Center Grove Orchard: Discovery Barn

Center Grove Orchard: Discovery Barn

Center Grove Orchard is an annual tradition in our house. Every year we love to spend hours and hours playing, feeding animals, eating all the apple items, picking apples and hunting for the biggest pumpkin in the patch.

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin patch

Last year when we visited we discovered a new hands-on activity the Discovery Barn. For the longest time, this barn was not much except a home for the animals. When you enter and go up the stairs, it is filled with hands-on fun for every age.

1. Take a basket from the table.

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patches

2. Go through each of the numbered stations to plant a seed or harvest a crop.

Grab an egg from this adorable nesting box.

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

Get your hands dirty and plant a “seed”. There is a small bucket of kernels to pick and bury in the dirt.

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

Dig in the dirt and harvest a potato!

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

It would not be Iowa without harvest some ears of corn.


Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

There is wine in Iowa, right? Make sure you harvest the grapes!

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

You are at an apple orchard. Make sure you pick the ripest apples to eat!

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

3. Explore the sensory bins.

Feel some sheep hair. My kids always find this so interesting!

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

What is the difference between hay and straw?

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

4. Take your basket full of all the items you have harvested and sort them at the market. 

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

The Discovery Barn is a great place to rest or seek shelter when the temperatures begin getting really cold. I love how Center Grove has added another great activity. Not only educational but fun too!

If you visit this 2018 season make sure you check the lower level of the barn, before you up the stairs. These cuties and mama were fun to see.

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

Take a look at our giant list of pumpkin patches in Des Moines and surrounding communities. Looking for a challenge? Download and print off the 2018 Fall Bucket List!

Center Grove Orchard, Des Moines, Pumpkin Patch

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