One of our favorite things this year in the homeschooling world is our group, Field Trip Friday. We have done a few cool things already with our group, but so far our favorite was visiting Carlson's Llovable Llama Farm. Located in Waconia, MN, it is just West of the Twin Cities and was well worth the drive! As you can see in the above picture, Benjamin thoroughly enjoyed himself.
We started off with an info session with proud owner and operator Rick Carlson. I have never heard someone so passionate about what they do and the love he has for each and every Llama he owns. I cannot remember the exact amount of years Rick and Joan have been doing this, but it has been for quite some time. The Llama's and Alpaca's on their farm are very well taken care of and extremely friendly.
One interesting fact we learned was that they make good guard animals. Who knew that Llama's would go after a bear if necessary to protect what they are put in charge of. That is pretty bold!
After the info session we were able to pet the babies they have on premises and then each child was able to choose a Llama or Alpaca to take for a trail walk. Benjamin found Bluze, a friendly little guy who was just perfect for him. I think I heard about Bluze for at least a week after our visit and he still mentions him. We will definitely have to go back and visit.
We then went on trail walk with our group. Bluze loved stopping for nibbles of leaves, grass, or his favorite, dandelions, along the way. As you can see, Bluze was very friendly and easy to handle and walked very well with Benjamin. It made me happy to see them bond.
After the trail walk, the kids were able to feed their Llama or Alpaca treats and brush them down. The wool does get tangled so we tried our best to get Bluze's wool soft and fluffly.
The next fun thing we were able to do was take Bluze through the obstacle course. I think Benjamin went through it with Bluze at least 4 times. I couldn't tell who was having more fun. It was a joy to watch though, I know that.
I took some time to talk to Rick while Benjamin had Bluze in the obstacle course and was pleased to hear about their birthday parties and that bookings can be made year round. He informed me that they had set up a birthday in the winter for someone and did everything we had done that day and then had a bonfire with s'mores towards the end. I also found out they also have a small gift shop where they sell wool from the animals (extremely soft and warm by the way!) and small items to remember this amazing place by.
A few other things they offer aside from birthday parties are Llama camps in the summer, an Adopt-A-Llama program and a compost fundraiser, where all funds go towards supporting 4H. Carlson's Llovable Llama Farmwas voted #1 Best Place for a Children's Party and #1 Best Summer Camp in the Waconia Patriots "Best of" section.