Wish you knew how to garden? Let a lifelong garden pro help teach you the ropes in this informal and informational class. Bring a cup of coffee and get ready to tackle your backyard problems and make the yard and garden of your dreams come into reality, without taking up much of your free time.
Hello! Butters the Barn Cat here, speaking on behalf of the Double J Riding Club, on account of the fact that no one knows more about what’s going on around here better than I do. I’m so knowledgeable about every aspect of this farm that I taught a portion of our home school equine science class last week. (BTW, it’s never too late to register for any of home school classes for a prorated tuition).
We have a fun fairy garden workshop coming up on January 25th from 10-noon. Each participant will create their own tiny world to take home (while enjoying light snacks and beverages) and finish up the event with a farm tour. Register now, spots are limited. The link to sign up is below.
Join us for horse or animal adventure camp on on President’s Day, February 17th, from 10-3 (with available before and after care). If they have half as much fun as they did in camp this Monday it will be a real hoot! We will keep your kids engaged, get them some fresh air and exercise as well as sneaking in some education. They will love it! You can find more info below.
Tiny Animal Adventure and Junior Farmer classes are learning all about nocturnal animals this week. Which is definitely me as I like to get a good 10 hour nap in during the day.
Parents’ Night Out is very popular here at the farm, but Parents’ Night Out on Valentine’s Day is BEYOND popular, so sign up now to ensure your kids get a spot. They will play games, meet the animals, make crafts, eat a great dinner and make new friends from 6-9pm. This event is perfect for ages 4-12 years old. I hear down the grapevine there is also one coming up this Friday, January 24th. Link below.
This weekend I was introduced to some new furry and not so furry friends. My friends list is getting pretty large and now I can add a snake, blue tongue skink, skinny pig, rooster, rats and water turtles to the list! Stop by one of our classes and I bet you will get to meet them! Turns out the less fur they have the sweeter they get.
That’s it for me this week, until we speak again, don’t let anyone touch your belly,
Butters the Barn Cat
Happy New Year!!!!
Butters the Barn cat here to wish all of our friends (both two and four legged) a Happy and Healthy 2020! January is a big month for us at Double J. We will mark our 20th Anniversary which for a cat is a lifetime!! Since I was not here 20 years ago, my mom sat down with me today and showed me pictures of Double J Riding Club from January 2000. Boy, have things changed!!
Looking back at these last two decades I am so purrrr-oud of what we have accomplished. This is proof that you should follow your dreams (no matter how crazy they may seem) because with hard work and the right team, great things can happen!! We have so many to thank for this success – the phenomenal people who have shared their talents teaching and working hard to create a “one of a kind” safe learning environment for animal and nature lovers, the animals who taught us how to be compassionate and kind, and the children and adults who have believed in us and took time out of their busy lives to be part of our Double J family. We truly appreciate all of your love and support and hope you can find some time to join us on our ongoing adventures in 2020.
Next week in Tiny Animal Adventures (18 months to 4 years) and Junior Farmers (3 to 6 years) we will be learning all about taking care of pets. Planned activities include making guinea pig treats, cleaning a hermit crab habitat, brushing rabbits, growing cat grass and gathering eggs from the hen house.
Tiny Animal Adventures runs Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-11 am and Junior Farmers takes place on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-10:30.
Check out our options for families that home school in 2020! We just added courses in horticulture, photography and mixed media art, as well as the existing classes in equine science, animal science and STEM science.
Hey Moms!!! Looking for a new way to tone up this year??? Did you know that horseback riding provides many benefits, mentally and physically? We have openings for private lessons for moms, during the day while the kids are at school, in January and February. It’s a great cardiovascular exercise, good for strengthening core muscles, it provides a break from the non-stop activities/things you do for other people, adds some fun and excitement, a well-deserved break from the day-to-day. Horseback riding can be exercise, viewed as self-care and can help you pass on the patience, respect and discipline you learn while riding to your kids. There’s nothing like connecting with a horse.
That’s it for me this week, keep your fur clean and grab a nap in the sun.
This is Butters, signing off!
