Probably best known for its breathtaking annual Tulip Festival, Thanksgiving Point is a favorite family destination any time of year. This beautiful location offers both indoor and outdoor options for the family, including walking through the Gardens, bringing history to life in the Museum of Ancient Life, cuddling up with animals at Farm Country, catching the newest flick at their movie theater, playing a round of golf, shopping and dining. Perfectly placed on the side of the freeway, access is easy and visible from the road.
Thanksgiving Point has been a part of our lives for years. I met my now best friend at an event held in the Emporium, my son’s second birthday was held at Farm Country, we’ve been involved with charity golf events on their course and its been the highlight of our Halloween festivities. Of course our trip back home, three years later, had to include a trip back to Thanksgiving Point.
It’s a toss up between Farm Country and the Museum of Ancient Life as to which is the favorite of my kids, but Farm Country won the first stop for us. Being that it was April, I had a hunch that Spring was doing what it does best on a farm, and I was right. There were baby animals everywhere and they were adorable. My kids loved seeing chicks hatching before their eyes and baby goats frolicking on their unsteady legs around their mother. We saw bunnies, peacocks and even a pink sheep!
We always seem to follow the same route when we visit Farm Country, starting inside with the chicks and hands on dairy exhibitions, then move outside in a clockwise rotation. This ultimately ends with a pony ride and a wagon ride…favorite experiences among most children who visit. Whether you come for a family visit, field trip or use it for a birthday party venue, you’re sure to have a wonderful up close and personal experience with the animals. You might even be able to milk a cow!
Museum of Ancient Life
Our next stop was the Museum of Ancient Life. While my two little girls cooed over the baby animals, but son was ready to see some dinosaurs. Since the last time we had visited, a new exhibit had been added right at the entrance of the museum. It was all about sound. I thought my kids would be racing for the dinosaurs, but they were perfectly content to spend time in this sound exhibit! Telephones, drums sets and more offered the kids a chance to understand vibrations and the conduction of sounds. Even the parents were getting involved.
Once we finally entered the museum, it was easy to see why it gets the rave reviews that it does. This museums boasts one of the largest displays of mounted dinosaurs, with 60 complete dinosaur skeletons. There are plenty of hands on exhibits for the children to interact with, a live paleontology lab, a 3D movie experience, classes and even an opportunity to spend the night in the museum once a month. My son spent quite a lot of time playing with the erosion table while my girls found great joy in building a giant soft toy dinosaur. My husband even had fun with the kids in the quarry dig. There is plenty to do and see, even when you’re finished with the museum itself. The Mammoth 3D movie experience is a must-see, and the gift shop is full of amazing learning toys and books.
We would have made our way through the gardens next, however, it was a rather cold and blustery day when we visited, so we’ll have to wait for next time. Just be sure not to miss the prized Tulip Festival happening April 12-27!