St. Charles Park District: Make Friday a farm day!

Escape the urban hustle and spend some time on the farm this summer with Family Fun Fridays at Primrose Farm in St. Charles.

Newly this summer, the St. Charles Park District program provides small groups a chance to spend some time together in the beautiful, working farm located right in St. Charles. It’s a perfect opportunity for families, cousins, grandparents and grandchildren or friends to enjoy time together while learning something new and helping to take care of the farm.

Discover what it takes to help care for some of the barnyard’s residents with Cow & Chicken Chores program where your family can have a hand-on experience milking cows, egg collecting and preparing meals for the animals. The Cow & Chicken Chores is available select Fridays through the summer from 8:45-11:45 a.m. Pack a lunch and enjoy your meal al fresco at a picnic at the farm after your morning of chores.

The program Homestead Helpers will help re-create life on the farm. Your group will haul wood and spend the afternoon in the summer kitchen learning how to churn fresh butter. Master a traditional recipe for homemade biscuits. After you finish you can celebrate your afternoon of hard work with the homemade biscuits and butter you made while enjoying the serene farm setting.

After a year when school field trips didn’t take place, these outings with a family can be a great way for school children to take in a new-experience and make it a memorable family outing.

Homestead Helpers takes place select Fridays throughout the summer from 1-3:30 p.m.

Advance registration is required for both programs. The listed price is for a group of four, but it is possible to add up to two more participants with advanced notice for an additional fee. There are a limited number of groups for each date.

Children must be ages 8 and older to participate due to the nature of the work and each group must have at least one adult. For families with younger children, check out the Animal Adventures where younger children and their grown-ups can enjoy some hands-on time with the barnyard residents.

Hammer out fun family time at blacksmithing class

Discover how a hammer and anvil can be used to manipulate steel as you make a simple family project with the Family Blacksmithing Class at Primrose Farm in St. Charles.

“We’ll start with the basics of various tools and techniques and by the time participants leave they’ll have made a couple of basic projects,” explains Chris Gingrich, Assistant Superintendent of Outdoor Education for the St. Charles Park District.

There is a forge located in the machine shed at Primrose Farm in St. Charles. During class an instructor will explain how to use a coal-fired forge to heat metal and make it pliable.

“Once you heat the metal to a very high heat it is easy to move it, change its shape and bend it,” Gingrich said.

The course is available for a family of three, with the recommended age of 12 and older for participants. Gingrich said this is due to the nature of the course and the strength needed to use the tools. The class is a great way to understand the art of blacksmithing.

And it’s a great reason to step out and visit Primrose Farm. Gingrich said many families bring along a lunch and after class, spend some time visiting the animals in the barnyard.

The class is offered Saturdays June 19, July 17 and Aug. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to noon and the fees are $150 for a family of three who are residents and $225 for non-resident family.