OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — After a year-long delay, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is reopening for the 2021 season. The farmstead is scheduled to open on May 4 with new COVID-19 precautions in place.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have our guests return to the homestead,” Farmstead Education Supervisor Kathi Limbocker said.
For the 2021 season, tickets will not be sold at the gate. Guests will be required to purchase individual tickets online. After a ticket has been purchased, guests will be given a 15 minute window of time to arrive at the farmstead.
“They will get a timed ticket and have a specific time that they are going to arrive. That will help us control the size of the crowds here at the farmstead,” Limbocker said.
Limbocker said to provide better opportunities for social distancing, the farmstead won’t be available for large groups or parties.
“One thing that will be different, we are not going to be allowing any large groups. We are not going to be having any school groups. We are not going to be having birthday parties or pavilion rentals. It’s all going to be individually timed tickets,” Limbocker said.
Farmstead staff have added plexiglass in dining areas and will be asking guests to keep their distance from each other when visiting indoor exhibits.
“Any small rooms that we can’t socially distance [in] will not be open to the public. In the larger areas we have established one-way traffic in several areas,” Limbocker said. “We are just going to follow the mandates of the county and the state of Kansas.”
Limbocker said as a COVID precaution, the farmstead won’t be offering pony rides, but kids can still participate in other hands-on activities like mining, fishing and feeding animals.
“We have a wonderful pen of baby goats that people love to pet,” Limbocker said. “You’ll still be able to reach through the fence and pet them and you’ll be able to feed them a bottle through the fence, but because of the propensity to congregate, we’re not going to have people inside the pen with the animals.”
The farmstead will be open May 4 through October 31.
Limbocker said hours will be slightly reduced to allow staff extra time to clean the facility. The farmstead will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Limbocker said the portal to purchase tickets will be available closer to opening day. That portal will be available at www.opkansas.org.