Tag Archives: kids

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Our Cowfé is the Cow-Finest!

 

If you are listening to your stomach growl or just out on the road and need to stretch your legs then there’s no better place on the long stretch of I65 between Indianapolis and Chicago than the Cowfé at Fair Oaks Farms.

 

Tucked into the cornfields of northwest Indiana, you will find a farm that is unlike any other of its kind.   The first business to occupy the campus of Fair Oaks Farms was the Cowfé, which was erected in 2003.

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Originally the Cowfé was a place where people could grab a bite to eat and also learn about the different cheeses that we produce here fresh from the farm. Since then, it has evolved into its own unique experience that keeps people talking.

 

The Cowfé is now home to our Greek yogurt plant, ice cream and cheese production. You can watch the production through glass windows as you taste your Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, bite into a melted and crispy grilled cheese sandwich or sip a hot cup of Starbucks coffee.

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The Cowfé is normally open from 7:30a until 6:00p CST (currently open winter hours: 8a-5p CST) and offers breakfast, lunch and early dinner options.

 

If you’re looking to remember your experience here on the farm, the Cowfé is also home to the destinations souvenir shop, which has plenty of sweatshirt, t-shirt and other great souvenir options.

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To top everything off and to satisfy your sweet tooth, the Cowfé became the home of our Farmstead Chocolates in 2015. Try a variety of different chews, nougats and candy bars that will melt on your taste buds.

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CowtoberFest is right around the corner!

Do you smell the pumpkin spice latte in the air? You know what that means, our 12th annual fall festival, CowtoberFest is right around the corner. CowtoberFest takes place on October 8th and 9th this year and you won’t want to miss it! This two day festival is jam packed with trick-or-treating, costume contests, dance-offs, carving competitions, inflatables, hay mazes, concerts and more!

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Make sure you get here bright and early; CowtoberFest begins at 10am both days. The first 100 children on Saturday receive a commemorative trick-or-treat bag provided by our awesome sponsors. Who doesn’t want an adorable free bag that you can fill with all of your favorite treats?

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This year celebrity pumpkin carver, Jon Neill will be returning for his 3rd year in a row! We’ve added a little friendly competition between him and fellow pumpkin carver David Smith. Who do you think will win the carving competition of the year? Come on out and cheer on your favorite star!

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Calling all the Monsters to the dance floor! Come out and support the local high schools and watch their dance teams compete for the chance to win $500. Be prepared for scary costumes, eerie music, and awesome dance moves! I wonder what stunts they will have up their sleeves this year?

So throw on those Halloween costumes, grab your kids, and come out for some fall farm fun!

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Hardtail, Softail, Curly Tail!

Well it’s time to polish up the ole hawg because HogustFest is right around the corner! This special hogtastic event celebrates 2 years of business for The Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms and we are doing it in style!

HogustFest_BikesBe prepared for a giant inflatable playground! With the purchase of a wristband, you little piglets can go hog wild on several bounce houses, obstacle courses and inflatable rides (including a mechanical BOAR!)

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while you sit back and enjoy some live music from local bands and a special performance by Tall Walker. Browse our vendors for special crafts, trinkets and more! Hogustfest is August 1 and the perfect time to get out of the house with your family before school starts!

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Are you a motorcycle enthusiast?! Well this event is for you! Ride on out to the farm on your custom, vintage or cruiser bike (more categories available through registration) and meet other bike enthusiasts and riders to show off your ride! Register to save your spot and you will receive a complimentary HogustFest t-shirt if you are one of the first 50 bikers to register! Shirts will also be available for purchase on site to benefit a Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

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That’s not all! The Farmhouse Restaurant will be roasting a hog on site and our Cowfe will be serving up some delicious bacon milkshakes so bring your appetite and come pig out!

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To register for the Hawg Show or for more information please visit fofarms.com/hogustfest.

 

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Dog-A-Palooza is June 13!

I think one of the best things to do during the summer is check out some of the coolest and most unique festivals. Summers in Indiana are filled with them. Here, is where I shamelessly plug one of Fair Oaks Farms’ most unique festivals; Dog-A-Palooza.

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Have you heard of it? If you haven’t, it’s a charitable event that was organized in 2014 to help raise funds for local animal shelters. The folks at Fair Oaks Farms, myself included, are huge dog lovers. In fact, we occasionally have some office dog visitors to play with which is pretty awesome.

