Like many dichotomies that define the eclectic side of Bellevue, Kelsey Creek Farm fits as naturally as towering skyscrapers in this cosmopolitan enclave of Eastside ingenuity. And rightfully so. The farm staked its claim in downtown Bellevue in the 1930s, long before terms like “urban core” and “The Bellevue Collection” even existed. Kelsey Creek is where both kids and adults get down-home and fancy-free.
If you’ve forgotten the song about Old McDonald having a farm, then it’s time to refresh you EIEIO memory. Head over to Kelsey Creek Farm to meet more animals than you can imagine, from horses to sheep, rabbits, goats, pigs, chickens and a whole lot more. This isn’t just a show-farm or zoo; it’s a place where you’ll witness whatever happens on a normal farm, including sheep shearing, piglet-birthing, and goat milking. Stroll through the farm from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to see the animals in their pastures. You can also take your little ones inside to meet their little ones.
Nature and Nurture
Kelsey Creek is one place where there’s no debate over “nature versus nature.” They work hand-in-hand as the animals live in pristine nature-filled environments with wetlands, creeks, forests and pastures. The farm’s hiking and jogging trails are open to the public, and the eastern ridge harbors spectacular forested groves of vine maples, alders and black cottonwoods. Maintained by the city, the paths offer easy trekking regardless of the season.
Classes and Camps
The farm stays open year-round with Little Farmers and Farm Explorers classes as well as pony and horsemanship day classes. Kids get a feel for real farm life by feeding the animals, doing barn chores, gardening and cooking with things grown on the farm. Seasonal themes show how farms operate throughout the year, and there are story times and arts-and-crafts projects in the colder months.
We all need a reminder from time to time of what life was like before modern conveniences. Well, this is where to get it: at Pioneer Days in November, you’ll visit the farm’s two historic sheep barns and find out just how pioneers in Bellevue lived in the 1800s. In the 1888 cabin, get ready to churn butter, grind wheat, pump water, hammer nails, and wash clothes by hand using rainwater and giant pots. There are also old-fashioned games and craft projects. Call Kelsey Creek Farm for exact dates and schedules.
Mark Your Calendar
When spring comes back around again, Kelsey Creek comes alive with sheep shearing, tractor-pulled hayrides, pumpkinseed planting and pony rides. Kids can also meet the new little piglets, chickadees, bunnies and lambs, and try their hands at wool carding. Mark your calendar for late April.
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