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A Dayton Mom’s Guide to Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

This post is part of a sponsored relationship, but we are excited to let our readers know about this amazing local destination!

Have you been to Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm?!

The Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm is one of those local treasures that makes Dayton a beautiful and unique place to live. It was founded by Marie Aull, who donated 70 acres of land creating National Audubon Society’s first nature center in the Midwest. Over time, more acreage was purchased and then combined into what we know of now as Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. Today, Aullwood’s farm, center and sanctuary make it one of the premier Audubon sites in the United States.

If you’ve never been, you need to add this to your list of places to explore in Dayton!

Dayton Mom’s Blog tip: There are two major locations {Aullwood Nature Center and Aullwood Farm}, connected by 6 miles of walking trails. While you may begin your visit at either site and walk to either one, the walk might be difficult for toddlers and strollers. There are shorter paths that may be more enjoyable for strollers and younger at either location, then you can drive 5 minutes between the locations!

What is there to do?! {So much!!}

Explore the Discovery Center: When you first enter into the Discovery Center you are greeted with friendly and helpful staff who will answer any questions you may have. They were SO helpful and skillfully directed us on a path towards what we should see and do based on the ages of our kids. We put together a little ‘plan’ for our visit which was SO helpful to navigating through our day! My girls got a kick out of exploring the different stations that were set up… feeding the pretend pig, manipulating the farm and tractors, playing in the tent and even playing dress up! You can also snag some farm-fresh products!

Primitive Playground: Next, head just out the back doors towards the primitive playground. Located just behind the Discovery Center, take a break to climb on the vintage tractor, play in the sand pit or crawl through the tunnels. Visitors can picnic on sunny days and enjoy the beautiful land and scenery. Your kids will enjoy climbing, digging and exploring the grounds.

Experience the Animals: SO MANY ANIMALS!! You and your child will have so much fun seeing all of the animals including draft horses, goats, pigs, Highland cattle, barn cats, cattle, turkeys, sheep, chicks, ducks and more. Even smaller toddlers will be able to experience the animals up close! We headed right from the primitive playground to the chicken coop and the kids got a kick out of seeing a chicken lay an egg! You can see all of the animals in one day or take your time and spread out your visits, just don’t miss the Bank Barn, Sheep Barn, Chicken Coop, Brood House or Duck Pond!

Hike the Trails: After your farm visit, you can enjoy a scenic walk through the Nature Sanctuary to Aulwood’s Nature center {or drive if you have little ones or want to get there more quickly!}. Be sure to keep your eyes open for birdwatching opportunities as you travel through prairie, forests, marsh, ponds and meadows! If you’re unsure of which path to take, a staff member will be happy to help you decide which hike is best suited for your visit!

Explore the Nature Center: You can choose to drive straight to the Nature Center, start out there and hike to the farm or hike from the farm. Here you will find two themed discovery rooms and six thematic classrooms containing interactive displays, games and native animals. There are are also live animals to explore including snakes, turtles fish and you may even get a sneak peak at the beaver that has made it’s home just outside the windows! 

Gift Shop: Before heading out, be sure to stop by the gift shop located inside the Nature Center! You can snag wildlife related books, gifts and more! Bonus: All store proceeds help support Aullwood’s programs and help to preserve the sanctuary. 

Purchase Meat and Produce: Grass-raised beef, naturally raised chickens pork and turkey, as well as farm fresh eggs are available seasonally for the public to purchase.  Local butchers process their meet and are available at the farm store.  

Events

Farm Babies Fest {Held the 2nd Saturday in May}:  Aullwood is known for this event in the spring and for good reason.  Come and enjoy a full day of baby animals, farm experiences, great food and good old fashioned fun.  From live shows to draft horse and tractor wagon rides {$1/person}, free children’s activities and delicious food {featuring their own meat!} to demonstrations and pond explorations, there is something for everyone!! At just $10 per car, you are sure to have a blast! 

Chipmunk Adventures: Brown Goats {Tuesday May 23, 2017}: Geared towards children {ages 2-5} enrolled in the Chipmunk Adventures, kids will enjoy hands-on outdoor experiences, stores, songs, crafts and live animals! You can learn more about Chipmunk Adventures here

B’Earthday Parties: If you’re looking for an exciting way to celebrate your child’s next birthday, look no further! A B’Earthday Party is a fun and educational way to celebrate your child’s special day.  Check out more details here

Apple Fest: Held every fall, this festival on the farm is focused on all things apple. There is plenty to keep everyone entertained at this great family-friendly event.

GLOW: Held annually, in October, just before Halloween, this is a fun opportunity to explore the farm in the dark!

Mama Tips:

  • Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 3-18 and free for children under 3, however a membership is offered which includes general admission, subscription to the newsletter, a 10% discount in the Nature Store and free admission to Apple Fest! 
  • Dress for the weather and exploration. We went on a chilly day and were so glad to have dressed in layers!  You will be walking through barns, fields and mud, so boots are a good idea! 
  • Parking is available at both Aullwood Farm and Aullwood Center and is free. If you have younger kids in strollers, it is a quick drive between each location and allows you to get the best of both worlds!
  • Aullwood’s Farm and Center as well as trails and property are smoke-free. 
  • Aullwood is open Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday from 1pm-5pm.  They are closed on most school holidays, so make sure to call before arriving if it is a holiday! 
  • Take advantage of the restrooms in the Discovery Center and the Nature Center! Especially if you have little ones, it can be a walk to get back to a potty!

We hope to see you there this spring and summer season! Make sure to snap some pictures and tag Dayton Moms Blog on Instagram and use the hashtag #aullwoodauduboncenterandfarm so we can see your pictures.  You can also follow Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm on Facebook and Instagram as well!

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One Response to A Dayton Mom’s Guide to Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

  1. V. Wysong May 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    Was it a groundhog instead of a beaver that made its home right behind the Nature Center check in desk observation window?