Gale Woods Farm is located in Minnetrista off of County Road 110 about 10 miles west of Wayzata. Getting to the farm takes a while though as County Road 110 is a meandering pathway along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka. Our family enjoyed this experience together last fall. On this gray fall day, the drive was gorgeous with the last colors stubbornly hanging onto the branches contrasting the dark puffy clouds. The farm is a beautiful park with groomed trails through the pasturelands. You are free to come, wander around, and enjoy the beauty of the land. The farm is a part of the Three Rivers Park District. What makes it unique is that it is an educational farm. A sustainable farm. While it's not huge, it is a working farm. While you are free to enjoy the park grounds at no cost, to be able to learn about the workings of the farm, you must schedule a group tour or attend a public program: both of which happen frequently and most often have a cost associated with them.
Gale Woods Farm's Chickens and Sheep and Cows, Oh My!
And because they have lots of different chickens laying lots of eggs, you will also find baby chicks. It's all very hands on.
This picture makes me think, "And the sheep were led to slaughter...." But actually, they were being sheared on the first cold day in October.
I believe the farm also has cows because we walked through a milking station/classroom. However, we didn't see any cows while we were there on this particular day.
Still More to Do at Gale Woods Farm
Because we were attending their fall celebrations, the farm had many schedule activities. One of them was a Fiber Arts Fair where we met a French Angora Rabbit and learned all about how to harvest angora wool. Apparently, angora fiber is the softest fiber anywhere. But then, she could have been a bit biased.
Another special activity was Llama Demonstrations. This is not typically a part of Gale Woods, but because of the Harvest Celebration, this was a unique experience we were able to have. We led a llama. This here is Chocolate Chip. Kyla walked her out, and Dash walked her back. And I walked next to him. I was walking with a llama! (made me think of Carl from Jimmy Neutron)
The Hay Maze wasn't so much a maze as a fun playing-on-the-farm introduction for non-farm kids to have: running across the top of the bales hoping not to fall off.
This is the Teaching Garden. Here is the classroom.
And here is the garden.
Because of Celebrate the Harvest, we were able to enjoy making a wool necklace, knitting demonstrations, watching chef demonstrations, listening to musical performances, and baking demonstrations in brick ovens. They also had a special play room set up for the youngest farmers with toy tractors, farm animal puppets, interactive quizzes, and books.
If we had had the time and the wintergear to keep us warm, we could have headed on up to the Sheepdog Herding Trials in the upper field by taking a wagon ride.
With a farm store available to purchase meats, produce, gifts, books, and fibers/crafts, you are sure to find a local treasure. The farm offers tours, programs, and classes. They offer CSA shares as well.
The park's hours are 5:00 am-10:00 pm, and the education center hours are 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sundays 12:00 pm-5:00 pm.
Gale Woods Farm is an amazing experience for city kids, suburban kids, and even country kids. Gale Woods Farms activities are extensive and fascinating. You can go here to get more information about upcoming events.
Birthday Parties at Gale Woods Farm
Gale Woods Farm has options for birthday parties for children ages 4 and up.
During the warmer months of April through September party participants are invited to attend Saturday Mornings on the Farm program. For $70 plus $5/guest (less 20% if you have more than 4 guests), you can explore the farm, help with chores and participate in other farm activities plus have a private indoor classroom for your party. Call ahead to reserve a space.
If you are willing to chance a first-come, first serve outdoor picnic table, you and your guests can grab a free table for a picnic and skip the $70 fee.
Any time of year, Gale Woods offers educator-led party. Like the Saturday Morning options, kids can explore the farm and meet animals, but it will be guided by an expert. Afterwards, you'll have a private room for an hour to throw your own party. This option is $100 and is limited to 15 children, ages 4+, and 6 adults. Availability is limited. For more information or to book a party, call 763.694.2001.