January 31, 2012

Winter Wandering -- Grimes Farm

Check the "wandering" tab for more of the posts in this series, or the SSSS tab for more ideas for entertaining the short people in your home.

This is sort of an extension of my Wednesday Wandering posts from the spring and summer.  This winter has been unseasonably warm after some brutally cold and snowy ones, so we're out as often as possible on these warm days.  I know the warm weather isn't going to last.

One recent day off from school, we packed a lunch, loaded up, and headed out for an adventure.  We started out visiting Hickory Grove Park (I haven't done a post about it yet?  I'll remedy that soon) but we ended up chasing rivers to the Grimes Farm and Conservation Center near Marshalltown, Iowa.  First, we met friends for our picnic lunch.

After our lunch, we looked around inside the Conservation Center.  They have a lot of different native Iowa bird and animal species, along with many different learning stations.

My 4 year old especially liked the pelts:

There are  few different trails around the conservation center where you can bike or hike through forest, wetland, and prairie areas.  You can adjust the length of your hike by taking different trails--some are paved as part of a larger bike trail, some are more like foot paths, but all are well maintained for easy access.

Even in the winter, there's something to see.  We saw several different types of birds at their outdoor feeder, though not a lot of other wildlife.  If you go, don't forget to check out Mildred's Tower.  We skipped it that day because we had some little ones getting tired, but it looks like it would afford some great views of the area.

For more information, check out the Marshall County Conservation website or the Grimes Farm site.

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