Winter 2020 Home School Semester Information is up and we have some incredible classes to offer your children this year! Classes begin week of January 13th and run to the week of March 16th.
Double J offers a variety of Home School programs that focus on teaching children skills that nurture a reverence for life, care-taking of both animals and the environment, learning about sustainable agriculture and creating a strong sense of community. Activities are hands on, teach a variety of socially responsible and environmentally friendly lessons and provide city kids an opportunity to get down and dirty on the farm.
Programs run Fall – Spring and are open to children from Kindergarten-12th grade
Tiny Animal Adventures – Ages 18mo- 4yrs
Junior Farmers – Ages 3-6 yrs
Equine Science – Ages 7-14 yrs
Animal Science: Habitats – Ages 6-10 yrs
STEM Science (Chemistry & Genetics/Evolution) – Ages 10-15 yrs
Horticulture – Ages 7-14 yrs
Introduction to Digital Photography – Ages 8-18 yrs
Mixed Media Art- Ages 8-18 yrs
December 10th Weekly Newsletter
It’s me, Butters, and I hope your winter coat is thick and lustrous this time of year, just like mine.
Whooo, this winter weather!
Last week was pretty quiet down on the farm, a great week for decorating for Christmas, so I’m setting a goal for how many ornaments I can break with my tail this month. I’m not going to share how many, but it’s definitely double digits.
This weekend we have a gift wrapping workshop and an encore wreath making class. Last Saturday’s wreath class was so much fun we decided to add a second one!
Henrietta is of course invited again to both workshops. Although I do not know why they didn't ask me to join!
We added Parents Night Out nights this coming Friday and next Friday too, for those of you that have holiday parties or shopping to do. The evening starts at 6 PM and goes to 9PM and is perfect for ages 4-12.
Next week’s Junior Farmers and Tiny Animal Adventures classes are all about Hibernation, which is a topic I can get on board with! Kids will definitely get some hedgehog time in!
There’s a lot of talk about fun activities and crafts being planned for Winter Break Riding Camp and Animal Adventure Camp, which runs from December 19th to January 3rd from 10 am to 3 pm (with available before and after care). Seems like a great way to tire out your kittens,
I mean human children, during a long winter’s break.
Last thing- Santa is coming to the farm on Friday, December 13th and Sunday, December 15th. You won’t want to miss this much loved event. I love that guy. He always brings me the catnip I like.
That’s everything happening at Double J Riding Club this week.
This is Butters, signing off!
December 4th Weekly Newsletter
I’m sure I need no introduction but just in case we haven’t met, I am Butters, the most social barn cat in the whole Midwest. I know absolutely everything that’s going on around the Double J Riding Camp, so much so that they made me the CEO (Cat Executive Officer). I’m the purrfect feline to keep you humans up to date with what’s going on around here.
Last week was Thanksgiving and this cat is thankful for the good times spent with my friend Meru, who passed away last week. She will be missed by many riders, especially Allison and Olivia, who she loved so much.
In much better Butters news, we had a bustling week filled with campers during Thanksgiving break. We run 2 kinds of camp here, horse camp and animal adventures camp. The kids were here from 10-3 (with available before and after care) and it seemed to me that they were having a blast! Those kids were non-stop; grooming and tacking, riding, making cool crafts, learning farm science, playing silly games and everyone met LOTS of animals (including me, when I felt like playing along).
We will have horse and animal adventure camp here during winter break, too. A really good idea for kids that get cabin fever! You can learn more about it here.
Next week things get back to normal, it’s Barn Cat & Farm Dog week for Tiny Animal Adventures (18 months to 4 years) and Junior Farmers (3 years to 6 years). The kids are making pumpkin dog treats, playing herding dog games, going on scavenger hunts for mice ( I approve!) and meeting Sully, an Australian Shepherd, who also lives on the farm. I may or may not show my face so that the kids can learn about how hard I work around here.
I heard there is going to be a wreath workshop on Saturday morning, at 9 AM where humans can come and learn how to make their own wreath out of fresh greens. It sounds like exactly the kind of thing I’d like to get my paws in the middle of.
