It’s only 30 days until Arbor Day, people! This got me to thinking about creating a post about an adventure me and my family had last year at Arbor Day Farm, one of the coolest places on Earth. I had gone to a conference at Lied Lodge (at Arbor Day Farm) two years ago and was determined to bring my boys back some day to experience the Tree Adventure.
Fall is the best time of year to visit Arbor Day Farm. This is the time of year when the Farm itself, an actual, operational farm and orchard, has all kinds of great stuff for sale – a ton of apple varieties, fresh baked pies, preserves, and all sorts of wonderful food.
First, though, I need to tell you about a great Super 8 motel in Percival, Iowa. I booked a room on Priceline.com the same day we stayed there and paid something like $45 per night. Percival is about 15 minutes from Arbor Day Farm, and, after looking around places to stay in Nebraska City, this was our clear choice. The room comes complete with complimentary breakfast in the morning and was $50 – $60 cheaper than the competition. My boys behaved really well there, as you can tell from this photo:
We started our day at the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure. I think it was $6 a person to get in.
Everything was a “yes” for the kids. Everything was touchable, climbable, and kid-oriented.
There were a ton of learning opportunities along the path, too. The kids were very interested in all of the interactive displays. Bird calls:
Sounds of the forst amplified (some unnatural sounds, too):
Animal track IDing:
The boys loved the 500 ft tall treehouse. This height puts you right up in the canopy for all kinds of good viewing. There is a little hut attached that has all kinds of natural things to touch and feel as well.
There were games for the kids to play:
And a lot of stuff to climb on:
Thing1 gets his Metallica on:
Floating a leaf down a “river”:
Building with natural things, and then unbuilding (do you like how poor little kittentoy is going for an unfortunate ride here):
We took a tractor ride through the orchards and fields that make up Arbor Day Farm.
And stopped to pick apples along the way.
There was also a corn maze – small and simple, the kind that a 7 and 3 year old really enjoy.
And we hiked over to Lied Lodge as well. The trail winds through the woods between Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm. The boys seemed to enjoy the bridges the most and were very curious about their construction.
This is the back of Lied Lodge. The Lodge recycles and tries to be as self-sustainable as they possibly can. You can read more about this online here. It’s a beautiful place that has incorporated a number of Frank Lloyd Wright elements into their arcetectural and furnishing design.
Since Arbor Day Farm is at least a 5 hour drive from where we live, we did the trip in two days. We went back to the hotel midday so the boys could have a nap and we could avoid the hottest hours. At this age I swear that sometimes the hotel is more of a fun adventure for the kids than the actual attraction we go to, but Arbor Lodge had so much to offer them that they thouroughly enjoyed every minute of their adventure.
You should consider a visit to Arbor Day Farm in the future!
Emily, Doer of Stuff