Our family is always up for an adventure and we were excited to head east from our farm to our friend's Dan & Lynn's farm to experience a one-of-a-kind overnight stay at their vacation rental Guestbarn that overlooks their dairy farm. From 24 hour cow gazing, to helping Dan with chores, to eating lots of delicious dairy products, and making friends with lots of cows, this is a road trip our family will always remember!
Our family has been following along on Dan and Lynn Bolin's dream of building a unique experience for the public to immerse themselves on their dairy farm for the last several years. In fact, we visited them back in 2016 soon after they finished building in 2015. At that time one of the distinctive aspects of their farm was that they had a robotic milker.
Rita the Robotic Milker continues to help the Bolins today. Having a robotic milker allows the cows to get milked at anytime during the day, which helps the family with labor and gives them more flexibility.
Now one of the things that makes New Day Dairy special is that you can sleep with the cows! Ok, well, maybe not like Miss L is doing in the picture above, but in their Guestbarn that is connected to their dairy barn and offers 24 hour cow gazing from the second floor windows.
The New Day Dairy Guestbarn has three bedrooms each with their own bathroom, a kitchen, dinning room, a few sitting areas and sleeps nine people. They also offer a continental breakfast for all of their guests. We loved the Dutch letter pastries from some neighboring dairy farmers, the yogurt parfaits and the mini bagels complete with cream cheese made from their cow's milk!
They also offer a couple food add-ons that I think we might have to do next time, including a DIY Pizza Night kit, Grazing Board, Homemade Ice Cream Sundae bar and Root Beer Float supplies! We opted for driving to the neighboring town and going to the Shell Rock Scoop to get some ice cream. We would also recommend driving west (or riding your bike along the bike trail) to the Bristow Ice Cream Shack for ice cream as well, or going east to the Waverly 4 Queens for an ice cream treat!
The Guestbarn is very family friendly. Our kids loved cow gazing from the upstairs windows all day long. They also loved playing with all of the cow themed toys, books and games. You'll have to check out this Reel of my son telling a handful of the cow jokes he learned while at New Day Dairy. The Bolins even set out some dairy hats and coloring books for the kids to take home. The Bolins were very welcoming and have created a memorable and relaxing place to stay.
Each stay at the Guestbarn includes a welcome tour and farewell tour in the barn with co-owner Lynn Bolin. This is a great chance to pet a cow, learn more about the farm, take a cow selfie and even name a calf if one is born during your stay!
You can also add on more of a hands-on experience by doing the "Be a Dairy Farmer Challenge" with Dairyman Dan. This includes getting to milk a cow, walking among the cows, bottle feeding baby calves, peeking under Rita the Robot's hood and more! The baby calves were obviously a highlight of our trip and the kids got to help with evening bottle chores.
Thank you Dan and Lynn for a wonderful stay at your New Day Dairy Guestbarn and congratulations on being named Iowa Tourism's Outstanding Rural Lodging award winners in 2022! You can book your stay by going on their website.
What experience would you add-on to your stay? Take the "Be a Dairy Farmer Challenge" or enjoy one of their food kits?