Travel Treasures Close to Home: Farmpark

by Tom Reed
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Story filed May 26, 2010

The Lake Metroparks Farmpark, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is a great place for a different kind of family outing. City and suburban kids will enjoy it and learn something too, namely that the food they eat doesn’t originate at the supermarket. And you don’t have to go too far to explore this slice of rural life; the Farmpark is only a half hour from downtown Cleveland, at 8800 Euclid Chardon Road in Kirtland.

Great Tomato Works
The Great Tomato Works

Kids are especially attracted to the 50 breeds of livestock on the farm, ranging from common barnyard animals such as cows, pigs, and horses to the more exotic llamas and alpacas. Youngsters can learn how to milk a cow, and get a close-up look at farm animals in the Barnyard. The Plant Science Center features the Great Tomato Works, and a hydroponics lab. The hands-on activities and demonstrations help youngsters understand where their food comes from. After all, as a park education manager explained, most people today are two generations away from a traditional diversified farm.

Dairy Barn
Dairy Barn

Although the activities are planned with youngsters in mind, there are a number of events throughout the year that appeal to adults as well.

Here are some of the events of interest to people of all ages:
(more details on the website www.lakemetroparks.com)

  • Working Dog Weekend, June 12 & 13. Demonstrations of retrievers, police K-9 units, and much more.
  • Woolfest, June 26 & 27. A national champions alpaca show is one of the highlights.
  • Ice Cream Weekend, July 10 & 11. A new event, from milking a cow to the finished product.
  • Vintage Ohio wine festival, August 6 & 7. This is primarily for grownups, although there are activities for kids, too. Requires separate admission charge, and has different hours. Park is closed for regular visitation during this event. Vintage Ohio has its own website www.visitvintageohio.com
The 235-acre Farmpark is open year-round, but is closed on a few major holidays and on Mondays during winter months. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for folks 60 and older, $4 for children 2-11, free for kids under 2.

A search on YouTube for “Lake Farmpark” results in several videos of varying quality. One of the best is an overview produced by Positively Cleveland, posted above.


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