for diana, a major draw is the animals, particularly the boneless (aka super-drowsy) kittens and the soft-as-down bunnies. typically, one is required to be ten years old in order to enter the animal area without an adult (that's the age at which you may volunteer, apparently). we asked if it would be possible to make an exception for diana, at age nine, because ander did not want to go inside or be in close quarters with the unpredictably talkative, loud sheep and energetic rooster. we explained that diana had come in before, has responsibility for pets at home, and would be extremely careful. she was granted access and handled it well. her confidence and maturity in working with the small animals drew younger children to her, asking for her help, rather than an adult's, in lifting out a kitten. diana was grateful for the privilege and uses it to her advantage on subsequent visits.
ander adores the hay bale structures of all kinds, which offer him an exciting alternative to traditional playgrounds. there is a kind of fort with multiple levels and entrance/exits, allowing for impromptu games of hide-and-seek. another good location for similar play is in the hay bale maze. just the right size for kids, the mini-labrynth provides all sorts of nooks and crannies to explore. being out in the open, with fresh air and soft-but-sturdy materials to climb on and jump from, ander seems in his element.
i like how it's a gathering place for our friends. you never know who might turn up, making the experience all the more enjoyable.
the people know us there, smiling and waving when we arrive. it's comfortable, familiar, welcoming. it feels like home. maybe that's why i'm happyer there.