Travels with Children

The adventures I embark upon with my four young children.

Oliver Kelley Farm

Oliver Kelley Farm

2.5 miles south of downtown on U.S. 10, Elk River, MN. 763-441-6896.
$7 adults, $6 senior citizens, $4 children ages 6-17. Free parking. Some parts stroller accessible. Restrooms in visitors center.

On a hot summer day, we made the drive to Elk River to see the Oliver Kelley Farm historic site. It was well worth the drive.

The visitor’s center includes exhibits about Mr. Kelley and his place in Minnesota history, but the real part of the museum is the working 1800’s farm just down the trail. Costumed interpreters interact with the visitors, and were great with the kids. Our kids got to go down to the root cellar and help weed the 1-acre garden, make cornbread, feed the animals in the barns, pet the kittens, and learn about how farming was done in past times.

Because of the heat, we didn’t explore the trails around the farm and adjacent Mississippi River. We’ll have to save that for our next visit.

It has lots of old farm stuff. My most favorite was in the house and my very most favorite was when we got to go in with the sheep and cows and I also liked feeding the sheep. We got to see how the cows eat. It was so great!



  Jack’s mom wrote @

You must take your kids here, and your parents. My 7 year old son plowed behind a team of oxen. My daughter, 4, loved finding an egg in the chicken coup. The wonderful guides were so friendly and informative. my whole familiy learned about history and farming first hand. I get weepy just thinking about how great this visit was. And, we didn’t have to use batteries or plug anything in.

  Fun on foot wrote @

My daughter went to the Kelley Farm on a field trip with her school and was so excited about it that we decided it was worth a day trip. The teacher said they went every year and always had great learning moments. We went as a family when there was a special kids day program. I don’t think we’ve ever had that much fun all together. It’s amazing how large the oxen are up close. My daughter wanted to move into the barn and live with the kittens. My son thought the water pump was the best. They baked raisin scones in a wood-fired oven and helped weed in the garden. I enjoyed all the old machinery and learning about Oliver Kelley and the beginnings of agriculture as a business — right here in Minnesota. Get out of the house and live!

  City Girl wrote @

Learn about life before everything went politically correct! For an 1800’s farm family there were women’s jobs and those better suited for men. Plow with oxen, learn how to sheer sheep, see the horses on a treadmill running the threshing machine. In the “women’s realm” of the house, there is always something good cooking on the wood stove and food to be raised and preserved for the long winter ahead. All ages in my family ADORE this place! It’s great fun and education for a small price.

  stephanie wrote @

My granddaughter and I visited the Kelley Farm July4th as the farm women were preparing the family dinner. I thought my granddaughter (age 6) would prefer the outdoors and animals, but she loved working in the kitchen…she got to make the biscuits. The staff was so good with her even though they were trying to get this dinner put together. My granddaughter was also very impressed with the root cellar..”.a big refrigerator that looks like a basement”

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