Sunday, June 24, 2012

Young's Jersey Dairy in Ohio: 5 Shouts!

It's Whispers & Shouts' first cross-country review!

Last week we had the privilege of visiting a unique place for family fun—Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It’s a family business that started when a family built a barn in 1869, and has grown to be not only a working dairy, but a family destination with entertainment for every age. The farm is located just south of Springfield, Ohio, which is a perfect point for a family vacation stop-over if you’re driving through the state on I-70 or I-75. While planning this trip I was searching for things to do in Ohio, and Young's came up a couple times, so I started planning our trip around a dairy stop. I didn’t plan to spend three hours there, but when we rolled out the other day, we had put in more than that amount of time enjoying the place.

The first thing we did was try some of their delicious cheese samples and watch a cheese-making video. Yum. We then sunblocked-up and visited the petting area with adorable baby goats and their slightly less-adorable mothers. (I have a goat thing.) The boys had to be heavily coaxed, but did finally feed the goats. They were more into “driving” the old tractors and trying to ride the fake cows scattered around.


In the Kiddie Corral, the youngest guests can enjoy the dairy. There’s a barrel of corn to play in, John Deere tractor tricycles to race, a slide, a moonbounce, a tunnel that appears to be some sort of irrigation pipe with tires on each side. (That’s my best, most educated guess.) It would be perfect to sit in the shade sipping a milkshake while the little ones ran around in the Kiddie Corral. Instead, we pushed the boys on the tricycles, because in a parenting duh moment, we realized we’ve hardly exposed them to tricycles and they have no idea how to make one move. Oops. I feel like I may have failed a test I didn’t know was coming.

Through the tunnel...
My mommy never taught me how to pedal...
The boys are still three inches too short for the big slide (sliders have to be 42”), but Brian and I gave it a try. If the boys were tall enough I think it’s safe to say that all of us would have spent more time there. It’s a fun slide and there was no line to wait in.

Cowvin's Slide
We were happy to find out that not only are there two 18-hole mini golf courses, but there is also a driving range! The boys were right at home hitting their golf balls first at the range and then on the mini golf course. Granted, Calvin was more into watching the fountains of blue water and playing his golf club like a guitar than in actually playing mini golf, but Clark made up for it. Clark hit both of their balls on many of the holes and mine on a couple too.

There are also batting cages that the boys liked to look at and pretend not to be afraid of. We took a ride on a little train made out of old barrels and after all of our fun we had their delicious, award-winning homemade ice cream and milkshakes in one of the two restaurants at the dairy. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon, and perfect timing too. The boys crashed hard after the dairy, and slept for almost the whole two hour drive to Indianapolis.

Workin' the driving range

min-golf rules
One of the courses
Cal playing his club-guitar
Train ride
Licked the bowl clean!
Throughout the day, Brian and I were remarking on the cleanliness of the place and the friendliness of the staff. The Young family didn’t forget anything. The place is beautifully clean and well taken care of. I was excited (I’m such a mom) to see the hand sanitizer dispensers by the petting barn and the little sinks with soap dispensers all over. There are plenty of covered areas for picnics. It’s clear that much thought and love has gone into making this place a special one.

I met Dan Young, the friendly CEO, who told me, “I've milked a lot of cows, dipped a lot if ice cream, cooked and served a lot of food, and the list goes on!  I've always worked here.” He has a degree in business and his MBA, which he has clearly put to good use while building the business. There are 14 family members who also work at the dairy, and the place has 320 employees! It does live up to its motto, “We create fun for our guests.”

I recommend Young’s Jersey Dairy to people with kids who live anywhere close, and to anyone traveling in the area. It’s a great place to spend time. You can stop in for a few minutes and eat an ice cream cone, or stay longer and pay a little more money to golf, ride the slide, hit some balls in the batting cages, and eat a picnic. 

My recommendation if you're coming in the summer, is to try to come in the morning if you know the day will be hot-- there is some shade, but a lot of sun too. So, either bring your sunblock or plan for a cooler time of day if summer is here in all her flaming radiance.

5 SHOUTS for Young's Jersey Dairy!

To read my other road trip reviews, go here.

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