On the holiday Monday of August long weekend, in the middle of the busy summer of 2018 (aren’t they all?!), we decided it was the perfect time to head to the Calgary Farmyard (Formerly Calgary Corn Maze and Fun Farm). We’d been planning on checking it out, as we heard there are tons of great activities for families, even when the corn is not tall enough for the maze. As it happened, the maze was already open. It was a classic prairie day: hot and dry, with a glaring blue sky and the whir of crickets. My three city kids got to the edge of the corn maze and one said (to protect the ridiculous, I’ve already forgotten which one), “I didn’t realize it was actually corn!” Clearly, it was past time to broaden our children’s horizons.
Even though the Calgary Farmyard has more than enough for a great day of activity, our kids are 9, 11, and 13, and I wondered what they would think. The oldest, especially, is singularly unimpressed by most things. To our surprise, she remarked several times how we should have planned a whole day at the Calgary Farmyard instead of just the afternoon. Armed with walkie-talkies (which I highly recommend!), we hit the maze. Designed in the shape of a superhero, there are 12 question stations around the maze and you can try to match which station goes with which superhero. We were remarkably terrible at this, but with the fun of bolting around corners and calling to each other on the walkie-talkies, it didn’t matter.
After we lost interest in the maze, the kids raced each other through the ropes course and the Rat Rollers. They tried the mini-golf and spent a long time at the Barnyard Baseball station, with an even longer time at the petting zoo enjoying the kittens. They approved of everything from the jumping pillows to the playground to the zip lines.
I was impressed at how many activities there were. There is plenty of entertainment for big kids to enjoy; we even saw several couples without kids. The corn maze is obviously the big attraction, and with additions like mini-golf, you can spend quite a bit of time. The littlest kids can enjoy most of the activities (although some are only for kids over 40 or 42 inches), with a number of things that would be specially designed for the little ones. Besides the playground and the sandbox, toddlers can check out a sound garden, partially made with pots and pans, a Tractor Tire Mountain with slide, and a spider web. Of course, they would also love the petting zoo. On the day we visited, we saw 3-week old piglets, too!
With upbeat music playing, the chirping of crickets, and the occasional MOOO from the farm, it was a cheerful, calm place. Being a holiday, plenty of people were milling about, but there was so much to do we hardly noticed. Scattered throughout the farm were thoughtful, small touches. I saw storyboards and little cement mazes in the ground. There was a place to practice your lassoing, your horsetail braiding, and your cow milking! (These skills may not be transferable to real-life . . . ) And if you’re looking for great country-themed photo opportunities, there are plenty of options!
In short, we found the Calgary Farmyard a fabulous place to spend the afternoon (or a day!). Pack a picnic and enjoy the fresh air at one of the many picnic tables, or purchase food and snacks right there. Mini-donuts are always a nice touch! Let the kids burn their energy and get lost in the maze. No matter the age or interest, you’ll find something to help your family get out and just play!