Checking Off Our MNHS List: City Kids Visit the Farm

Growing up in north central North Dakota, it was super common to know someone who lived on a farm. My great-grandparents had a farm and 16 kids to help with that farm. I have cousins who are farmers. I had friends who milked cows before school. It was common to go to the Ag Expo, the Midwest’s largest Agriculture Expo at the All Seasons Arena, as a school field trip.  My kids do not have these same experiences. My children have visited petting zoos. My son went on a field trip to a farm in Kindergarten. We have visited the Farm Babies exhibit at the MN Zoo. We frequent farmers markets. That about sums it up.

This summer, we purchased a MN History Pass. I am a lover of History, and I wanted to take my myself family to see all of the Historical places in our state. There are 26 Historical sites in the state of Minnesota. Today, we visited our 3rd place: Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River, MN. We arrived at the farm shortly after their 10:00am opening. We checked in and received our Member stickers. We were given a map and a brief overview of what to do. We started off in the kitchen where the kids learned to make corn bread. While it baked, we crossed the hall and watched a 10 minute video on the history of farming at Oliver Kelley Farm. We returned to the kitchen and the kids got to try the cornbread with cucumber mint jelly (both the corn and cucumber were grown at the farm).


We took a quick lunch break. We typically bring a lunch while we explore to save on costs; you’ll need to bring your own food if you visit Oliver Kelley Farm because they do not sell food there.


After lunch, we made our way to the main house. While in the house, my 7 year old got to clean the butter; a lot different than just buying butter from the local co-op or supermarket. The kids got to try pumping water at a well. We got to visit the farm animals and go through the barn. My son almost got peed on by a pig. They also enjoyed freely playing with sticks and logs in a wooded area. Before we left, the kids gave it a go at trying to build their own windmills.


The three of us all had a great time. It’s worth a drive from the metro to check out. They are open Memorial Day – Labor Day, from 10am to 5pm; however, they are closed on Mondays. I recommend getting a MN History Society Pass because our pass has already paid for itself.


We still have a LOT to Visit:

Split Rock Lighthouse – Duluth
Fort Snelling – St Paul
Oliver Kelley Farm – Elk River
Folsom House – Taylors Falls
For Ridgely – Fort Ridgely State Park
Alexander Ramsey House – St. Paul
Harkin Store – New Ulm
Forest History Center – Grand Rapids
James J. Hill House – St. Paul
Mill City Museum – Minneapolis
Minnehaha Depot – Minneapolis
Minnesota History Center – St. Paul
Minnesota State Capital – St. Paul
Sibley Historic Site – Mendota
Birch Coulee Battlefield – Morton
Charles Lindbergh House and Museum – Little Falls
Comstock House – Moorhead
Historic Forestville – Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Jeffers Petrogylphs – Comfrey
Lac qui Parle Mission – Montevideo
Lower Sioux Agency – Morton
Marine Mill – Marine on St. Croix
Snake River Fur Post – Pine City
Traverse des Sioux – St. Peter
W.W. Mayo House – La Sueur
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post – Onamia

Making Memories: How Entering a Facebook Contest Allowed for My Daughter to See Her Favorite Band.

Do you ever wonder if anyone ever wins the contests on Facebook? I tend to like, follow, share because I love the thrill of entering contests, and I believe if I win it is meant to be. One contest I recently entered was by a local event promoter, Carrie the Moment Sales + Events. The contest was to say something funny or cute that your child says wrong, for a chance to win 2 Okee Dokee Brothers tickets at the Minnesota Zoo. My daughter had recently danced to “Roll on River” by the Okee Dokee Brothers at her Pre-k graduation and really enjoyed their music. I knew immediately I had to enter my favorite thing my daughter says, “cheek butts instead of butt cheeks.” SHE WON!!!! We were so excited!

Carrie was so great to work with, and she was very quick to mail me the tickets. It was going to be such a treat for my daughter and me to have a mother/daughter date night. As we pulled up to the parking lot, my 5 year old daughter exclaims to me, “Mama, I’m so nervous, this is my first concert; I don’t know what to expect!” As we made our way through the gates of the zoo to the amphitheater, there were princesses and face paint. We wanted to get to our seats, so we only had time to meet the princesses, but she was in heaven. My daughter told me, “I know those are just people dressed up as princesses, but that was AMAZING.”


We took our seats just in time for the Grammy Award Winning, Okee Dokee Brothers to take the stage. The show was amazing. The songs are super fun for both adults and kids. The band was extremely interactive with the crowd, and with the lack of breakdowns by the children (or adults) in attendance you would have had no idea the concert was taking place during most of these children’s bedtimes. I promised my daughter a CD at the end of the show, and she b-lined it to the merch table after her favorite song, “Roll on River” was played during the encore. After we got her CD, she wanted to wait in line to get it signed. As we walked to the car, my daughter was on cloud nine. She clenched her new, signed CD, bouncing up and down to the car proclaiming, “I’m so excited! I’m so excited!”

Everything about the night was so fun. It was also very bittersweet because I drop my daughter off at Kindergarten, next week, so it was extra special to have this time with her. I am so glad I entered the contest because I will forever have the memories of the entire experience. So, if you also wonder if anyone ever really wins those contests, THEY DO! It could be you next. I absolutely recommend following Carrie the Moment Sales + Events on Facebook. She always has tons of discounts for fun events to do with your kids, and often she is having giveaways, just like we won. I also absolutely say to check out the Okee Dokee Brothers, especially if you have kids or grand-kids. My daughter has already listened to the CD and watched the DVD, which came with her CD, and she wants to get the rest of the CDs. She has also asked if we could go to another one of their concerts. In addition, Music in the Zoo at the Minnesota Zoo was amazing. There is seriously not a bad seat, and it is a very intimate concert setting.

Remember to Like, Share, Comment when you see a contest and YOU could be the next winner!