I took the kids to Kelley Farm in Elk River on Saturday, May 12th, the day before Mother’s Day, as moms could get in free (yay free!) with their kids that weekend. (See below – dads get in free on Father’s Day weekend, too!) We spent a couple hours there and the kids loved exploring the farm, the farmhouse, and riding along the trails in the horse-drawn wagon.
What is Kelley Farm?
Kelley Farm is a working 1860s farm located 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Elk River on Highway 10 (just look for the signs). There are costumed guides all over, demonstrating what life was really like on a farm that long ago. You and the kids can help with activities such as putting up hay or working in the garden.
What can we see at Kelley Farm in Elk River?
We observed cooking in the kitchen using food from the garden like rhubarb, plus we saw oxen pulling a plow, and were able to pump out fresh well water from the ground. The kids also enjoyed chasing the rooster around the farm (seen here by the well…sorry, rooster!).
The Kelley Farm is a National Historic Landmark (listed as Oliver Hudson Kelley Farmstead on the Minnesota Historical Society website). The volunteer tour guide driving the horse-drawn wagon gave us a lot of wonderful information about the family that owned the farm and how it came to be. I didn’t know that it was built here because this was where people thought the city of St. Paul would be built (it’s also right along the Mississippi river).
What did we think of Kelley Farm?
Overall, the Kelley Farm is a great hands-on, educational experience for kids, even the younger ones. For more historical information, you can tour the visitor’s center which has a nice walk-through museum. My kids were a bit young for that but enjoyed seeing the animals, playing in the hay, and just having so much to see.
If you’re looking for something to do Father’s Day weekend, Kelley Farm is having “Father’s Day Weekend at the Farm” where dads can get in FREE with their kids on Saturday, June 16 from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, June 17 from Noon to 5pm. Otherwise, general admission is $9 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 kids ages 6-17, and 5 and under free. A fun experience for the whole family.