A Day on the Farm: 5 Things to do at Stratford Ecological Center

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A friend and I took our kids to Stratford Ecological Center one afternoon in early June. It was a bright sunny day which made for a beautiful 30 minute drive to Delaware County. I took my oldest son, who, on the drive, became obsessed with the idea of being in the woods  (though he kept calling it “the wood,” as in, “are we in the wood now mommy?”) I think what he really meant was “wow, look at all these trees!” And when we turned into the driveway for the center it looked like this:

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And then yes, I could definitively say we were in “the woods”.  😉 We drove back through the property and arrived at the visitor’s center. Though the property managed by the Stratford Ecological Center is 236 acres, we spent about two hours just wandering through the small, educational farm. When visiting, you’re free to roam about the property at your own pace. Here are 5 things you can do!

1. Visit the animals in the barn

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The day we visited, there was a farm camp for kids going on. These camps are week-long day camps for kids ages 3-12. We got in on a goat-milking session with some of the kids.  (haha – no pun intended. 😉 )

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In the barn, there were also goats, sheep, a llama and a few barn cats that the kids went crazy trying to pet. Outside the barn, there were cows in the pasture, chickens and baby chicks, a rooster, a rabbit, and a mama with her baby goats.

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(I swear, the wearing of the tractor shirt was a total coincidence, I’m not THAT coordinated!)

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This is the famous unfriendly rooster. (That’s what the sign says, I’m not just being mean.) It’s famous at our house because whenever we talk about the farm, this is pretty much always what Jaden brings up. These are the things that leave impressions on kids!

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2. Walk out to the pond

Make sure you take a walk out to the pond. We got directions from the friendly staff inside the visitor’s center. It’s a short walk, though this path looks like it could go on forever!

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We saw birds and tadpoles and we could hear frogs croaking around the pond.

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It was beautiful and peaceful.

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As a bonus, there are lots of farm machines/equipment to see on the way down the path!

3. Pick your own fruits and vegetables

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Since we visited in early June, the only crops available for picking were various kinds of lettuce. But throughout the growing season, you can pick and purchase your own organic fruits and vegetables grown here in the garden. Inside the center you can also purchase eggs, meat, honey and seasonal maple syrup. Anything that is not purchased is donated to People In Need, a Delaware food bank.

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4. Dig in dirt

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I’ll be honest, of all the things on the farm, this was probably the most fun for Jaden. He loves to dig in the dirt and there is a small shed full of shovels, rakes and hoes and a huge pile of dirt with a sign that says, “dig here,” which is pretty much every little boy’s dream!

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5. Attend a story time or family program

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We weren’t at the farm during any special programing so I can’t tell you personally about this, but the center does offer a story time on the second Tuesday of each month, March through November ($5/family). On the second Saturday of the month, your family can participate in chores around the farm from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM ($12/family). There are other special events scheduled this fall as well, so check out the event calendar here.

This is an outing is one you can totally do at your own (or your kids’) pace. The farm, garden, pasture and pond are all fairly close to each other so it’s doable even for small children (though not stroller friendly). Let me know what your kids enjoy doing on the farm!

Know Before You Go:

Stratford Ecological Center
Address: 3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-2548

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Visitors are encouraged to give a $3 donation per person or $6 per family.

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ICYMI: Your #newmain Library: Sneak Peek


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What Should We Do This Weekend? May 6-8, 2016

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In case anyone is sitting at home wondering how I pick these items (which I’m sure no one probably is 😉 ), mostly it’s what jumps out at me or what I find interesting.  This list is never meant to be all-inclusive and I try not to be too repetitive. I have learned a lot researching events that go on during the weekends in Columbus and if I think “I didn’t know about that!” then I try to pass it on, because chances are there are others like me!

It was kind of hard for me to pare down the list this week!  I have a feeling as we head into summer it’s going to get increasingly difficult!  But that’s a good thing!  Also, if you have an event you’d like me to consider, feel free to send me a message from my webpage or Facebook!  No promises, but I love to keep learning about new things and passing them on to other parents!  If you’re a mother, married to a mother, or have a mother, Happy Mother’s Day!  This week definitely has a Mother’s Day theme!  Enjoy!

