Sunday, June 24, 2012

Purina Farms

At the end of our long and much enjoyed family vacation, we left our girls with grandparents for some quality spoiling.  The only downside to this plan was getting them back, since it's a 9 hour drive between us and the grands.  So we met in the middle.

Purina Farms is located about an hour out of the southwest side of St Louis, MO.  There's not a whole lot to it, honestly, but it's free, which is a major plus in our book.  Also you can do everything in just a couple hours.

Exhibits include a mini-museum to the history of Purina and a spinning-ball demo of how their animal chows are made.  The kids weren't that enthralled, but they liked the brief movie that came after.  You exit into the upper barn where there's a play area for both big and little kids.  They can pedal tractors, swing in a hayloft, and climb through some tubes.  In the lower level, you can come face-to-face with cows, horses, and pigs.  A special petting section always has a couple piglets and bunnies and young chickens out.  Grandparents and the girls arrived early enough to get to milk cows (the last milking is at 12:30).

We couldn't even out pull a sled dog!

About three times per day, they do a dog show with some real champions and world record holders.  The agility dogs were neat, but I can't really tell you what they looked like other than a black blur.  The frisbee catchers show their skills most, but the kids inevitably loved the pool jumping ones best.  At the end of the day's last show, the trainers lined the kids up along the side of the pool (there was a rope) and had a couple dogs jump to splash them down the line.  Much appreciated as it was about 95 degrees.

Next to the dog arena is the pet rescue center which is mostly dogs and cats.  The cats live in a fenced, 3 story "house" filled with toys and made completely out of the things cats love best- carpet covered stairs, windows, and banisters.  If they want some human loving, they'll come up to the nylon net.  Otherwise, they just lay around looking regally content.

The "hayride" was kind of a big so-what, but the kids liked riding in a wagon behind a tractor.  It's probably more fun in the fall or during seasonal themed events or pet adoption days.

Admission is free, but they request that you call in advance so they can make sure they are staffed enough with the animal handlers.  I recommend asking if any field trips are planned that day and try to avoid them.  There is no picnicking allowed on the grounds, but there is a small snack bar.  The city of Washington is probably your best bet for eating nearby.  There's an Applebee's, a Bob Evans, a DQ, and several fast-food options.


  1. I;ve lived in STL my whole life, and although I have heard of Purina Farms, I have never visited. Perhaps I should give it a try...

  2. Definitely- esp since it is free! I bet right now they have a lot of Halloween/Fall-themed events going on, and the weather is definitely nicer :o)