Anyway, Fair Oaks Farm’s is hosting the second year of Dog-A-Palooza in a big way. This year we have invited the internationally known Dock Dogs to come and entertain our guests with an all day show. These highly skilled professional performance dogs will absolutely wow you, but be prepared that your little pooch may be envious of these furry stars!

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Of course one of the main events of Dog-A-Palooza is the 2K Dog Walk. This awesome activity is the main opportunity for us to be able to help raise funds for the shelter of the year. This year, we have chosen Loving Hearts Animal Shelter of Lafayette IN. Loving Hearts will be on site with information about their shelter and also have pets available for on-site adoptions.

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We will also feature a live DJ, an amateur dog show where everyone can participate and some dog obstacle courses. Pay a visit to our on-site veterinarian, Dr. Janice Mallory of Rensselaer Pet Care and pamper your pooch at our on-site dog groomer. Visit some of our amazing doggy vendors which will feature collars, dog toys, and treats of many kinds. We will also have the Jasper and Newton County K9 Units back for an unbelievable demonstration with their highly skilled canines.

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We encourage you to bring your dogs out but don’t forget to bring proof of their vaccinations in order to enter the festival. For 2K Walk registrations or more information on festival rules, please visit fofarms.com/dogapalooza

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Classic Burger at The Farmhouse

Hungry? Eat at Our House

Fair Oaks Farms opened our first family-style restaurant in July of 2014. Many people have already heard about it and some have not, but soon will. This beautiful restaurant is simply hard to miss. You can see it standing stoically from I65 and can smell the aroma of food from the parking lots throughout the campus.

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Why should you try The Farmhouse Restaurant? Did you know that most of the food is grown right here on our farms? The food that is not grown on our farms is harvested locally…and we work with some of the best local partners around! You may even know some of them.

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You step into this gorgeous restaurant and you’re in complete “wow”. The high ceilings, the rustic flair, the warmth of the colors and the enormous fireplace bring charm to this great new addition to Northwest IN.

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The happy and welcoming staff will lead the way to your seat. Note; their adorable farm style uniforms. If you’re of age, choose to sit in the pub because you will get to see Craig if you’re dining throughout the day and he is a wonderful conversationalist. He always has a smile on his face and makes you feel at home. I noticed while I was eating my delicious Classic Burger (with Fair Oaks Farms Mild Cheddar) that he was telling some travelers about how much he loves the Fair Oaks Farms products, especially the chocolate FairLife milk. He even let them sample some. The customers absolutely loved sharing the experience with Craig and with each other and immediately asked where they could purchase some. (Of course, everything is available next door in our Market & Bakery). That’s the kind of atmosphere you’ll find at The Farmhouse. Everyone there makes you feel like part of the family.

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If the food isn’t enough to get you to come back for more, you need to try one of the signature drinks. I tried the Lemonade B and it was just amazing! It was refreshing, delicious and with just the right amount of tang to it. There are several signature drinks to try from and their bartenders are all fully trained to give you the best experience possible.

If you have time, you HAVE to check out the unique bathrooms. I know, I’m talking about the BATHROOMS! But they are absolutely adorable. Each one is unique in its own way. And there have been several accounts where they have become conversation starters at the tables in the dining rooms.

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To top off your experience (and if you have a warm coat during these colder months) walk around the wrap-around porch to the backside of the restaurant. There you will see this beautiful landscaping complete with a custom waterfall. I can picture some lucky couple getting married right there and what a beautiful picture opportunity.

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Fair Oaks Farms Winter Getaway

We Herd You Were Looking For A Winter Family Get Away…

Let us do the planning for you!

The Fair Oaks Farms’ Ultimate Trip Guide

How to get the most BANG for your buck.

Are you looking to get away? Take a break from your every day life and spend some quality time with the family? We know that get a ways can be costly so we have provided this Go To guide for you to get the most bang for your buck and also create an amazing experience for you and your family.

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So what is it about Fair Oaks Farms that would make the experience so unique? Unlike other destinations, we provide wholesome & educational family experiences. We educate while we entertain and so we refer to ourselves as an edutainment tourism destination. The goal for Fair Oaks Farms, is to educate the public about modern farming procedures while providing a transparent look at everything we do, taking care of our animals and our planet and providing the best, most nutritious products to our customers.

