Who: Hayley Kaufman, husband Chris, and kids Nate, 9, and Rachel, 6
What: Getting a taste of spring
Where: Drumlin Farm, Lincoln
Take the kids to the farm right now, and you’ll see them: lambs with knobby knees, baby goats, and other adorable reminders that spring has settled in. It’s cause for a celebration — or several, in the case of Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm in Lincoln.
We drove out to Drumlin last weekend for Woolapalooza, the wildlife sanctuary’s annual one-day sheep-shearing extravaganza, and it was one of the best family outings we’ve gone on in recent memory. (No joke: If you haven’t taken your kids, put this event on your 2014 calendar.)
Besides watching the sheep get haircuts, we learned how to clean and wash the wool, spin it, and dye it. Each step of the process was highlighted at long tables set up around the farm where kids could ask questions, see demonstrations, and try it all themselves. A particular highlight: watching shepherds and their lightning-quick border collies herd a small — and recalcitrant — flock of sheep around a pen. Those dogs do not mess around.
Drumlin’s seasonal celebrations don’t stop once the sheep are fleeced. On April 13, the farm will host its Spring Nature Art Festival, featuring a puppet workshop and lots of craft projects for kids all day long.
And I do mean all day long. When we ventured out to Woolapalooza, I figured we’d be there for 2, maybe 2½ hours, tops. We’d never been to Drumlin before, so we had no idea what to expect.
Here’s my advice: If the weather’s cooperating, make a day of it. There’s so much to do at the 232-acre sanctuary. We were there from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (when the event ended), and the kids still weren’t ready to leave. Besides cooing over the baby farm animals, we hung out with chickens, examined tiny sprouts in the greenhouse, jumped all over a big wooden play structure, and read up on the owls and other wild animals who live at the sanctuary.
We capped it off with ice cream at Bedford Farms in Concord. It was a delicious end to a perfect day.Hayley Kaufman can be reached at email@example.com.