Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grant's Farm, South St. Louis County

Location:  10501 Gravois Rd, St. Louis, MO 63123

Amenities: Tram ride through deer park, goat feeding, animal shows, carousel, various animals on display, camel rides

Website: http://www.grantsfarm.com/

Grant's Farm is a fun place to spend the day, with many fun activities. Admission to the park is free, but you pay $13 per car for parking in their parking lot. (there are $5 off coupons floating around online). When you arrive, you cross the street and get in line for the tram ride that takes you to the center of the park. Arrive early - the line can get VERY long! Strollers can be kind of a pain at Grant's Farm - the staff will place your stroller at the front of the tram and you'll get it when you get off at the main park. Occasionally though the strollers don't get on the same tram you are on and you have to wait for the next one. They state that wagons and jogging strollers are not allowed, but I have seen people bring jogging strollers to the park.

The tram ride is about 15 minutes long and takes you through the Grant's Farm deer park, where animal species roam freely. You'll see various species of deer, bison, antelope, ostrich and more.

The tram drivers talk about the historic significance of this place and all the cool details of the land.

This iron fence is made of rifle barrels from the civil war.

Upon arriving at the center of the park, you exit the tram (grab your stroller if necessary) and head in to the fun. You'll first see the carousel and the goat feeding area. Feeding the goats is a favorite of children and adults alike, but beware, the goats can be aggressive so you may not want to bring very young children into the goat enclosure. The goats are also known for nibbling on clothing and shoe laces! They also sell a fun pass that is a good deal, it's $6 per child and you get a snow cone, goat feeding, and ride on the carousel with that. Animal shows are free!

You'll see giant tortoises, parrots, eagles, elephants, kangaroos, camels, llamas, zebras, and more. There's an elephant show (free of change) where the keepers teach the audience a lot about the elephants and show off some of the things they can do, including walking on a balance beam and reaching their trunk straight up into the air.

Bring some quarters if you want to feed the llamas and camels, there is a food dispenser near their enclosures. (.50)

You can also do camel/pony rides or feed the parakeets. The cost is $6/child for a camel/pony ride and $1.50 for a parakeet feeding stick.

 Lemur Island

You cannot bring in outside food to the park, but there's a dining area with food choices that you'd expect - chicken strips, fries, brats, etc. Adults over the age of 21 get two free beers from the hospitality center located in the Bauernhof.

Also in the Bauernhof are the Clydesdale barns, full of antiques that belonged to the Busch family and they are so cool to look at! I just love visiting this part of the farm but I have an obsession with the Busch family and their colorful history so it's very interesting to me.

You exit the park and board the tram near the dining area. The trip back to the entrance and parking lot only takes about 5 minutes.

They used to offer Paddle Boat Rides at $7.00 per boat, per 30 minutes. This was a better deal than Forest Park where they charge $20 an hour.  However I see now on the website that paddleboats are only available for special events! What a bummer.

If you want to see more you can go to the Clydesdale barns at the other end of the parking lot closer to the exit. 

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