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Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
Now that fall is in the air and the public schools are back in session, we homeschoolers are hitting the local fun places for field trips! Cherry Crest Adventure Farm was near the top of my daughter’s wish list! Really, what could be more fun than a day on the farm with a huge corn maze, farm animals, and tractors?
We planned our trip for a Friday and anxiously watched the weather forecast. Because of my work schedule, I have to try to plan ahead, and unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always cooperate with my schedule. As we got closer to our planned date, the temperature was still higher than what Marvel Boy will usually tolerate. We decided to go anyway and see how he would fare. I packed water, cooling towels, bug spray, and sunscreen into a backpack, and away we went. [Note: We received free admission into the farm in hopes that we would share our experience with all of you.]
When we arrived, Marvel Boy had his map out, deciding where we should go first. As you can see, there is a lot to do spread out over a large area. He decided we should check out the animals closest to the front first.
We checked out many of the farm animals. I have to say that I think feeding the goats was Marvel Boy’s favorite thing to do. He really doesn’t like the animals eating from his hands, so this conveyor belt was the perfect option for him! As you can see, they added food to a small cup on the conveyor belt. Then, they sent the cup up to the waiting goat. It was funny to watch as the goat tried to get to the food at the earliest point.
We also liked watching the baby chicks hatch from the eggs. We saw a chick that obviously had just hatched, and the cracks were getting bigger on one of the eggs as the chick inside tried to get out.
At this point, it was very hot, and Marvel Boy was beginning to melt down. There really isn’t much that is air conditioned. I mean, it is a farm… Because of the heat, we decided to leave and come back again at a later time. I felt bad about doing that, but it was just too hot for Marvel Boy to enjoy it.
Songbird really wanted to go back and do the corn maze, as did the rest of us, so she kept her eyes on my schedule and on the weather. She noticed that the next Friday seemed to be a good option. It was homeschool day at the farm, the temperature was going to be in the mid-70s, and I was off on Friday. It meant that I would head out to the farm with no sleep, but I could crash that night. I was ok with that, so we planned to head back to the farm on Friday.
Friday morning dawned, and it was beautiful! We headed over to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm with a long list of things we wanted to do. Marvel Boy wanted to go back to see the chicks. He didn’t want to hold one the last time we were there, but he was interested in trying it this time. As you can see in the bottom picture, he was successful. In fact, he loved holding the chick so much that he went back again later in the day to hold one again. That time, the little chick fell asleep in his hands. When he put the chick down, it scolded him for having to wake up.
The farm animal area has a wide variety of animals from turkeys and chickens to alpacas and a pig. Take a look at the hungry goat. Isn’t that such a cute face? We were buying feed for 25 cents in the little machines, but one of the workers there told us about the cups of feed for $3, so we bought a cup. Let me tell you! The animals know what this cup looks like, and they make sure to let you know how much they would love to empty your cup!
While I’m on the topic of the employee tip… When you enter the farm, there is a bin that contains little bundles of paper that look like yellow play money. Make sure to grab a bundle when you go in. These are to give to employees who go above and beyond to make your time there enjoyable. I’m not sure what the employees get for these, but one of the employees seemed greatly appreciative to get one.
Here’s where I express my joy at seeing so many red tractors! My father worked for International Harvester many many years ago, so IH/Farmall has always been a part of my life. In some areas of the country, most of the tractors are green. I was happy just to ride behind one of the red tractors on a tour of the farm. If you have the time, make sure to take this tour as there are some fun things to see and tidbits to hear. Like, did you know that the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is a working farm and is 100% solar powered? That’s cool!
At the end of the farm tour, we exited the wagon near three tractors that are meant to climb on. Marvel Boy had a BALL on these tractors! He has always been a train fan, so combining sitting on a tractor watching the train go by was very exciting for him! Notice his ear protection. Because the train tracks go right through the middle of the farm, the whistle and/or horn is blown many times, long and loud. Ear protection was a must for him, and with it, he thoroughly enjoyed his time there.
After a couple of trips for Marvel Boy to sit on the tractors, I decided it was time to tackle the corn maze! I had really been looking forward to this!
We started by hearing a little tutorial about the maze itself. The yellow/orange/red board told about the different levels of challenges in the maze. The yellow one is the easiest and should take 15-20 minutes. The orange is the intermediate and should take about 45 minutes to an hour. The red one? Well, that’s the one with no hints and should take 1.5 to 2 hours. Armed with this knowledge, we decided to take the middle of the road intermediate option.
We grabbed a tall flag in case we got lost and headed out to find our first tip. We found the tips to be very helpful and really didn’t get lost at all; although, we did find that having the flag was comforting in case we did get lost.
Besides the tips, we also had the colored ribbon to help us find our way. If you look in the picture above with the tip boards, you will see the ribbon is brown. In the left picture above, the ribbon is green, and in the right picture, it is yellow.
The color of the ribbon is significant and is very important on the hardest challenge. If you notice the picture of the maze on the right above, it is color coded. The color of the areas of the picture correspond to the color of ribbon in the maze. It’s a good guide to help you get around and out.
Back to our trip through the maze… We followed the tips to find puzzle pieces to put on our “game board” that we carried through the maze. As we found pieces, we put them on the board, so that we would have a souvenir of our trip. In the intermediate challenge, we were supposed to find seven pieces. We actually ended up with eight of them.
About half way through the maze, we ended up in a snack area that also has a port-a-potty. It’s good to know that if you are doing the longest challenge, you can find a drink, snack, and potty along the way!
At the end, we were able to get pieces to complete our map. The red pieces are what we picked up through the maze. The other pieces are brown, presumably, so a person can’t say they found all the pieces when they didn’t. I’m glad they did it this way, so we could get all the pieces, but I also know which ones we found ourselves and which ones we got at the end. We were able to get our picture taken to complete our mat, and we had the whole thing laminated. It was $5, but what a great souvenir for the kids!
So… This time of year, there is also flashlight maze. Sounds like fun, but I prefer the light. I’m sure it would be a great challenge in the dark, though! Also, Songbird is looking forward to fall when the pumpkin picking and popcorn picking starts! She is already planning to drag her father along on the next trip!
Before you go: Make sure to read Cherry Crest Adventure Farm’s blog post about what to take into the maze! It is chock full of great tips!
If your child is on the Autism Spectrum or has Sensory Processing Disorder: If it is hot, there are not many places to cool off. Make sure to bring whatever cooling equipment needed or plan for a cooler day. The train is LOUD! If your child usually uses ear protection, make sure to pack it on the trip. The bathrooms are… (how to put it…) The bathroom toilets do not contain regular flush toilets. They have a foot pedal that empties to a holding tank, I presume. They do smell clean, but your child may need instruction on “flushing” the toilet. The tractors to climb on take a little extra “motor planning” skills to climb. Marvel Boy needed a few hints on where to put his feet going and down. This is actually excellent practice for the kids!
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is a whole lot of good, clean, family fun! We enjoyed our trip there a whole lot and are looking forward to going again! If you are near the Lancaster County, PA area, check to see about a stop at the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm!
Disclosure: The kids and I did received free admission onto the farm. Despite this, all opinions are 100% true and accurate. A great time was had by all!