Sleep with the Cows in Iowa

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Sleep with the Cows in Iowa

If you have been following Des Moines Parent for a while, you know our family is always for a fun and quirky experience. When I learned about an experience to sleep with cows in Iowa, I was in! The best part of traveling is discovering fun experiences, meeting new people, and having fun. We are grateful to New Day Dairy Farm located in Clarksville, Iowa to inviting us to explore their farm and the area they live in.

New Day Dairy Farm is located in Northeast Iowa in a town called Clarksville. Although a very small town, we quickly discovered there are tons to see and do in the area! New Day Dairy Farm is a real working dairy farm owned by Dan and Lynn Bolin. Just recently they opened an Airbnb where guests have the opportunity to sleep with the cows. When I first heard this, I was thinking do we actually sleep outdoors?! Nope, when you stay on the farm you get access to the cutest and coziest little GuestBarn that overlooks the cows.

New Day Dairy GuestBarn

The New Day Dairy GuestBarn consists of three large rooms, each with a bathroom attached. You can rent an individual room or if you are family, you can rent the entire guest barn. Dan and Lynn have thought of everything when it comes to this unique place to stay. Comfy beds and towels, large kitchen with pots and pans, kids area filled with fun games, lots of sitting areas, cute decor, and a fun outdoor area to relax by the fire pit.

In addition, they offer a DIY Continental Breakfast. I loved the concept! When we arrived the fridge was stocked with hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, Dutch Letter pastries, mini bagels with cream cheese, fruit, juice, milk, and more.

The kids favorite part was the view of the cows from the loft area. Every night they said goodnight to the cows and every morning ate breakfast with them.

Dan and Lynn were so welcoming and took us on two tours while we were there. The first tour was a welcome tour where we toured the dairy barn and learned all about the cows and the process for everything. They were amazing at answering all the kid’s questions. One thing we all loved was all the different personalities that shined through each cow.

Things to Do

While sleeping with the cows you may feel like you are in the middle of nowhere and its a beautiful sight, but there are so many fun things to do too!

Fossil & Prairie Park Preserve – Rockford, Iowa

On our way to Clarksville, we made a stop at the Fossil & Prairie Park Preserve. This was a fun plan to explore and dig for fossils. A lot of climbing opportunities too! They also offer a center, but we visited on a day they were not open. Make sure you pack shovels, buckets, hats, and sunscreen! There is not much shade in the fossil are and it will get hot fast. They also offered tons of picnic tables and hiking trails.

The Pub on the Cedar – Charles City, Iowa

After our hiking and hunting for fossils, we were hungry! We stopped for lunch on the Cedar River in Charles City at The Pub on the Cedar. They had delicious food, beautiful views, and very family-friendly.

Rolling Prairie Trail – Butler County

Bring your bikes! We had brought ours but did not get a chance to experience the Rolling Prairie Trail throughout Butler County. This was highly recommended by many, so plan for it! The trail is not difficult and connects several small towns together. The perfect way to explore what each town has to offer while you stay.

Kids Kingdom Park – Waverly, Iowa

This was a fun place for the kids to play! A great stop after riding in the car for a bit. The entire playground is made of wood. The entire town of Waverly offers a lot and is not far from the New Day Dairy Farm.

Splashpad + Bristow Ice Cream Shack – Bristow, Iowa

This is the perfect place to cool off after a day of fun! Water and ice cream, what can be better?! The kids had a blast playing on their playground and splash pad. Their ice cream was the perfect sweet treat and they offered several options.

Clarksville Splashpad – Clarksville, Iowa

Another fun place to cool off in the area. We did not get a chance to stop, but this is not far from the dairy farm at all! Add Clarksville Splashpad to the list. Spend the day biking on the Rolling Prairie Trail and cool off at both along the way.

Beeds Lake Spillway – Hampton, Iowa

We made a stop at Beeds Lake State Park on our way home to Des Moines, Iowa. There was a trail that leads to the bottom of the spillway, where you could feel a little mist from the falling water. The park offers several hiking trails and fishing too!


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

One thought on “Sleep with the Cows in Iowa

  1. This looks like the most wonderful little adventure! Bookmarking for sure. We’ve been to the fossil site but this whole itinerary is fantastic.

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