We actually ended up at Trader’s Point Creamery because, as is often the case with three kids, by the time we were ready to walk out the door with people fed, shoes ties, and meltdowns curtailed, it was too late for us to venture to our original destination. Instead of driving 2 hours to Spring Mill State Park ,we decided to explore somewhere closer to our home turf. We needed a location where our kids could spend some time in the sunshine and come home tired and dirty and ready to eat dinner and go to bed. This place checked those boxes.
In a lovely spot in Zionsville, just far enough off the west side of the 465 loops, sits Trader’s Point Creamery. Their idyllic and sprawling organic cow’s milk dairy opened in 2003. The property is beautiful, complete with an old red barn, and spreads out out to meet Eagle Creek which was lazy and clear the day we visited.
From my understanding, their operation is sort of tri-fold. Besides being a working dairy that distributes milk products they also host events like weddings. Then there’s the restaurant, which looked adorable and delectable (we popped in to hit the bathroom before our grand tour), but since two of our five can’t have dairy right now, we decided to skip it and come back when everyone can actually eat all the amazing cheese heavy food they have on the menu. Or Guy and I actually get a date night.
I’d hate to forget to mention the ice cream stand which dishes up sundaes, shakes, and smoothies from a very limited menu. While we were there a grandfather asked if they could make his granddaughter a strawberry shake but they couldn’t. Instead they offered vanilla, chocolate, or key lime pie which was the featured flavor of the month.
In addition to everything else going on, they have a cute little farm store that sells their cheeses and milks along with local jams, jellies, and meats. This shop, located underneath the restaurant and next to the milking parlor, is where you get your tickets for the tour. We did the self-guided option. For $3 per person we got a map of the loop we were allowed to walk through the property which had some information about the farm, the plants, and the animals thriving on the grounds. And access to a portion of the farm. They also offer guided tours, for larger groups, which I’m told require a lot less walking because you get carted around in an open top Jeep like you’re on safari and give an more in-depth look into the dairy process.
The self-guided tour takes you through the maid grazing fields and then breaks of in the the thankfully shaded woods that like the pastures, pressing you between open fields and the creek, eventually winding through a massive flower field, and looping back to the red barn. It took us about an hour to meander the entire trail laid out before us, stopping often to stare into empty fields for a glimpse of a cow, throw rocks in the creek, look at lady bugs, take a million pictures, and let the kids go as slow as they wanted (up until the end since we were in the sun and the clouds had dissipated leaving everyone sweaty and hot.
At every turn, Harp and Indy would question when we would see some cows and we kept telling them soon. Three quarters of the way round, we realized we were headed back where we started and were unlikely to see any cows. In fact, the only animals we saw the entire time we were there was a single flock of laying hens, most of whom had huddled under the coop to beat the midday heat.
Somehow we managed to tour a dairy farm without seeing any evidence of animals who make milk so anyone headed here for the cows, take heed. Our kids were snotty, tear balls by the time we got back to the car. We could have waited three hours to watch them milk the cows, which they do daily at 7:30pm, or doubled back after a while but the kids were done and we were done so maybe that’s for another day. I think we’d come back to eat or get a treat if we were in the area but if you are taking the self-guided highly suggest calling to see if the cows are somewhere on the property where you can actually catch a glimpse.