City slickers looking for a little "Green Acres" don't have to leave the metro to find a bit of farm livin' at the Orr Family Farm, 14400 S. Western. Billing itself as "agri-tainment," the plantation play place is an outdoor oasis catering to kids.
Llamas, pygmy goats, sheep, bunnies and pot-bellied pigs reside in the petting barn alongside Bessie, the farm's life-size fiberglass dairy cow. Unlike a real cow, Bessie stands still and won't kick wannabe Old McDonalds as they practice their milking technique in bovine safety.
The Orr Family Farm is part of a much-larger, 106-acre horse farm called Celestial Acres, billed as the largest horse training center in the state. Little buckaroos can saddle up for gallop on a small steed or, if a real ride is not your young'uns' style, the plastic ponies on the vintage 1974 carousel never get tired.
Visitors weary from farm work can ride the rails on the miniature train. Pulled by a one-third-scale replica of Jupiter, one of the country's first transcontinental locomotives, the train makes a mile loop, providing visitors with a comfortable overview of the grounds.
With almost 5,000 square feet of wrong turns and dead ends, it's easy to lost in the Amaz'n Maze, which the farm claims is one of only a handful like it in the world. Prospectors can pan for precious treasure at the Neal Simpson Mine, and aspiring anglers can dip a line and try their luck in the fishing pond. NASCAR fans can even take turns on the pedal car track.
During the fall, the farm opens its 5-acre cornfield maze. This year's theme is "Vote 2010." The site also hosts a fall pumpkin patch and pumpkin decorating contest.
Admission prices start at $10.50. For more information, visit www.orrfamilyfarm.com.
Price writes online at www.travelblur.com. Photo/Charlie Price