A Day At Davis Family Farm
On a recent pristine autumn day I visited Davis Family Farm in Sterling, Massachusetts, with my two-year-old son. My wife was in California on a much needed and long planned vacation, visiting friends and attending a wedding. I was back home, playing single parent and trying to fill up the calendar so that my son wouldn’t keep asking where his mommy was. Davis Farm seemed like an appropriate distraction.
If you know anything about the farm, you’re probably familiar with its popular corn maze. In New England, a region that come fall prides itself on giant pumpkin contests, over-the-top autumn festivals, and anything harvest related, Davis’s corn maze stands out. It’s official name is Davis Mega Maze, and mega it is. Eight acres in size, three miles of pathways, and an assortment of wild activities that include an all-new zipline adventure. It also lays claim to having more bridges than any other field maze in the world and also features a double-decker bridge. All together, it’s pretty awesome.
But if all you know about Davis Farm is the maze, then you’re missing out. The history of the farm goes back to 1846 and covers seven generations. For much of its history, Davis was like a lot of New England farms. Which meant it did a lot of different things. Dairy, vegetables, and timber, mainly. Then, in 1990 a devastating fire wiped out much of the dairy operation. But out of the tragedy, a new chapter for Davis Farm was born. A small petting zoo was added, and soon it became home to a host of endangered animals. Then, in 1995 the first incarnation of the corn maze was added. Now, some 20 years later, Davis Family Farm is one of New England’s premiere farm-themed destinations.
My son being a huge animal fan, we kept our Davis visit focused on the petting zoo. It proved to be quite day for him. He was able to pet his first cow, take a gander at his first emu (“Whoa, look at those big birds!”), and hop on a big trailer for a meandering hay ride that took us around the property. We grabbed a quick lunch, then it was off to the playground, where he pushed around a few play lawnmowers before asking to be picked up and nearly collapsing in my arms in total exhaustion. And he didn’t ask for his mommy once. I call that a total success.