Lucky Ladd Farms, located south of Nashville in Eagleville, TN, provides three seasons of educational agricultural fun. The 60 acre farmstead opened to the public in 2008 and continues to add activities and experiences every year.
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Now in their tenth season, I asked Amy Ladd what her favorite part of owning and sharing Lucky Ladd Farms with the community. She said, “Opening the farm has been life-changing. We did it to with the purpose of reconnecting families to agriculture, but it’s really done so much more. By and far, getting to provide a place where families can come to have fun, learn and create unforgettable memories together is the best part of what we do. Seeing the smiles on their faces is great, but secretly we love it even more when the kids leave kicking and screaming because that’s when we know without a doubt that we did something right.”
Our first visit to Luck Ladd Farms was in the summer of 2014. At the time the farm had plenty of activities to keep our kids busy for more than half a day. Four years later and I think the farm has doubled in size offering outdoor playscapes, animals to visit, an educational hayride and more! You will need to visit several times to have time to really see and experience everything. Thank goodness you can buy a season pass and unless noted, all activities are included in admission.
There are lots of plans in the works for additional fun in 2018. The Ladds are currently installing a rope maze game which should open in time for spring. More additions will be revealed in the fall.
Lucky Ladd's Barnyard is HUGE and has hundreds of animals to watch, pet and feed. Food is available for $1 a bag from the Farm Market next to the farm's main entrance or in machines throughout the barnyard for a quarter per handful. Llamas and goats will happily eat right out of your hand.
Pony rides are available for smaller children. The ponies are able to take kids under four feet tall and weighing less than 75 pounds for a ride in a circle. (There is an additional $5 charge).
AG-Venture Fun Park
When I think about farms, animals and crops come to mind. However, Lucky Ladd Farms has a gigantic playground with climbing gyms, swings, and slides for all ages. This is my kids favorite part of the farm and they can happily spend an hour or more running around and playing with new found friends. There is even an area just for preschool aged children called toddler town that has smaller slides and swings.
Instead of a sandbox, Lucky Ladd has a giant corn box filled with shovels, buckets and toy trucks.
My kids love the jump pad! It is like an open bounce house on steroids with room for lots of kids to safely jump together.
When your kids get tired of sliding, jumping and swinging, check out the games that are scattered throughout the middle of the farm. We had a great time attempting to lasso a cow head and played several rounds of “Who's Your Chick?”
The tractor train is just right for younger children. The cars are made of 55 gallon drums and are pulled by a tractor around a circular track. You can ride with your child, but I saw lots of Moms that allowed their kids to ride while they watched.
Learn about Agriculture
One of my favorite attractions is the Wagon Ride. Climb aboard a large wagon with built in seats and go on a ride through the woods narrated by the Ladd family. We learned about native animals that live on the farm as well as the area as a whole.
Cedar Glade Wilderness Trail
This short walking path wanders through the woods. If you are quiet you may see wildlife along with butterflies and native plants.
Buzz on Bees and Barnyard-U
Beyond the giant playground is an area with educational exhibits where you can learn about bees, animal habitats and barnyard facts. Sometimes this section is reserved for group field trips, but if you get a chance it is worth walking through and exploring the exhibits.
Spring is the best time to visit see the baby animals. They are so cute when they are brand new and it's fun to watch them frolic and jump through the fields.
There are also several special events during the spring. The season opener is Lucky Ladd Farms' Easter Festival. This year it will be held on March 30 and 31st from 11 AM to 4 PM. Families love the “Chaos Free” Egg Hunts because the field is open all day and every child is guaranteed the same great prize.
Community Appreciation Day is also held in the spring. Families can visit for free with donation of a non-perishable food item per person. It’s the farm's special way of thanking the community for their love and support and the Ladds collect a ton of food for their local food pantry. This year (2018), Community Appreciation Day is April 28. Bring in a non perishable food item to donate to Greenhouse Ministries food bank and/or give a $3 donation to the food bank in exchange for complementary admission.
These attractions are only open during the summer; typically between Memorial Day and Labor Day but the actual dates depend on the weather.
