My family and I were so excited when Grant's Farm offered to pick up travel expenses for us to trek over from Kansas City to St. Louis and check them out. We'd never been there before, but I heard "horses" and was all over it. It turned out they weren't just horses ... they were the famous Budweiser Clydesdales (yes, the ones in the commercials, even!).
2014 marks the 60th anniversary of Grant's Farm being open to the public. We learned on the tram from the parking lot to the main animal area that Gussie Busch decided that if his private guests were having so much fun on their sprawling acreage filled with animals from all over the globe, maybe the general public would like it, too. It blows my mind that this park used to be all the Busch family's yard. Not just because it's big ... also because there are zebras and camels and elephants and all varieties of deer and birds just sort of roaming around. You can see the white deer up in the collage -- that was just hanging out by a pond.
My ten-year-old really liked feeding the goats, riding the camels and yelling "IT'S SO FLUFFY!" at the guinea pigs. My husband liked the free samples of beer and cider. I loved all the horse things -- the beautiful barns, the smell of the tack room, and the Clydesdale experience ($25/person, come early because they sell out fast). At the Clydesdale experience, we spent an hour and a half learning about the Budweiser Clydesdales and even got to brush a retired gelding named Lee. I had a Quarter Horse growing up, and he was a good six hands shorter than Lee. Lee was a GIANT. But a very sweet giant.
The farm charged for parking but there were many free attractions. I thought the Clydesdale experience was totally worth the extra charge if you are a horse junkie like me. We passed on the paddleboats shaped like giant swans because it was 98 degrees and humid. I also really liked riding the tram and imagining what it must be like to have your father-in-law hand you 80 acres and a brewery when you marry his daughter.
And random: While we were there, we ran into my BIL, SIL and two nieces -- who are from Iowa. Neither of us knew the other was planning to visit that day. So we got to feed goats together.