A trip to a dairy farm might not sound like the stuff of road trip legend. It might conjure up images of you awkwardly trying to milk a cow while someone drones on about the various nutritional properties of grass. If that is your preconception, prepare to have it blown to bits. Fair Oaks Farms, three hours Northwest of Cincinnati, is a fun-filled dairy of epic proportions.
It's a working dairy farm with nearly 40,000 heads of cattle, making it one of the largest in the United States. Visitors can tour it and see how the entire (enormous) operation works. Meanwhile, people interested in live births (Editor's note: never thought that sentence would show up on Cincinnati Refined) can visit the “birthing station” to watch a calf being born, center stage. Sure, watching the live births might not be for the super squeamish, but it is a beautiful scene that is sure to melt your heart like ice cream on an August afternoon.
Speaking of ice cream, at this point you’re probably saying to yourself, “Yeah, all this is great, but where do I get my sweet tooth on?!” Sweet teeth, rest assured: Fair Oaks serves the good stuff by the scoopful. Fair Oaks’ Cowfe (pronounced cow-fay) scoops out dozens of flavors of ice cream, and it's all made in-house. You can actually watch the ice cream being churned as you chomp into your mint-chip cone. In addition to ice cream, the Cowfe serves cheeses and chocolates — which are also made in-house — and a casual dining menu of sandwiches and sides.
If you’ve got a bigger appetite than the Cowfe can cover, head over to the Farmhouse Restaurant and Pub, which serves everything from American comfort classics to fresh bistro fare. The ingredients here come from Fair Oaks and other local farms. The Farmhouse also serves alcohol, because what’s a grown-up field trip to a dairy farm without a White Russian?
Part dairy farm, part amusement park, Fair Oaks also offers several family-friendly activities, including a climbing wall (shaped like a giant milk bottle, of course), a carousel, 3D movie experience, and a corn maze. If you’ve broken out into stress sweats from being stuck in the corn maze too long, don’t worry, you can always hightail it to the Farmhouse for some soothing libations.
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Fair Oaks Farm is located at 856 N 600 E, Fair Oaks, IN 47943.