Where can you find 40 different activities to do in one place, outdoors, and a variety of classes and fun gifts inside? Answer.... 9748 110th St. E, Northfield MN!! I met Colleen and Chad Almen at the Farmers Market in Dennison one windy end of summer day. They were buying some of my freeze dried candy, and telling me about their newest adventure on their farm, just a few miles away. I was intrigued, as they have some classes coming up that I would love to attend. They asked me if I would be interested in consigning some of my candy, and I said yes! We made a date to get together in a few days so I could see the Windy Willow Adventure, and deliver the goods.
As I drew near to the farm, I began to see structures spread all over the acreage. A giant Corn Hole game stood out, as well as rows of tires, and so many things, you will have to go see it for yourself! There is a large driveway into a parking lot that I found out will eventually be home to craft fairs and Farmer's markets.
The set up is well planned for expansion and new ideas.
This farm has been Colleen's home since she was born. Her family all live close to or on the adjoining properties, so it is a family business right from the beginning. Colleen and Chad have 2 daughters that help keep the business running smoothly, and of course their 3 year old official Junior Manager, Ruth! Ruth is the daughter of Colleen and Chad's oldest daughter, Kayla Ballstadt, and she is happy to answer your questions! Ashley Almen is also on staff to answer questions and help you find what you are looking for.
Outside you will find many activities to choose from. A few of the 40 different activities are the giant Corn Hole game, Hay rides, a corn maze, and friendly farm animals to visit. There are cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, ducks, pigeons, chickens, rabbits, pheasants and a pig. Colleen's mother used to be in charge of the Children's Barnyard at the Rice County Fair, and Colleen has carried on the tradition at the farm. It's a place where all ages can connect to nature, and have a fun day exploring all kinds of things. It is fun to show the youngsters where their food comes from. I like the sign out front as you come in. The motto is "Bridging the gap between urban and rural areas, through exciting educational fun!" That pretty much says it all!
Indoors you will find a large area with homemade goods, from cookies and bars, muffins and freeze dried candy, to kitchen essentials like towels, scrubbies and dishrags, to paintings, crafts and jewelry. There are pet supplies, hair accessories, coffee mugs, lotion and soaps. Local honey and maple syrup, cheese curds and meat sticks top it all off. And believe me, there is a lot to choose from as a souvenir of your day! There are even farm fresh eggs. On busier days, there is a food truck available, and on the slower days, a hot dog cart and fresh movie style popcorn.
Classes include a Barn Quilt Painting class on Nov 5th, a Paint and Sip on Nov 9th, a DIY wooden Christmas centerpiece on Nov.16th, Porch Pot class on Nov. 30th and Dec. 2nd, and a wreath Building class on Dec 2nd, too. January will be a Pour Your Own Epoxy Charcuterie board, and more to choose from. See The website for more classes and costs at www.windywillowfarmadventure.com, To contact them with questions about the events, etc, email them at windywillowfarmadvnture.com, or call 507-581-9248 to schedule your next event. They have indoor and outdoor spaces for birthday parties, family reunions, church socials, field trips and family fun days. As you can see, they have a little bit of many things for you to enjoy.
As I was walking around the property, taking it all in, I met Cathy Franklund and her family wandering around looking at everything Windy Willow has to offer. I asked her if she had been here before, and she replied, "I've been watching the progress for 2 years, wanting to come and see it all in person. As you come up the road, you get excited because you know it's going to be a lot of fun!" And I could tell the 3 generations were all having a great time on the property. Another lady I talked to said she brings her granddaughter to the farm often.
So, if you are looking for something to do to take advantage of our relatively short beautiful fall season, head over to Windy Willow Farm and see for yourself why once you visit, you will definitely want to go back, time and time again! And tell them Cheri sent you!