but it was educational to understand how life begins. Just this year they have had several breeds of new piglets born, along with sheep and calves.
Onto the Kidwell Farm House where the home is set in the style of the 1930s. Be prepared to hear a lengthy and detailed narration from a volunteer if you wish.
The farmhouse exhibits include a country kitchen, living room and dining room. The kitchen has neat items such as an egg weighing scale, flour sifter, washboard and other items that were unique to farm life.
My daughter loved hearing the old-fashioned music in the sitting room along with the childhood toys from the olden days.
Other buildings to explore on this 20th century working farm are the privy, dairy, smokehouse and barn filled with antique farm equipment. The Floris Schoolhouse is used today as a preschool while the Blacksmith shop is open during special events.
Little ones can ride on bright red, toy tractors or take a wagon ride to explore the grounds. During the season the carousel is in operation, but it was lacking any grand feature like a brightly colored top.
Without a cover, it would be quite hot to enjoy. Anytime is a good time to ramble around the playground or walk the grounds. Be sure to wear comfy shoes and clothes that may get dirty from petting the animals. The park also has an equestrian facility that offers horseback riding lessons.
Restrooms fitted with baby changing stations are located in the visitor center and next to the country store. A handwashing station is located between Kidwell Barn and the chicken coop.
A visit isn’t complete without visiting the country store. Housed in the old Vocational Agriculture Shop circa 1920, the country store was a variety store that served many purposes.
From food to home goods and trinkets, you can even see an antique cash register. I was impressed that in addition to nostalgic candy like cow tales and candy buttons, they also stocked healthy snacks such as cheese sticks and applesauce.
Refresh with a bottled root beer, cider or juice box and take home some local honey, especially if you suffer from allergies. There are tempting toys, goat’s soap and ice cream treats here too.
Kidwell Farm and the greater Frying Pan Farm Park is one of those neat, old time attractions that is often overlooked in the area.
Their annual event, the Spring Farm Day that was scheduled for May 1, has been canceled for the 2nd year in a row due to COVID-19. They are accepting donations for feeding farm animals and supporting the farm.
Check their website for their annual 4-H Fair and carnival, which is usually held in the beginning of August.
Photos courtesy of Frying Pan Farm Park website.