One of the great things about St. Louis is the number of free attractions. There are so many great free things to do in the city. Heck, even the zoo is free and it’s a pretty great zoo. One such free place to visit is Grant’s Farm. We met a bunch of family there while we were in town, because we new it would be inexpensive, not to crowded, and not too much walking for my Grandma. We paid the park a visit five years ago, right before we left for Okinawa, but the kids didn’t remember.
Grant’s Farm, named for General and President Ulysses S. Grant, was his property. A portion of the farm was given to him and his wife by his in-laws, with more acreage added over the years. The Busch family, as in Anheuser-Busch, bought a portion of the farm in 1907 as a retreat from the city. In 1954 it was opened to the public as a zoo and wildlife preserve, which it still is today. One of the best things about the property is the Clydesdales. They train a number of the horses on the property and the stables are open for visitors to see the horses. They also offer behind the scene tours of the horses and training, but it costs.
After parking, you can visit the horses, but then must catch the tram to get to the rest of the farm. The tram ride takes you through the wildlife preserve of the park. We saw longhorns, water buffalo, bison, and a few types of deer. The farm is home to over 400 animals, with 100 different species. One of the original cabins has been redone and is visible on the tram ride.
Once you get to the end of the tram ride, there are more animals, but they are in more of a zoo like setting. The best part is the goats though. I love these goats. I really want to buy some land so I can get my own cute little goat. You can buy food to feed the adults and bottles to feed the little ones. You get to bottle feed goats! They were pretty full by the time we got to them though. So full, most were napping. The kids had a hard time finding one to feed. There is also a carousel, camel rides, and pony rides.
Being an Anheuser-Busch property, they do serve beer. Free beer! The food is all in the Bauernhof (a German farmstead that combines living spaces for family, sheltering of animals and other farm operations). This was originally built by August Busch as a fancy farming building for the rich. On the far side is stables, which still hold horses, with 2 sides now holding snack bars. The mansion, or The Big House, as it was called, built in 1911, is still on the property, but it isn’t visible and isn’t open to the public. I wish it was though. It looks and sounds gorgeous.