I've said this before, but Devin Jr. absolutely loves animals right now. He sees a dog, points and just laughs. He loves going to the pet store and has a huge smile on his face when we look at the dogs, cats and even fish. His eyes are wide open.
With Devin Jr. having such an interest in animals, we thought we'd try something new and took him to Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Ind. It's about an hour south of Chicago, but trust me, it's well worth the trip.
Driving with a 2-year-old in the backseat can sometimes be a challenge, I know, but don't let the drive keep you from making the trip.
The farm is right off Interstate 65, and there are a lot of places to stop and eat on your way.
We went through a drive-thru on the way. Inside the kids' meal was, of course, a toy cow. How weird, but it made Devin's day, and he played with it the entire trip. I can't imagine what it would be like for him to get a bobblehead of his dad one day!
When we got there, I was absolutely blown away with this farm. I had no idea that this huge milk-producing farm was so close to the city. For a city kid like me, it was a real eye-opener. It's hard to miss when you're driving down the interstate-there are massive barns all over and the huge sign with the cow at the entrance reads: "A Dairy Good Time for the Family." Clever.
First off, Fair Oaks Farms is a real dairy farm, and a huge one at that. They've made it a fun, interactive place for kids and adults to play and learn about the industry, but most importantly, it's a farm first. You can't imagine how big this place is. They produce about 2.5 million pounds of milk per day. Per day! They told us that that's enough milk to provide for the cities of Chicago and Indianapolis combined. And it's cool that they took us around and let us see some of the milking procedures. Devin Jr. got a little bored during that part of the visit, but my wife and I were absolutely stunned at the entire procedure.
They have an Adventure Center at the farm, and Devin Jr. was all about that. It's educational, but also very interactive for someone like my little guy. They make it fun with slides and playground equipment in Mooville. I'm not sure who had more fun at the farm this year, me or Devin Jr. Devin had fun there, but I know when he gets a little older that he'll really appreciate it more. Fair Oaks Farms is something everyone should see.
I have a feeling we'll be back as he gets older. If nothing else, I want to go again.
Devin Hester is a receiver for the Chicago Bears and father of Devin, 1.
See more of Devin's stories here.