By Kirsty Staples
August, 31st, 2011
Recently my family had the pleasure of visiting Butterfield Acres. For those unfamiliar with Butterfield Acres it is a farm in Northwest Calgary that allows for an interactive experience with the animals. You are able to go into the pens and pet and even feed the animals (for a nominal fee of 25 cents you get a cone full of seed). I had many expectations of how my visit would go. We had taken our son there 2 years ago and I had high hopes for what his experience would be like at the ever so enjoyable age of 3. We discussed our upcoming visit to Butterfield Acres that morning and Max said to me “I’m going to go and pet all the animals, it will be so fun”.
Wow, I thought to myself, we are going to have such a great time. I had visions of Max playing with all the animals and taking pictures of him petting the pigs, lambs, goats, and ponies to name a few. We arrived around 11:00 and went straight to see the baby goats. All was going smoothly until Max started to get anxious to leave the enclosure. By 11:05 I began to think that things were not going to go as I had imagined until I followed my son’s gaze and discovered the source of his anxiety. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the baby goats, he wanted to get out of the pen because he had just seen what I can only assume is his image of perfection…a hill of dirt covered in trucks. This area is called Gopher Town and it is a large hill with tunnels, a sand box and a ton of construction vehicles that the children can play with. Once he got to play in the dirt and get that out of his system he was much more eager to visit the animals.
The draw to leave the dirt pile was the stationary tractor that he could climb on and also the promise of a ride on the tractor driven wagon ride (which is free with admission).
Also, I had purchased a pony ride when we entered the farm for $1.00 which was another exciting thing for him to do. While waiting for the wagon ride we went to see all of the animals and he was now very excited to pet them, especially loving the lambs. Max was quite excited to watch the pony getting ready for the ride and was fascinated by the very large pig, Ruby. Something else that excited my son were the handwashing stations that they have throughout the farm. He had a fun time using them after he had pet the animals. Butterfield acres also has a few playgrounds; we did not visit them but they looked very nice, and there was also a little area where the children can ride on little pedal go carts. The farm was also filled with kids attending summer camps and they looked like they were all having a very good time.
We had a wonderful time visiting Butterfield Acres. Max said that his favorite part of the day was the wagon ride and my daughter Madeline, who is 8 months old, had a fun time just checking out all the sites and was also quite fascinated by the animals. Our day at Butterfield Acres met my expectations and then exceeded them. My son had such a wonderful time and even if your little one might not love the animals right off the bat there are so many other things there to engage them. I would highly recommend a visit to Butterfield Acres if you are looking for a fun thing to do this summer. Just make sure you try to plan your day to include the pony ride and the wagon ride (1 pm and 1:45 pm the day we went).