So what do we offer? Where to begin! The first attraction that appeared on our campus is The Dairy Adventure. The Dairy Adventure is home to 35,000 dairy cows and counting! Just call us the Duggars of dairy cows! (The family actually visited us in August 2014). The Dairy Adventure consists of over 60 interactive exhibits, a 3D/4D movie experience, a kid’s activity center and an arena-styled birthing barn where you can witness a live birth of a calf! From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we open our outdoor play area which features a sky high milk bottle climb, a giant bounce pillow, riding tractors, a train, and bungee fun!! This whole experience will take an average of about 2-3 hours.

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The second attraction to join our farm family was The Pig Adventure, which opened in August 2013. Our farm full of cute piglets is such a unique experience. You’ll notice the smell of the farm is muted with our special filtration system that we use. But don’t be surprised if you get a small whiff of something piggy…we still are a working pig farm! This portion of your experience is filled with state-of-the-art attractions, which even feature virtual greeters, and a virtual pig that walks around your body!!   Don’t forget to “shower in”, we are a bio-secure farm. This means that we do everything we can to keep disease, bacteria, and residue out of our farms to provide the cleanest home possible to our pigs. Only the cleanest piggies in our pens!

The third attraction to come on board was our Farmhouse Restaurant. This big beautiful farmhouse styled facility is hard to miss. You’ll notice the amazing aroma of delicious food cooking seep into the parking lots (it makes your mouth water). The kitchen in our restaurant has a glass wall, so you can literally see EVERYTHING that is going on behind the kitchen. Don’t forget to try one of our signature adult beverages in the pub while you’re there. The Farmhouse also features a large ballroom suitable for up to 270 guests that makes the perfect venue for business events, weddings and so much more! Ask our event planner, Rachel Main, for one of our event planning guides while you’re in for a visit.

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The latest attraction to open here at Fair Oaks Farms is our Market & Bakery. Seriously! There is fresh homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies, salads, fresh produce, local meat products, beer and wine. It couldn’t get much better than that! The perfect take-home items!

So how is this the “ultimate” trip guide? It’s simple. Let me personally break down your visit, that way you don’t miss a thing!

  • Start at The Dairy Adventure.
  • Quiz your dairy knowledge in our Diva Hall.
  • Be surprised in our 3D/4D movie experience.
  • Walk through our exhibit halls.
  • Learn about sustainability.
  • Go on the dairy bus tour and learn about our milking carousel.
  • Try our video games, milking contest and carousel in our activity room.
  • Eat lunch at our café. (I suggest one of our signature grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream for dessert!)
  • Visit our Dairy Birthing Barn.
  • Ride our pig bus to the Pig Adventure.
  • Try out our virtual farm experience.
  • Don’t forget to try our interactive sonogram.
  • Get your picture taken in the farm clothes with our pig.
  • Watch the babies being born.
  • Try our “corn maze”
  • Eat dinner at The Farmhouse Restaurant. The portions are big enough that you’ll have leftovers for the following day! (There’s even a kids menu)

Where are you going to stay? We have two hotel partners that we work along side. You can visit The Holiday Inn Express in Rensselaer (6 miles), or The Radisson Hotel in Merrillville (35 miles). Check their websites for money saving family packages!

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The Radisson Hotel

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So what are the savings secrets? That’s the important stuff, right? How can you spend as little as you can and get the most out of your experience? Well here are the following spending saving secrets…

  1. Fair Oaks Farms is actually featuring a Holiday inspired event called The Holiday Farm Frenzy on December 20, so you get EVEN more for your buck on that day! Admission is more than 50% off that day!
  2. Purchase an Adventure Pass if you live local and know you will visit more than once! After two visits the card pays for itself and comes with some bonus perks in the summertime!
  3. Check our partners, South Shore CVA’s website for money saving coupons.
  4. Plan as a group and receive a discounted rate for groups with 20 or more! But prepare to plan ahead. You need to book at least 2 weeks in advance to get this price.

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Well there you have it, the Fair Oaks Farms’ Ultimate Trip Guide! But stay tuned, because we are still growing! Watch out for the three new buildings going up in the year 2015!!

For more information about hours of operation, admission prices, and special events please visit our website at fofarms.com

Fair Oaks Farms | Start Your Adventure, Feed Your Curiosity