A Visit to Stratford Ecological Center

Have you ever wanted to take the kids (or yourself?) to "the farm"?  If you live in Columbus, Stratford  is your opportunity, and I highly recommend you visit and bring your camera.

I have been taking students to Stratford for many years, and it is always the best day of the year. This is a working (meaning not a petting zoo) farm and their mission is to educate children and adults on the relationship between living things and their environment. There is so much to see that you could certainly make a day out of it. There are kid-friendly trails through the woods, a barn (usually holding pigs and/or sheep), a greenhouse, a chicken yard/orchard, fields with cows, llamas, and goats, and a fishing pond. And in between each, you'll see farm equipment and lots of cats (which are always the favorite...go figure). There is a covered picnic area with tables and a huge grassy area for picnicking.

Over the weekend, we gathered for our first meet up to try the Stratford Harvest Fair. The purpose was to get parents and children to try something new, and I think everyone loved it! Check it out...

You don't have to wait until the next Harvest Fair to discover Stratford. You can go any time and explore on your own. There are also counter opportunities, kids' camps and story times. And Gabby's Place is just down the hill if you'd rather try some of their famous stromboli instead of packing your lunch. Enjoy!


 A little background music outside the education center

 I picked some fabric and my mom made these cute little bandanas for the kids who joined us. I was shocked that they all kept them on, although Larkyn's did get a little Pope-ish in the wind.
 He's saying "Yayyyyyyy"
 Unsure what to think = hands immediately in mouth
 I loved this area! We should bring straw bales everywhere to contain our children.
 Getting to pet the feisty llamas. Remember each animal at Stratford works and has a purpose. The llama protects the sheep from coyotes. You're welcome.
 My new favorite thing at recent festivals? Local library branches setting up a reading area. This was the Delaware branch. 
 Zinnias for days
 Oh hey, my little dirty faced farmer
 What's this? We can collect our own eggs and package them? Let's do it!
 Check out this swanky rain barrel!
 Stay.Right.There.
 Ah ha. The hen boxes...
 Bingo!
 Naturally.
 Um. What?
 The greenhouse was bursting with vegetables like peppers and okra.
 She just pile-drived him from that bale. It was so thoughtful of Stratford to have a photo booth!
 Whatcha got there? Rocks? Oh, you eat those too? #soulmates #spiritanimal
 Must...pick up...every...rock...in existence...
 The day she stops noticing and picking "wish flowers" will be a sad one.
 We didn't actually do the tractor ride, but it looked like everyone enjoyed it!
 Larkyn is terrified of sheep and then wants one as a pet literally 2 minutes later. This is a chronic problem.
 Here. Eat the straw. 
(This is a giant straw caterpillar that is so fun for the kids to climb and run on)
 Yeah. That just happened. 
(The bubble station was a favorite)
 A bean box in a teepee. Childhood perfection.

Nothing cuter than a kid with a kite.
 They had a blast stamping art with vegetables with The Arts Castle. I hope you looked at that link. It is a REAL castle in Delaware. Sweet!
Some of the products they make and sell at Stratford. There was TONS of honey and there are Apiary programs at Stratford if you are interested in bees. 

My kids love any adventure where they can run around, throw things, eat things, and see animals. I think Rhys could work here in about 15 years. We didn't even get to the pond or trails and had a FULL day. Let me know if you try it out one day!

1 comment:

Keith and Julie said...

What a fun day! We loved being at the "farm" with you!

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