1. Grand Opening of Scioto Grove

When: Friday, May 6, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City 43123

Columbus’ 19th Metro Park opens on Saturday!  The public is invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony followed by tours and family-friendly activities!  Attendees can take a hike along the river or tour the park by tram.  Instructors from the REI school will be on hand to conduct educational sessions like map reading, knot tying and more!  The park also has two picnic areas and a kid’s play area!

2. Powell Touch-a-Truck at Adventure Park

When: Friday, May 6, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 260 Adventure Park Drive, Powell, Ohio 43065

All kinds of vehicles will be available for kids to climb on, pretend to drive and learn about at this Touch-a-Truck event!

3. Food Truck Friday at Ronald McDonald House

When: Friday, May 6, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, 711 E Livingston Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43205

This week is the kick off of Food Truck Fridays!  Every Friday from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, different food trucks will be on the premises at RMH for your enjoyment!  10% of the proceeds will be donated to RMH!  This week, Hot Chicken Takeover and Jeni’s Bexley are on location!

4. First Friday at Firefly Play Cafe

When: Friday, May 6, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 4822 N High St., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-230-2375

The first Friday of each month, Firefly Play Cafe stays open until 8:00 PM and Donatos Clintonville offers a special discount on delivery!

5. 5th Birthday Party of Little Buckeye Children’s Museum during First Friday Shop Hop in Downtown Mansfield

When: Friday, May 6, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 44 W 4th St, Mansfield, OH, 44902
Phone: 419-522-2332

If you read my post about Little Buckeye Children’s Museum earlier this week, you know that the museum is turning 5 years old!  Friday night they will be throwing a birthday party complete with crafts, cupcakes, prizes and more! This event is free to members and $7 for non-members.

6. Free Comic Book Day at World’s Greatest Comics

When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 5992 Westerville Rd, Westerville, Ohio 43081

Celebrate Free Comic Book Day where each person attending can pick 4 free comic books from this year’s FCBD selection (while supplies last)!

7. Plant Zinnia Seeds with Friends of the Sawmill Wetlands/Worthington Garden Club

When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 2638-2674 Sawmill Place Blvd, Columbus, Ohio 43235

During this special Mother’s Day event, kids can explore the wetlands and will also be given a clay pot to decorate and then plant with zinnia seeds!

8. Mother’s Day Story Time at your local Barnes and Noble

When: Saturday May 7, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Find the closest Barnes and Noble here

Story time will feature the books How to Babysit a Grandma and Mom School!  Afterwards, kids can make a card for their moms or special caregivers.

9. Mother’s Day Craft at your local Michaels Store

When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: find the closest Michaels store here

Supplies are included at this free event where your child can make a card and bracelet for Mom!

10. Dia de los Niños at Worthington Park Library

When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Location: 1389 Worthington Centre Drive, Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-807-2626

This family-friendly event will celebrate El Dia de los Niños with games, crafts, activities and a special performer.

11. Folk Music Festival at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

When: Saturday and Sunday, May 7 & 8, 2016
Time: Event begins at 10:00 AM each day and ends indefinitely.  Daily schedule is on the website.
Location: 1775 Darby Creek Dr, Galloway, OH 43119

Lots of music, workshops, concerts and activities are going on this weekend at the Folk Music Festival.  Specifically for kids, there is the Children’s Tent where you will find storytelling, performances and sing-alongs, a craft area and an instrument “petting zoo” where kids can touch and try out different instruments.  The Metro Parks will host nature displays with hands-on activities for kids.  There is also a Young Musician’s Showcase Stage where younger musicians will be featured!

12. Moms Get in Free at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

When: Sunday, May 8, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 4850 West Powell Rd., Powell, Ohio 43065

All moms get free admission on Mother’s Day with a paid admission for their child or grandchild!  Also, the Cheetah runs start up again beginning Saturday, May 7th at 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM!

13. Mother’s Day Concert at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Sunday, May 8, 2016
Time: 1:30 PM
Location: 1777 East Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

The Music Men of London, a barbershop quartet, will provide a concert for Mother’s Day!  Free with admission.  The Conservatory is having Mother’s Day events on Saturday as well, so check the link!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve posted 10 of My Favorite Parenting Articles!  Enjoy!

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ICYMI: Little Buckeye Children’s Museum


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