Monday, June 26, 2017

Bluebonnets and Bluegrass Alpaca Farm Tour

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 photo denise tour_zpsz4ilvrp2.jpgJourney down Highway 22 in Crestwood and you'll find the sweetest little alpaca farm.  We had heard of Bluebonnets and Bluegrass Alpaca Farm, but didn't realize how close it was to our home in Oldham County and how enjoyable our experience would be at the farm.

Tours are given by appointment only and are easy to set up by calling the farm.  Denise Coonley is very friendly and gave a few times to choose from that worked for our group.  She recommends keeping the tour group size between 8-10 people and all ages are welcome.  The cost is $10 per person with a $30 minimum.  The tour lasts about 1-1.5 hours.

Once we all arrived at the farm, Denise greeted us near our cars and told us a little bit about what the tour would entail.  She also went over a few rules and expectations for the tour and interacting with the alpacas.  These were simple things like where to pet the alpacas, the demeanor of the alpacas, not to run and to enjoy ourselves.

 photo feeding alpaca_zpsn7eyxr0o.jpgIt was really neat how once we were inside the alpacas' field, they walked right up to us.  Denise explained that this is not typical behavior for alpacas, but because most of her alpacas were born on her farm, they're used to being around visitors.  Some of the alpacas were more approachable than others, while others liked to just stand back and watch.  One particular alpaca, Stella, was super friendly and content having her neck rubbed so much that she plopped down on her belly to enjoy herself even more.  The alpaca fur was soft and we got a few kisses on the nose.

We spent quite a long time loving on the alpacas in the "girl field" and made our way to the "boy field" and got to hand feed two boy alpacas.  The kids loved seeing the different hairstyles and colors on the alpacas.  They really are cute animals!  We also got to hand feed some of the chickens roaming around on the farm.  We all got a kick out of feeding them marshmallows!  Don't forget to give the cats a nice rub on the head-they love to be part of the tour too.

 photo chicken feeding_zps9dgm0lc7.jpgAfter our fun outside, we got to visit Denise's fiber studio in her basement.  She brought out different fibers for the kids to touch and to see the different textures between each one.  She also showed us some of her beautiful scarves and shawls that she creates and the machines and tools she uses to make them.  Each visitor got to make something using wool fiber.  During our tour, the kids got to make a cat toy by wrapping small pieces of colored wool around a plastic ball.  The ball was then placed in water, given a drop of dish soap, then placed inside a stocking for a few turns in the kids' palms.  The kids learned how the dish soap acted as a binding agent for the different strands of wool that they put around the ball.  The final product was a colorful cat toy!  Denise does different crafts on her tours, so make sure you ask about them when you book your tour.

I think what is so special about the alpaca part of the farm tour is that Denise obviously loves her alpacas and loves to share them with visitors.  The tour is extremely laid back and interactive.  Denise is patient with the children and answers the many questions that are asked.  We never felt rushed to move from one area to the next.  We loved hearing the stories about each alpaca and what makes them unique.  Denise also incorporates educational facts about the alpacas and what it takes to maintain the farm.

The fiber studio was incredible.  I love that the kids could have a hands-on experience inside and outside.  They were able to see how alpaca fur can be used for different things in our world and the work that goes into making the creations.  Again, Denise was super welcoming and patient inside her home.  Everything was age appropriate and interesting to the children.

Our experience at Bluebonnets and Bluegrass Alpaca Farm was memorable, enjoyable, educational and relaxing.  We cannot say enough good things about Denise and the gentle alpacas we got to meet.  Keep an eye on their Facebook page about possible birthday parties held on the farm.  Book a tour at this great gem in Oldham County!

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Hear from some of the visitors that were part of our tour:
I loved petting, hugging and feeding the alpacas.  They were so loving. - Kelli, age 6
I loved when the alpacas were smelling me. - J.R., age 5
I loved being close to the animals. - Elin, age 5
It was awesome! My favorite part was hugging Stella and feeding the chickens marshmallows! -Sarah, age 7
What an awesome place to visit! Denise was very friendly, knowledgeable and willing to answer all of our questions. The tour was very age appropriate for our kids and she even had them participate in a craft that we could take home! - Molli
We had a great experience.  Denise is so nice and her tour was very kid-friendly.  It was definitely worth the cost. I would recommend this to a friend! - Rachael


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