I was recently alerted to the existence of Hobson's Fun Farm in Rockville, Ind., so my wife and I piled our 8-year-old and 7-year-old daughters into the car and headed west to Parke County to check it out. Here's what we discovered there.
Hobson's Fun Farm is a family-owned business about 45 minutes west of Danville -- a scenic drive out U.S. Highway 36 to the farm's location at 2301 W. Strawberry Road in Rockville.
Hobson's has swings, slides, a corn box (basically a sandbox filled with corn), games and more for young kids.
I was initially skeptical that the activities were too young for my daughters, but they immediately caught sight of the cow train powered by a four-wheeler.
The cow train took them for a mellow oval-shaped ride around the pasture, circling the pumpkin bowling game, the pumpkin checkers game and some cornhole boards. It also took them past the entrance to the corn maze.
After the cow train ride, the girls wanted to bounce on the Dairy Air -- a huge inflatable pillow that allows kids and adults bounce to their hearts' content.
It was cold and drizzling on and off while we were there, so I appreciated the multiple campfires that Hobson's Fun Farm had set up nearby. I could keep an eye on my kids on the "Dairy Air" while taking a load off, relaxing on the benches and enjoying the warmth of a fire.
After our girls had jumped themselves silly on the "Dairy Air," we ventured into the corn maze. We received punch cards when we arrived at the farm, and we were told that if we reached all 10 stations that are hidden within the maze, we could return our completed punch cards for a prize. So off into the corn we went.
Each station is a stake in the ground with a number on it ranging from 1 to 10, depending on which station you find. There's a hole punch hanging at each station, and you punch the box on your card that corresponds with the station you found inside the maze. (Don't bother trying to cheat and punch all the boxes at one station because the punched holes are different shapes at each station!)
We had a fun time navigating the corn maze as a family and yes, we found all 10 stations and redeemed all four of our punch cards for four bags of popcorn.
Next up, the girls fired tennis balls out of a compressed-air-powered cannon at a target, my oldest went down the 60-foot hill slide (my youngest chickened out after seeing how fast her big sister flew down that slide), we watched a member of the Hobson family fire a pumpkin cannon at a junked minivan, sending a pumpkin exploding through the windshield (my daughters' reactions: "AWWWWWWESOME!!!"), and then we checked out the bunnies, cows, goats and donkey.
You can purchase animal food at the front desk or through a converted gumball machine and then feed and pet the animals. In fact, they come running to you when they see humans approaching (highly conditioned animals!).
The kids finished up their day with a hayride while I perused the seemingly endless supply of pumpkins that are for sale there.
Inside the main building, the Hobsons sell homemade fudge, buckeyes, s'mores on a stick, cookies and caramel apples, along with ice cream, soft drinks and a few other concessions items.
The buckeyes are outstanding, but the pièce de résistance was the apple pie fudge. Ho...ly...smokes, that apple pie fudge is amazing! You definitely have to try some when you go out there. It melts in your mouth, it tastes just like apple pie, and the texture is...... you just have to try it!
Admission is $10 per person, ages 3 and up, with seniors aged 65 or older getting in for $6 per person. Children who are 2 or younger are admitted free of charge. Hobson's Fun Farm accepts Mastercard and Visa.
There are a couple of ways to save some money on admission, though. The first is to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to a local food pantry. That will save you $1 per person.
At first blush, I thought $10 per person was a little high for what's there, but we discovered as we left that we had spent three hours there! That's just a little over $3 per person per hour, and if you use the coupon, that brings it down to about $2.67 per person per hour for entertainment. That's hard to beat.
Also, once you pay for admission, everything inside the facility is free, including the hayride, the corn maze, the cow train and everything else.
I thought the prices on sweets were quite reasonable, especially given the quality of the treat. That mouth-watering, make-you-drop-to-your-knees apple pie fudge was just $3 per piece. Buckeyes were 50 cents a piece, as were cookies. Caramel apples were $3 a piece.
Some things I learned at Hobson's Fun Farm:
It's a farm. Wear shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting dirty or muddy.
Wear layers. We were cold when we got there and warm when we left. Gotta love Indiana weather in the fall.
There are porta-potties for guests to use there. My wife and daughters reported that they weren't bad to use -- "as good as porta-potties get."
Ages 2 to about 10 or so are probably ideal for kids at Hobson's Fun Farm. Much older than that, and I'm not sure there's enough there to hold a kid's interest -- at least for $10 per person. There's a bunch of stuff for toddlers to do there, though, so it's pretty unique in that regard.
Bring a few quarters. There is a converted gumball machine that dispenses animal food for 25 cents, in case your kids want to feed the livestock.
My daughters (8 and 7 years old) had a great time and want to go back.
Thirty-Six Saloon in Rockville is a great place to stop for a meal while you're in town. We love it there, and it's kid-friendly.
Disclaimer: Through my involvement with US Family Guide, my family and I were able to visit Hobson's Fun Farm free of charge in exchange for spreading the word about the farm and its $2-off coupon through social media and a review of the facility. That did not, however, impact my opinion of Hobson's Fun Farm or in any fashion affect this blog post.