I love it when I discover something new and awesome in the Seattle area. Well, this time the discovery was precipitated by an invitation to a 6-year-old’s farm-themed birthday party at the location, but it works for me.
The Farrel-McWhirter Farm park is a Redmond city park that also happens to be a working farm.
Bunnies, goats, chickens, pigs, cows, horses, and ponies – All kinds of things to make 6-year-old girls squee.
Really, it’s the best kind of city park. You’d never know you were in city limits.
The 68 acre park includes a preschool, summer camp program, orienteering course, and of course, pony rides.
My daughter was particularly fond of this plywood cow with a water-filled rubber glove that demonstrates how milking a cow works.
And this magical tree, where she spent quite a bit of time pretending to be a baby eagle.
And, did I mention the pony rides? Because that’s pretty much all I’ve heard about for the past week.
We can’t wait to get back out there for another visit.
We got our six-year-old a butterfly habitat for her birthday. Essentially, it’s a mesh enclosure that comes with a gift certificate for caterpillars.
The caterpillars were quiet at first, but after a few days, they got active and started spinning themselves into their cocoons.
Ten days later, butterflies emerged.
So we took them to the park to give them their freedom.
We unzipped the lid to free them, and waited for them to fly away.
But they seemed quite content to hang out in their little habitat sipping orange juice.
Eventually, one flew away, and then another. But the remaining two were just hanging out on an apple core, giving no indication that they were thinking of going anywhere anytime soon.
After a while, I reached in and nudged the apple core a bit to see if the would move.
So I picked it up, and they both just continued sitting there. Since it was already in my hand, I lifted the applecore that held the two butterflies out of the enclosure and gently placed it on the grass. They just sat there. So my daughter decided to share a flower with them.
These butterflies showed no indication that they even noticed our existence. They only had eyes for each other.
They were really into each other.
Could this be a mating thing? The directions that came with the caterpillars did warn us not to wait more than a couple days before releasing the butterflies, or we would end up with a bunch of very hungry caterpillars that we would need to figure out how to feed.
These poor butterflies get no dignity, with all the detail of their first date broadcast across the internets. Also, they should get a room.
But it did give us a good opportunity to discuss the birds and bees a bit.
After a while one of them takes an interest in the flower Gem was holding out for them.
Oh, but then they discover each other again. This time a hookup in the grass.
She (or he) heads out on a stroll through the grass, while the other one watched her walk away.
Hot, humid, and swarming with tropical butterflies of all colors and sizes, the Pacific Science Center Tropical Butterfly House is a touch of the tropics right here in Seattle – and a great way to spend the afternoon with your favorite kid, or kid at heart.
Gem was so taken with the idea that a butterfly might land on her that she stood completely still for what felt like F O R E V E R (and probably even longer for her) waiting for one to come and say hi. The rules were very strict: NO TOUCH! However, if a butterfly lands on you, well that’s their choice. It took a while, and Gem managed to keep from reaching out and touching them, and finally one crawled right up on her finger. She was elated.
The butterflies would often land right on the floor, so it was important to watch your step carefully. Occasionally one of the butterflies would be sitting on the floor injured. Stepped on? Perhaps. Or it could have been injured elsewhere, and then just landed on the floor to catch it’s breath. Gem was looking for a butterfly under this caution sign, with no idea a blue morpho was fluttering around right next to her.
I kept thinking that the Pacific Science Center would be a great place to take her when she gets older – but I was missing out. It’s really appropriate for all ages – and even has a toddler explore area for the littlest ones.