Sunflowers, History and Ice Cream – Oh My! (QCLocal)
Most of us are guilty of it. I know I certainly am. We take our local attractions for granted. We’ve visited placed all over everywhere, and often not taken the time to see those in our own backyard.
One of my goals in retirement is to make a real effort to visit the sites near me. In the future, you will see the (QCLocal) tag in the headline, denoting those sites that are within roughly 30 miles of my home here in Davenport, Iowa. There’s really a lot to see and do in this area we call the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, and I can’t wait to explore it.
Last Friday a friend and I visited the Pride of the Wapsi farm and the nearby Walnut Grove Pioneer Village.
Sunflower Days at Pride of the Wapsi
I need to get this post out quickly because this event ends this Sunday, July 25.
Pride of the Wapsi is located about 15 miles north of Davenport and is well known for its annual Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. In fact, the one time I was there previously was when Darling Daughter was a grade schooler and we made the trip to pick own pumpkin, take a hay rack ride and get lost in the maze. I’m just generally lost most of the time so putting me in a maze just complicates my life even more.
New this year is Sunflower Days, offering visitors the chance to walk through a huge sunflower field and even pick one of the flowers to bring home with you.
There is an admission fee, $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3 – 12. You can save a dollar if you purchase your ticket ahead of time on their website. The admission includes one sunflower of your choosing.
This is a great place if you have children. There’s plenty to do for that elementary and middle school age group and everything, except food of course, is free once you are inside. With a jumping pillow (a huge inflated bag that’s easily the size of four bouncy houses), ball throwing games and a variety of other activities, there’s plenty to keep young ones entertained for an afternoon.
Oh, did I mention goats? Who doesn’t love a goat? Especially when they are climbing up structures that are higher than your head.
Sunflower Days is held daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., but like I said, Sunday is the last day.
If you’re planning ahead though, the Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze will be open Sept. 25 – Oct. 31.
After we finished picking our sunflowers, mine is doing just fine in a vase of water on the kitchen table by the way, we headed over to Walnut Grove Pioneer Village located in the Scott County Park, 11 miles north of Davenport, just east of Highway 61.
I’ve visited the village a few times and as a history buff, I love the place. There’s no admission fee but a $2 donation is suggested.
I’m really pretty amazed by what they’ve been able to accomplish. There’s two dozen different structures, most dating back to the 1800s. Some are newer buildings made to look like what they would have been back then, but others are literally the original structures that were torn apart, moved to the site, and put back together again.
They’ve built a small town with everything from log cabins to a fire station, general store and blacksmith shop. Olde St. Ann’s Church, located at one end of the village, is a beautiful structure still used today for weddings and other events.
Built in 1870, it’s one of the buildings that were moved to the park site. Originally built in 1870, it was moved the three miles to the park in 1985.
There’s a great deal of self-guided tour information available on the Scott County website, including a map you can print out and take on your visit to the village.
The village is open daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., April 1 through October 31. It’s especially fun to visit during their festival days, held over both the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Check out the county’s calendar for more info.
And no, I didn’t forget about the ice cream. The soda fountain still serves ice cream with all the fixins’. In fact, I plan on stopping back out there again just to get the ice cream!
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