Editor’s Note: This is a personal experience from 2014, originally published on Little Lake County. We have added 2021 information and dates. Your experience may vary. Always check the business website before heading out.
I cannot resist baby animals. I will always click on links to YouTube videos of baby animals. ALWAYS. So when I read about the “Kid Watch” program at Angelic Organics Learning Center, where you and your family get to spend the day with newborn baby goats, I signed us up immediately.
Kid Watch – Angelic Organics Learning Center
Kid Watch is for families with children ages three and up and promised an opportunity to play with baby goats, feed the animals, and learn about goat pregnancy and birth. The description mentioned timing might be right to witness a live birth. I smiled at the notion, thinking how awesome it would be, but I never thought it would happen. Mother Nature doesn’t do scheduling. But, lo and behold, our group witnessed not one but two live births! I was close to tears that my children had this unique opportunity.
The first mama, Heleneisse, bravely delivered triplets right before our eyes, including one breach baby. And when I say right before our eyes, I mean RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES. My 3-year old daughter and I could have caught the third baby in our arms had we not been on the other side of a fence. Afterward, children were invited to help trim the umbilical cords. You simply cannot get more hands-on than that!
After our incredible luck watching three kids born, we all basked in the afterglow and visited the other animals on the farm, including the chickens and the farm horse, Babe. We collected eggs and held the chickens. We fed hay to Babe and the resident “daddy” goats and learned a PG-version of the birds and the bees to put into context all we had seen at the births.
Soon enough, our facilitator received another notification that another goat was in labor and about to deliver! We rushed back to the barn and watched in hushed awe as the fourth baby of the day was born to a mama goat named Solstice.
Participants in the Kid Watch program get naming rights to all kids born during their visit by popular vote. As a result, we welcomed Olaf, Kristoff, and Vanilla into the herd, although my son campaigned hard for “Adorable.”
While the births were undoubtedly the highlight of our trip, all the other aspects of the experience were well worth the admission price. Everyone enjoyed playing with the gentle-natured adult goats and other kids born just a couple of weeks beforehand. I especially appreciated how our farm educator Liz, took the time to make sure children of all ages got the chance to participate. My kids were too young to pick up the baby goats independently, so she took them to a quiet corner of the yard and carefully placed the baby goats in their arms.
Our Educator Liz made sure every experience was a teachable moment and put each animal interaction into context. She made sure the children were listened to, and she answered all their questions and all their comments validated. She made it a point for the children to understand that the animals were not toys but living things deserving respect. On a farm, every animal has its job to do, and if we take care of them, they will take care of us. I love this aspect of the Learning Center, which truly sets it apart from other agritourism locations. While the animals are fun to see and play with, they are not treated as an attraction that exists purely for our amusement. I felt my children understood that we were visiting the animals’ homes, and just as we expect our guests to respect our home, we need to afford the same respect to the animals. It’s such a beautiful lesson, and I am grateful to the Angelic Organics Learning Center for teaching it.
The Kid Watch program for 2021 will be on April 10 & 24 from 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.. The cost of the program is $20 per person over the age of 3.
COVID Precautions: Mask wearing is mandatory any time attendees are indoors or any time outdoors where you cannot maintain 6’ social distancing. Touchless temperature checks will be implemented upon arrival. Any participant with a fever of 100.4 or higher will be unable to participate.
Angelic Organics Learning Center offers many other programs through the fall for adults and children alike. For a wonderful excursion for the whole family, I recommend everyone start with an Animal Day for Families, a program my family attended last summer and loved!
For a full program listing, visit the Angelic Organics Learning Center Event Page.
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home.