Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, Overland Park

Our granddaughters love the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. Nancy and I enjoy it as well. That means we have a fun, no-fail day's activity within a short drive whenever there is an opportunity to spend some with the kiddies. Neither Nancy nor I have any family left who are still involved in farming, so the Deanna Rose is the closest we can get to teaching our little ones about life away from the suburbs.

There are a number of attractions in Overland Park, but in this writer's opinion, nothing tops the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. Judging by the attendance, even on its last day of the season when these photos were taken, there are lots of folks who agree with me. For out of town visitors, especially those with youngsters, or grandparents in town for a visit, the farmstead is a great place to let the little ones run around and play in an educational environment.

The 12-acre city-owned farmstead was first opened in 1978. In 1985, it was re-named to honor Deanna Rose, the first Overland Park police officer killed in the line of duty. Recent years have witnessed a steady growth in attendance (over 450,000 in 2010) and attractions, and a number of "Coming Soon" signs prove the growth is not going to stop soon.

Dairy Barn
Volunteers are crucial to the existence of the Deanna Rose Farmstead, and the vast number of individuals and corporations involved would seem to disprove any notion that folks in the 'burbs lack community spirit.

Granddaughter Brooklyn said "Moo," the calf responded in kind.

Indian encampment area
A wooded area within the grounds is dedicated to the native tribes who lived in this area prior to the coming of the European settlers. The centerpiece of this exhibit is an authentic re-creation of an earthen lodge in the manner of the Kanza tribe. I spoke for a few moments with the exhibit interpreter, a woman of Huron lineage who was on hand to teach children about the lodge. Based on her own research, she was impressed with the attention to detail and accuracy exhibited in the lodge.
Sydney feeding pygmy goats

Brooklyn tries to copy her sister

Little fire fighter dismounts after his horse ride

Sydney on her Farmall tractor
Conestoga Wagon

General store, ice cream parlor, bank

In the general store

"Live?" entertainment in the general store

Wood stove and checkerboard in the general store
Entry to one of the play areas - a Rotary Club project


Readying for a hay rack ride
Bald Eagle
Late season fall color

The Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead is open 9 am to 5 pm April 1 through October 31. During peak summer months it remains open until 8 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There is a $2 admission charge Friday through Sunday (children 1 and under free); and no admission charge Monday - Thursday.

The street address is 13800 Switzer, Overland Park, Kansas. From I-35 or US 69, exit at 135th Street (also known as Santa Fe in Olathe).

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Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead:
Overland Park Tourism:
Friends of the Farmstead:

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