On a recent trip north on I-65, my family was desperate for a good meal and a chance to stretch our legs. Fortunately, we had planned a stop at Fair Oaks Farms just off the Winamac exit to meet those needs. But I wasn’t expecting to learn so much about cows, the dairy industry, and the milk we drink.
Fair Oaks Farms is one of the nation’s largest dairy farms, home to more than 30,000 cows. Each cow is milked three times a day, and as many as 80 calves are born there each day. If you visit, you’ll be whisked away from the Adventure Center to tour the dairy barn, where you’ll see cows on a giant milking wheel and hear all about the milking process. You’ll also drive right through the various barns where the cows spend most of their days. If you time it right, when you return to the Adventure Center, you can stop at the birthing barn and watch one of the calves being born.
If you have children, you’ll find that Fair Oaks Farms has many opportunities for little ones to move around (always a plus when on a road trip!) We spent most of our time outside, playing on the playground, running through the maze, and bouncing around on the gigantic Dairy Air jumping pillow. In the winter when the weather doesn’t allow such fun outdoor play, spend time in the Dairy Fun Room, learning even more about what happens on a dairy farm.
Finally, don’t get back on the highway before sampling some of the delightful treats. We had thick, creamy grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and picked up some Harvarti cheese cubes to take with us on the road. But next time, we’ll definitely get some ice cream!
Admission to Fair Oaks Farms is $10 for adults, $7 for children 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.