Kids across Colorado eagerly await. The children’s programs at the Sunflower Farm have been closed for improvements, but they’re on schedule to reopen in the spring.
This is big news for families living in Boulder in 2018. The 50-acre Sunflower Farm in south Longmont, about a half hour northeast of Boulder, is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy the Colorado outdoors with your family.
To be clear, the farm itself is still open. It hasn’t closed down to public visits and playtime. In 2015, however, it did temporarily pause its kids’ camps and preschool, in order to get into compliance with Boulder County regulations. The farm will be fully functioning again by spring.
While here, you can pet baby goats. Hang out in a teepee or stalk the proud peacock. Meet Tom the turkey. Climb bales of hay, hop on the zipline, drive a tractor, retreat to the playhouse. Rock in the hammock with a book under the blue sky. Get dirty. Get outdoors.
These are a few of the many reasons why kids love Sunflower Farm, a working farm where real farmers live. You can visit during the open hours, take tours, play with farm animals and learn about the Colorado farm lifestyle.
Sunflower Farm is one-of-a-kind, like traveling back in time, says Bren Frisch, co-owner.
“It’s a clean, beautiful farm. We really try to support the whole family,” she says. “There’s a focus on quality connection, not food, shopping in the gift shop, not sugar. It’s a peaceful, serene place to come with your family, where you won’t be overloaded with a bunch of other fees. It’s very still.”
She encourages visitors to pack their own healthy picnic and stroll through the property to find a private, secret spot off the beaten path to spend time together.
“What makes it unique is we’re really interested in a certain quality of family connection and coming together, and not just nickel and diming people and throwing things out there for people to buy,” Frisch says. “It’s not a hokey farm. It’s a rural piece of property based on children’s education and a working farm.”
The entertainment here is simple. You won’t find jumpy castles, face painting, corn mazes or haunted houses.
The new renovations will allow the farm to better serve the public (like new restrooms and handicap accessible walkways).
The Sunflower Farm is also a popular destination for birthday parties and group field trips, from schools to nonprofits to just large families. The field trips are educational but also pretty relaxed, so kids have lots of time to explore and investigate on their own. They might climb inside the old, abandoned airplane in the field or get to ride a pony. Have a snack under the shade of the trees or on the picnic tables (the farm doesn’t sell any snacks). Swing on a tire swing or get up close and personal to the free-range chickens just walking around. Feed goats, sheep and llamas. Dig in the sandboxes. Balance on the slackline.
As the name implies, Sunflower Farm is known for its sunflowers, which get the tallest and bloom late summer, typically at the end of August or beginning of September.
“Another feature is there’s a canopy of shade trees, just lots of little pockets of the unexpected for kids to play in,” Frisch says.
Here are some other tips to help you plan your trip to Sunflower Farm:
- Pack plenty of water, especially during warmer weather.
- Sunflower Farm is especially great for younger kids.
- Admission isn’t exactly cheap, at $13 (or $15 on weekends) per person, except 1 year and younger are free. However, you can spend hours here, and for the amount of healthy, educational entertainment, it’s well worth the price.
- If you’re in town more than once, visit the farm during different seasons to see how it evolves. The springtime is great to see new babies. In the fall, you can pick apples off trees. In the winter, you can roast marshmallows over a fire during private events (hours are limited in the winter).
- Buy your tickets online before your visit, and buy them well in advance, because only a limited number are allowed per day to keep things from being too busy.
- Make sure you know the hours, as the farm is only open four hours a day and closed Monday and Tuesday. The hours August-October are: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday-Friday: $13 per person, no horse rides; and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. weekends: $15 per person, includes horse rides.
- Don’t pull up an hour before closing. You will need more time here.
- Leave your phone in the car.
- Go slow and pay attention, Frisch says. “There are a lot of surprises. You have to pay attention. The animals are all very friendly and get along. It has a storybook feeling to it,” she says.