If you have a child who loves animals, Butterfield Acres is an AWESOME choice for a party. Butterfield is an “open farm” just outside Calgary, with unrestricted access for visitors. Translation: YOU GET TO PET THE ANIMALS.
Parties at the farm start at $189.99. This includes:
Admission for 8 kids and 3 adults
Food for the animals
Wagon ride (afterwards, the birthday kid gets to sit in the driver’s seat of the tractor!)
1 hour in the Birthday Barn or Tipi
1 large pizza
A t-shirt for the birthday girl or boy
For an additional cost, you can book other packages that include upgrades such as: private wagon rides for your group only; a private pony just for your group (you can also buy tickets for public pony rides); more kids / admissions; and more pizza.
Parties at the farm are available from April to September. You can see the details on the Butterfield Acres website. If you’re booking in October, check out their Pumpkin Hunt parties.
Also, for the ENTIRE year, you can rent a petting zoo AND / OR A PONY for your HOUSE. Only do this if you want the kids in your neighbourhood to think you are the best parent ever.
For presents and food, you can book either the Birthday Barn or the Tipi. The Barn is nice and cool in the summer.
It’s also totally cute inside, with both kid-sized and adult-sized picnic tables.
The Tipi is so cool. Look at it. LOOK.
Here’s the inside. There’s a fire pit for chilly fall days.
When you book the Tipi, you also get access to a big, fenced area with some picnic tables, lots of trees, and cool swings.
It’s a very big area, as shown in the diagram below.
Our Favourite Parts
There is SO MUCH to do here, you guys. Just like with ice cream, it’s hard to pick favourites. But I’m going to do it anyway.
1) Proximity to the animals
My kids are used to the zoo, where they are constantly being told to stay behind the fence, don’t tap on the glass, etc. They loved the freedom of Butterfield Acres. You have to be gentle with the animals, of course, but they were SO excited to go inside the enclosures.
There are also some free-range goats.
There are lots of different animals here – bunnies, chickens, donkeys, ponies, emus, pigs, and more. But the goats, especially, like to get up close and personal.
My son LOVED the bunnies. I mean, he could have spent all day in the bunny enclosure. He was completely fascinated.
I was fascinated by a sign on the rabbit hutch that says bunnies can get pregnant WHILE PREGNANT. What!?
3) Pony Rides
The line was short, and it moved very quickly. Both of my kids had a blast on their pony rides. And it makes a great photo op, too!
Sadly, I was too big for the pony (riders must be 60 lbs and under). I wanted a ride, too.
4) Pedal Cars
My daughter’s favourite part, aside from the pony ride, was these cool pedal cars. She raced them around the track for at least half an hour.
5) The Variety
The farm is much bigger than I thought it would be. This means there’s something here to please everyone. Even if someone at your party doesn’t like animals, there are several animal-free play areas including a small playground, the pedal cars, and the wagon ride.
Younger kids will enjoy nursery rhyme park, and older kids will love feeding the (slightly pushy) goats. There is so much to do here – my kids could easily have spent two full days with their farm friends.
Full disclosure: I was compensated for this post, but I would never lie to you. This place is legitimately awesome, and we had a great time.