Parents Night Out is coming up this Friday night. Human children are dropped off at the farmhouse at 6 pm, where they eat dinner, learn about animals, play games, run around and get very silly (and VERY LOUD) until their parents pick them up at at 9pm.
Kids love it. Barn cats? Not so much. I think I’ve got some mice to catch that night.
Last thing- Santa is coming to the farm and I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to get some of my fur on that suit for anything! Meet Santa, hear a story, do a craft and meet some of my animal friends on December 13th or 15th. I don’t want to miss it and I bet you won’t either.
That’s everything happening at Double J this week.
This is Butters, signing off!
Head to our shop today to find some Double J wear and experience bundles perfect for your animal lover!
The weather may have cooled off but activities on the farm are heating up! 🔥
🐴Do your age 4-13 kids need a place to hang out during holiday breaks? We have Thanksgiving and Winter Camp while the kids are out of school, from 10-3 (with available before and after care).
🐷🐰Tiny Animal Adventures is for tots aged 18 months to 4 years, featuring a ton of sensory activities, animal encounters and messy play, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-11 AM.
🐮🐢Junior Farmers is for ages 3-6, a great place for kids to expand their knowledge about animals while having a blast! Classes offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-10:30 AM.
🎉And don’t forget to call to book your Birthday Parties, Girl Scout outings, and Horseback Riding Lessons.
Come join Double J Riding Club for a day of crafting. Our holiday craft workshops are perfect for adults and children and all participants will leave with a beautiful creation that will for sure become a front and center piece for the holidays.
December 7th- Holiday Wreath Workshop- Find out more here!
December 14th- Holiday Gift Wrap Workshop- Find out more here!
December 21st- Holiday Winter Table Centerpiece- Find out more here!
When? Offered on select Saturdays from 9am-12pm
Where? Double J Riding Club- 10545 W 74th Street, Countryside IL 60525, Upstairs Clubhouse
How Much? Price differs per craft
Cant Make One of These Events? Ask us how you can schedule a private event with 5 or more of your friends.
Perfect for birthday parties, friends night out and girl scouts!
Meet the Instructor, Amanda!
Amanda Thomsen is an avid gardener, cooker and crafter. She is also the author of Kiss My Aster, Backyard Adventure and writes for Green Profit Magazine, as well as a brownie troop leader and overall nature lover. With her experience working in landscape design and being a mom herself she is an expert at teaching moms how fun do it yourself projects can really be!
She lives with her husband, daughter, Husky, dachshund/pug mix and cat in Palos Park. Amanda cant wait to teach you how to make your own dryer sheets, start up a backyard chicken coop, create winter wreaths that will hang on your door all season long and so much more!
Read more about Amanda and catch up on her blog at:
Come out next Tuesday and Friday to learn all about BEES with our bee keeper Wally!
During this 1 hour demonstration you will learn what it takes to be a bee keeper, see part of a real hive with live bees, extract honey from the honeycombs, learn about honey wax, churn honey and sample honey from Double J’s hive.
Tuesday, October 8th: 10 – 11 am
Friday, October 11th: 10:30-11:30 am
$10 per person, Adults and Children Welcomed
Sign up for the class here: https://campscui.active.com/orgs/DoubleJRidingClub?season=2718216
Tiny Animal Adventure and Junior Farmers Bee Week: This week during our Tiny Animal Adventure and Junior Farmer’s program, our little ones will be busy bees will read a story about the life cycle of a bee, learn fun bee facts, met our bee keepers with their bees, watched the bee keepers extract honey from the hives, play a fun pollination game collecting “pollen” and bringing it back to the hive, sample honey, made an exciting bee craft, and play some bee games. Junior Farmers also have the option of adding on a riding and grooming lesson to the end of their class. Does this sound like an exciting activity for your little one? Find out more about our Tiny Animal Adventure and Junior Farmer program and other farm programs at Double J below! It’s a great week to be a Tiny Animal, no matter what the weather forecast!
Learn More and Sign Up Here: https://doublejridingclub.com/early-childhood-enrichment/
** Meeting bee keeper and extracting honey from hives will only take place in the Tuesday Junior Farmer and Friday Tiny Animal Adventure class