If you’ve ever driven to Indianapolis from Chicagoland, you’ve probably passed Fair Oaks Farm. My family has stopped for gas and chocolate milk, each time vowing to return and explore. Well, we finally made the trip, and I’m happy to report: It’s so worth the drive!
Other local dairy farms
1510 Wagner Road, Glenview
Good to know: One of the last working dairy farms in Cook County, it offers public milking demonstrations daily at 4:30 p.m. Dont miss out on a sweet ice cream treat!
27730 W. Bonner Road, Wauconda
Good to know: This is one of the last operating dairy farms in Lake County. Schedule a tour to learn more about the dairy cows and a chance to visit the milking parlor.
5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles
Good to know: Sign up to try your hand at milking a cow. The program is offered Wednesdays and Saturdays and costs ( resident).
Located about 75 miles outside Chicago, the huge farm makes for a perfect day trip.
They’ve managed to make learning about dairy farming educational and fun with a capital F.
The Dairy Adventure starts as you board a cow bus to one of the cow barns. We learned cool facts about the cows, passed literal mountains of poop, peeked into barns where cows were happily chowing down on feed, and saw the cutest baby calves of all time. The highlight of our tour was watching the milking process in action at the dairy-go-round.
Our next scheduled activity was The Pig Adventure. It’s similar to The Dairy Adventure, but the kids especially enjoyed waiting at the Pig Welcome Center. The whimsical little treehouse (with a bacon slide!) happily kept my little ones entertained, and if we had more time, the interactive ropes course would have been a blast. There were plenty of selfie-worthy photo spots, and all you could ever want to know about pigs. The trip to the pig barn itself was another learning experience—we even saw a live birth!
If you have time to spare or if the kids are getting antsy, they can let loose at Mooville, an outdoor play area with a jumping pillow, rock climbing wall, toddler tractors, and my kids’ favorite, a moo-ving choo-choo train.
Getting hungry? There’s a farm-to-table restaurant, The Farmhouse Restaurant, but we opted for food prepared quickly at the cutely named Cowfe. Don’t miss out on ordering delicious sandwiches made with Fair Oaks Farm cheeses, a chance to buy and sample cheeses, chocolates and, of course, ice cream.
After The Dairy Adventure, The Pig Adventure and Mooville, my kids were beyond pooped. We missed out on The Crop Adventure this time, but will definitely make a stop again in the future.
Plus, it gives us an excuse to grab another bottle of chocolate milk and more delicious ice cream!
If you go
856 N 600 E
Fair Oaks, IN 47943