Located about half an hour west of St. Louis off of Interstate 44 is Purina Farms. Purina is headquartered in St. Louis and they’ve created quite a complex outside of the city. This was the last stop on our sister trip before heading back to Iowa City.
I will advise you to use some type of GPS to get yourself out to Purina Farms, as once you turn off you have to take some back roads to get there. I tried to go by memory and we wound up about 5 miles in the wrong direction when we missed a turn before realizing it and getting turned around.
When you arrive on the complex, you will pass by what seems to be a security booth, but there’s really no reason to stop there. You continue up the drive to the friendly visitor center. The visitor center houses a small gift shop, information desk, small concession stand, bathrooms, and of course a museum. Since my last visit about two years ago, they have made the museum much more hands on, which was fantastic. I’m all about hands on exhibits, plus this gave a nice, new, fresh look to exhibits that had looked quite dated the last time I visited.
Beyond the museum is a small theater area where you can choose to view a short film about the Purina company. We chose to skip that and continue to the barn. The barn is mainly geared for younger kids, especially the top level where you can jump around on hay bales. When you first walk in, there is a spot where you can view a cow milking demonstration during various times during the day. The barn has a few cows, horses, and donkeys. They also tend to have piglets, chickens, and bunnies. Sometimes these three animals are placed in a small enclosure where it is much easy to get on their level and pet them.
Once you exit the barn you can head to what I call the “Pet House.” Around the outer walls are various dog kennels for the dogs that help out with the agility show. Their kennels allow them to have space both inside and outside. In the very center of the house is a giant cat house. There are no other good ways to describe it. You can climb the stairs to reach the second level, all the while being able to peek in and see what the cats are up to.
Finally you exit out to the Agility Show stands. This really is the main reason I still visit Purina Farms. It’s usually a short 20 minute show, but you get to see the workers show off their dogs and the tricks they can do. You get to see a nice variety of agility, Frisbee, and off course….the famous Dock Dog jumps. No it’s not the actual Dock Dog location, but it’s basically the same concept in their giant dog pool.
All in all, I think we spent roughly and hour at Purina Farms. Sometimes if you are lucky they will have an event going on in their event center further up the hill that is also open to the public. Once time when we visited they had a Fly Ball competition going on and it was pretty fun to check out. If you are a pet lover, visiting Purina Farms is a must!
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