Splash Zone and Bubble Blast
Tennessee summers get hot, and while there is shade in some areas of the farm, in the summer your kids can cool off in the splash pad. The bubble blast adds to the water fun with a mountain of bubbles to play and splash in. The water isn't running in the picture below, but it gives you and idea of the size of the splash zone.
U-Pick Vegetable Garden
Pick your own vegetables to take home for a fresh and healthy summer meal. My kids are not big veggie fans, but I've found if they can pick their own vegetables from the field they are more likely to at least try something new. Tomatoes, squash, green beans, cucumbers, okra, peppers and more are ripe for the picking. It’s a great way to teach kids where their food comes from and enjoy authentic farm fresh experience together. Prices vary depending on what you pick.
This summer Lucky Ladd will feature special “Pick with the Farmer” days during the week for those that might be a little unsure of how to harvest the vegetables on their own. Specific dates will be posted on our website around mid-March. A fun fact…did you know Lucky Ladd Farms are home to the largest straw bale garden in the world? They are planning some classes for straw bale gardening during the 2018 season if you want to try out the technique at home.
The fall is my favorite season in Nashville. The weather cools down, the leaves change, pumpkins are available and the corn maze opens. In 2017 Lucky Ladd Farms celebrated the Nashville Predators amazing season with a Preds themed maze. I'm sure 2018 will be just as creative! Pumpkins in a variety of sizes are available to purchase. The pumpkins are sourced from other local farms. Not all farmers are comfortable with the public visiting their farms, so partnering with Lucky Ladd to grow pumpkins is a great way for them to diversify their operations and help support their families.
My son's favorite activity is the Hillbilly Range games. What boy wouldn't enjoy firing corn through an air powered cannon or using a giant slingshot to launch pumpkins at a target? You can also try out archery and shoot arrows at bullseye targets. (There is an additional charge of $5 for each of these activities.)
Food and Snacks
Lucky Ladd Farms has five different food venues scattered throughout the grounds that offer snacks and lunch. Options include pizza, hot dogs, BBQ, chicken tenders, loaded baked potatoes, salads and more. Satisfy your sweet tooth with ice cream, kettle corn and fried pies.
You can bring lunch and eat at one of the picnic tables outside the farm gates, but outside food is not permitted once you enter the farm. One unopened bottled drink per person in your party is allowed.
Restrooms and Changing Stations
Porta Potties and baby changing stations are available throughout the farm. While I know we all prefer full bathrooms, Lucky Ladd is a farm and doesn't have the plumbing available to have full restrooms on the property. My kids and I thought the porta potties were clean and well maintained.
Lucky Ladd Farms Tips and Tricks
- Bring some quarters to purchase food for the animals.
- Use sunscreen and bring a hat. There is shade in some areas of the farm, but there are some attractions that are in the sun. Consider bringing a small umbrella to create your own shade.
- The paths at the farm are not paved. A jogging stroller or wagon with larger tires is easier to maneuver. You can also rent a wagon from the front gate when you arrive at the farm.
- Wear closed toed shoes to keep feet safe on all the different attractions.
- The crowds are lightest in the spring and summer.
- The farm often has a handful of local season pass families that visit after lunchtime during the week. They find it worth missing the occasional nap and dealing with the heat because they can practically have the whole park to themselves.
- Remember to bring a towel and change of clothes to enjoy the splash pad.
- For the best bang for your buck, consider a season pass. It pays for itself with 2-3 visits and kids get FREE pony rides!
- Put away the cell-phones and play with your kids. A visit to the farm is about spending quality time with your family. 90% of the playground activities are built and tested for adults to enjoy as much as the little ones; so race them down the mega-slides, ride the barrel train, feed the goats and play games together. Do all that and more. It’ll be a day they never forget, guaranteed!
Family Fun Facts
Lucky Ladd Farms (Website)
Location: 4374 Rocky Glade Road, Eagleville, TN 37060 (Map)
Hours vary – click this link to see the calendar
Enter to win 4 passes good for the 2018 season!
(If you enter using your Facebook account, be sure to check the email address associated with it after noon on July 25th to see if you won!)