A foot closer and we could have patted the head of the albino deer. Elk grazed not much further away with heads down and butts to our faces. Long horn cattle lounged under a tree within reach if you dared to grab a horn. And, when the tram went into the grass to give the right of way to a momma buffalo and her calf crossing the road, I came face to face with these brown eyed creatures.
“I’ve been at Grant’s Farm many times and I’ve never seen the animals this close to the tram,” Suzie expressed pleasure at the up-close encounter with the animals. Suzie and her boyfriend Matt brought me and my mom aka “Grandma” to Grant’s Farm for a Mother’s Day treat.
Families came with moms of all generations to this Anheuser-Busch nature and wildlife preserve to celebrate the special day. Grant’s Farm is renowned and ranked as the 7th best family attraction nationwide by the U.S. Family Travel Guide Zagat Survey.
Our experience began with a ride on the tram past a log cabin once owned by General Ulysses S. Grant. The guide called our attention to the unique fence surrounding this property. The vertical bars were gun barrels authentic from hundreds of Civil War rifles. Our amazement over the fence construction gave way to the thrill of seeing the wildlife within reach of the tram’s course through the preserve.
The tram ride ended at the milk house. While parents bought baby bottles full of milk that their children – children barely finished with bottle feeding themselves - could feed the tiny goats in the petting zoo, we headed to the Bauernhof for our free samples of beer.
Although we enjoyed the refreshing brew, the Bauernhof is more than a place to drink Anheuser-Busch products. It is a 19th Century farm stead that houses the Busch family’s collection of antique carriages, equestrian trophies, and stalls full of horses. Beyond this hospitality area, animals from around the world roam in fenced corrals. Kangaroos, an elephant, lamas, camels, flamingos, lemurs, miniature ponies ,and even bald eagles eat, sleep, groom and entertain all visitors.
When we had our fill of animals and our two brew limit, we took the return tram ride - a quick trip from the Bauernhof to the General Store. From there, we followed white horseshoe marking on the pavement leading us to the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdale Stables. The grand finale! We watched mares, foals, and stallions grazing in the grassy pastures. Some stood tall in their stalls. We posed for photos then called it a day, a wonderful day – a very special Mother’s Day!
May 10, 2009
10501 Gravois Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63123