The Irene Dairy Farm is a little pastoral haven in the middle of the bustling city. Make no mistake, it’s a popular destination for parents with young children, so don’t expect to come here if you’re looking for solitude and the quiet contemplation of nature. However, should you have your own little gaggle of little ones in tow, then this is definitely a good place to spend a few hours.
A working farm since 1895, visitors can dine at two restaurants, shop for a wide range of locally-made products at the dairy shop, and wander around the premises with the sound (and sometimes smells!) of the cattle creating an idyllic farm life atmosphere.
We started our morning off with a scrumptious breakfast. I had scones with the most delectable freshly-churned cream, while Gareth feasted on the farmhouse breakfast of champions. The little traveller, Aidan, contented himself by foraging from our plates and stealing chips, strawberry jam and pieces of scone whenever he had the chance.
Afterwards, we went for a walk along the footpath open to the public and introduced Aidan to some of the farm’s animals. He seemed unimpressed, until he met a little cow that mooed at him:
He also stroked the silky ear of one of the larger, friendlier cows, crowed his impersonation of the farm’s cockerel and stared in rapt amazement at the swans jealously guarding their pond – watch out, they bite!
Aidan is still too little to appreciate the jungle gym, but he wobbled around on the grassy expanse with his little toddler gait, feet barely keeping up with his head, and clambered all over the decorative farm implements strewed haphazardly along the lawn. While other kids played with soccer balls, he explored every movable part he could find. He had the best time!
It’s been challenging for us as new parents, so used to doing our own thing, to find activities that we can enjoy as a family together. This morning out had something for everyone, and it was a joy to see Aidan’s reaction as he met animals he’s only seen in books so far. The sheer joy on his face as he played outside brightened a crisp winter’s morning even more than we had anticipated!
What kind of outings do you enjoy as a family? Would you consider a visit to your local dairy farm? Have you been to the Irene Dairy Farm?
Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with the Irene Dairy Farm in any way, but we really enjoyed our outing and would highly recommend it to parents with small children!