Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is today’s version of the 19th century Kansas Family Farm. It is a petting zoo with more than 200 animals. Children would love activities like feeding baby goats, milking a cow in a dairy barn and taking horse wagon rides. As for the adults, the replica of a Red Indian Village of Kanza tribe is quite enchanting. What I and my kid loved the most here was the baby goat naming contest!
The Farmstead is at 13800, Switzer, Overland Park, Kansas (913) 897 – 2360. For assistance with directions, call 913-895-6000.
If you are in group of at least 10, then taking the guided tour is a good idea. The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead provides a full tour of the farm with a guide, a private area for lunch, wagon ride and animal feed.The Farmstead is a great place to hold birthday parties for kids. The birthday party package includes pony rides, wagon rides, mining and fishing for the children. The Prairie Pavilion Shelter is a good venue for larger parties.
Animals are the protagonists here. All the animals usually found in a traditional Kansas Farm are around here. Cows, Bison, Steers, Prairie Dogs, Goat, Sheep, Horses, Donkeys, Hens, Turkeys, Geese, Pigs and Ducks. The best way to get a tour of the Farmstead is on a wagon ride. A team of Belgian Draft Horses take you on a joy ride through the perimeter of the entire Farm. Keep a look out and you will spot squirrels, bob cats, rabbits or even deer.
The Dairy Barn is a very exciting area for the kids. The whole place has been designed to be interactive for kids to learn about the animals and the dairy activities. Children can actually milk “Rosie”, the life-size Holstein dairy cow model with their hands in rural style!
Feeding baby Goats is another fun filled activity for kids and those young at heart. It’s a delight watching the babies scamper around the park. Bottled milk is available at the fishing shack. A good idea is to buy the combo package which includes milk for goats as well as rides on the pony, wagon and fishing.
Fishing looked never as easy as at the Deanna Rose Farmstead. Take the cane poll and worms and you can try your luck between the sunfish and catfish that are abundant in the pond. And remember, this is a catch and release pond so no take aways!
The Kanza Indian Village gives you a historical perspective of Kansas. The Europeans first came to northeastern part of Kansas which was the home of the Kanza tribe. You will find replicas of the typical earthen lodge here which used to be the dwelling units of the Kanza tribes. The Kanza people used to live only for six months in their villages. The other half of the year was spent in buffalo hunting in western Kansas. Horse racing was a passion among the men. Women usually tended to the corn fields.
Gold hunt at the mining camp is a fun activity for people of all ages. For $6, you can get the “rough” which is a large bag of sand with identification card for precious gem stones to be found. You can discover precious gems by using a sifter at the mining trough and move your “rough” around the water.
Another place of interest is the replica of a one room country school house. Antiques like the slate blackboard, coat hooks and the stove take us back to the 19th century. The school house is surrounded by a beautiful apple orchard.
Ben’s Bank is a real innovation. It’s a 19th century Bank with a 21st century passbook program! Take your Discovery Passbook from the Teller inside the Bank. Then as you go around the Farmstead, you will spot 12 Discovery Stations. Each station will have a question about the location. You need to fill in the right answer in your Passbook and once the riddle is solved you get a prize from the Bank before leaving the farmstead!
The Children’s Farmstead was renamed after Deanna Rose in 1985. Deanna Rose was an Overland Park Police Officer killed in the line of duty. It has come a long way from 11000 visitors in its first year of operation to close to 500000 visitors in 2010.
Kansas gets its name from Kansa, the first native Indian inhabitants of the area. Kansa which is a Siouan Indian word actually means “South Wind” people. And, Topeka, the capital of Kansas means a good place to grow potatoes in the native Kansa language!
For my travelogue on places around New York, visit Holiday Ideas around New York.