8800 Chardon Road
Kirtland Ohio 44094United States
Kids learn about farm life and grown-ups enjoy weekend festivals at this bucolic park 30 minutes east of Cleveland.
Farm life looks positively charming as it's portrayed at Lake Metroparks Farmpark. Even the drive is bucolic as visitors pass residential horse farms and the area's welcoming big blue silo. Right from the start, visitors enjoy views of fenced-in horse pastures and lakes with fountains. A modern, glass-paned farmhouse replica works as admission center, cafeteria, gift shop and demonstration area. Cow-milking and cheese-making demos are held here every 60 to 90 minutes. It's easy to see that this place is designed with kids in mind. There are plenty of traditional and portable restrooms, and hand sanitizer is available wherever kids are likely to co-mingle with the farm's horses, sheep, goats and chickens. A barn shelters those animals and provides space for contests. Antique farm equipment fans will enjoy a small room devoted to old plows and sickles. It smells like what it is--a barn--but the odor isn't so offensive as to send people running. Outside, visitors can take horse-drawn or tractor-drawn wagon rides. Sheep herding demonstrations go on nearby. At the Plant Science Center, kids walk inside the cool Giant Tomato Works. Taking the whole park in--including another exhibit on alternative energy and a view of the crops--takes about an hour and half. Visitors are free to wander, and the friendly-yet-unobtrusive staff is available for questions. Weekend visitors may want to plan a longer stay for special events like the Corn & Pumpkin Festival or Maple Sugaring Weekend. Admission charged.