Week 3 flew by as we snaked our way into the middle of the country- the HEARTLAND…THE REAL DEAL MIDWEST! You can check out Week 2 and Week 1!
We started the week off in Iowa, Dubuque as our first city and also our first view of the famous Mississippi River. We found a hotel with an indoor water park included in the stay which was a great chance for the kids to blow off some steam before we continued on our journey. 🏄🏽♀️
Then we headed for a quick river walk along the Mississippi. 🌊🌺🌺
After our awesome dairy farm 🥛🥚tour I was inspired to see more farms in action. But first a pitstop at the famous farm set of A Field of Dreams! 🌽⚾️
The first farm we visited was an Yogurt Dairy Farm called Country View Dairy Farm.
We got a tour of the facility and learned the process of how yogurt is made.
We ended the tour with samplings of their yogurt and frozen yogurt! 🍦It was delicious!
Too bad they don’t ship to NY! 😩 Then we ended the day at the Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch.
This was one of the most unique and special experiences we ever had together as a family and no better way to spend our 13th anniversary! ♥️♥️♥️
The tour started off with a lesson about Buffalo/Bison history and artifacts.
Then we loaded up in the wagon and set off on our journey.
Our tour guide was a sweet man and proudly showed off all his farm lands and answered all the questions we had about buffalos.
Then it was time. The buffalo saw the wagon and one by one they started to come.
Before you know it we were SURROUNDED by buffalo waiting for us to HANDFEED them!
We shoved full long corn on the cobs and apples in their huge frothy mouths! 🌽🍎🍏
IT. WAS. SO. COOL!!! Probably safe to say I will never get an opportunity to pet a buffalo on the head while feeding him an apple ever again in my life!
And just like that our buckets were empty and they lost interest in us and walked away. We could have done it for hours the kids were squealing with delight, and happiness, and fear, and laughing at how gross their slob was but it was AWESOME! 👏🏽🙌🏽👍🏽
When we got back we sampled some buffalo jerky and bought some buffalo steaks for dinner!
I HIGHLY recommend going to this farm if you are ever in Northeast Iowa! 🐗🌽🍎
The following day we explored the town of Waterloo, Iowa. We toured the John Deere Museum and saw tractors spanning the decades.
The boys have gotten super into tractors and trucks so it was cool to be able to climb over and see so many different ones up close that we never get to see in NY.
After the museum we popped over to the 1 Room School house which was sadly closed.
I’ve always wanted to see one in person. That’s ok because we spent the afternoon at Lost City Waterpark…
The next day we chose to go to the Living History Farm Museum in Urbandale, Iowa.
It was an amazing teaching experience not only for the kids but for us.
We definitely needed 2 days to complete the whole farm, because it was hot and there was a lot of learning opportunities but we did what we could.
The gist was it was set up like a village from the late 1800s.
You walk from building to building and the shop owner, is dressed in character and acts in character from that era.
They taught you about their profession and answered any questions you had. It was super cool and we spent at least 10 minutes in each building. We checked off our list, the print shop, the millinery, the church, the village attorney, the doctor, the pharmacist, the general store, and the bank.
Then we headed over to a farm building modeling the 1800s and early 1900s.
We were pooped by the time we got to the rest of the town so we didn’t get to go to the vet, the blacksmith, the mansion, the barn the broommaker, the cabinetmaker etc…
The next day we crossed the border into… Nebraska! We had a quick lunch in Omaha and then had our first views of the Missouri River!
Lincoln, NE was only an hour away so we headed over there to take our Capitol pics and see the University of Nebraska Campus.
Nebraska will be memorable for us because that’s where we tried our hand at tent camping for the first time! ⛺️🏕
Next day we ventured out in Lincoln and decided to see nature up close and in person at Pioneers Nature Park. Our very first time ever seeing a real prairie! 🌾🌾🌾
Who says a fully outfitted swing set and playground is always the way to go? The kids had a great time using their imagination at the “natural” playground! 🌲🌳🌾
Back in the car We were now headed to…Kansas! 🌪👠🌽
First stop was the Capitol in Topeka. By far our favorite Capitol so far it was beautiful!
We ended our night at my brothers girlfriends house right outside of Topeka! Our first chance at seeing real life Midwest living in action!
One of the most unique and Un New Yorkish things I’ve done was touring the gun room of the house we were at, I’ve never seen this many up close in person. It was a cool experience but one that I feel better leaving in Kansas, as I felt really uncomfortable holding them in person. 🔫✖️
The next day we started our day at the neighborhood diner, the kind where everyone knows your name. Then it was time to explore Kansas. The scenery that stood out most was rolling fields of corn🌽🌽🌽.
Then we headed out to an outlet center called The Legends and took a walk on the Uellow Brick Road!
As a New Yorker we take our abundance of shopping opportunities for granted. This was a huge outdoor shopping complex that people will drive hours to get to! 👚👕👖👔👗
Our main event of the day, which we unfortunately only had a half an hour at was the coolest museum ever. It was called the Museum Of Toys and Miniatures.
The first floor was just so utterly breathtaking. Thousands and thousands of delicate doll house miniatures, rooms, accessories, houses etc…brilliant!
The Second floor was a museum Of Toys spanning though the last 60 decades and was a fun walk through Memory Lane with my kids.
I got to show them some of the toys from my childhood that were memorable! Of course Kansas is not complete without some Wizard of Oz 🌪👠
After this long day we are a delicious dinner at Fogo de Chao at the Plaza in Kansas City and then walked around the shopping district after.
You would’ve thought you were in California it was so pretty!
Before the night was over we made a pit stop at the Capitol of Missouri in Jefferson City… Ozarks here we come!!!
The Ozarks, have recently been put on the map because if the new Netflix series Ozarks. We rented a house on Lake Osage and rented a pontoon boat for 2 days.
It’s all about boating at the Ozarks.
The lake shape reminds me of a slithering centipede with all little feet branching off called coves.
We explored around the lake making several pit stops at bars and restaurants along our journey for 2 days.
We tubed and swam in the warm water and admired the lake houses along the canal.
We ended Week 3 celebrating Dylans 9th birthday at an arcade in the Ozarks and a dinner at Steak and Shakes!
With the Ozarks wrapping up that means we are now on the downward hump of our 5 week journey, with still about 8 states left to Explore! 🔎🔎🔎🎉