What kid does not love tractors? While I may be a Minnesota native, my parents grew up in Waterloo. That meant that most holidays and weekends, we would take the trek down to Waterloo often. In all of my years going there, I have never seen the John Deere Factory. How can a person have visited there for almost 30 years without once passing by the place! Now that I’m making the same trek with my kids there, I figured we had to check the John Deere Museum out.
The John Deere Museum
The factory has both a museum and factory tours. If you are ever in the area, just driving by it is impressive. They have fields all over where they are testing equipment out. The factory tours are available Monday-Friday at 8, 10 and 1 which meant that we were out of luck for this weekend but theJohn Deere Museum was open on Saturdays.
This weekend they had Santa out front for the kids to get pictures. After saying a quick Hi, we got our free coloring book and went into the museum. It costs $8 for adults to get in and kids were free. All and all, pretty inexpensive for a family.
They have a short video playing about the history of John Deere. After that you wander back through the history of the company, starting with some of the first plows they made. Most of the displays were labeled with ‘do not touch’ signs. You would think that it would make things challenging with kids, but they had a lot of interactive things to keep them entertained. Some of my favorites, a plowing demonstration where you try and keep the hand plow straight while they throw pretend obstacles in your way, similar to that of rocks. Not as easy as I thought. The other fun one was the horsepower measurement. They have three ropes ranging from 1/8- 1/2 horsepower. I have a new level of respect for the amount of weight a horse pulls. Myself and the three kids could barely move the middleweight.
They do offer a few of the tractors available for kids to sit on, along with. Drawing station to draft your own tractor design. They also have a lot of staff there to talk about the equipment on display, along with giving use pointers on what the kids would love to check out. The John Deere Museum ended up being a good little pit stop for the kids this weekend.