It’s Not a Farm. It’s Flower World. Right?


Last summer Dek started exploring our favorite nursery

“Look Dek. Chickens!”

Slowly I make my way down the shady, winding drive. I pass a chicken crossing sign and  touch down on the brakes a little more. Incidents involving poultry were not on my agenda that day.

Dek giggles with glee. He points out every chicken (and crow) we see before parking. He can’t wait to see more.

It’s crowded but we finally find a parking spot. All chickens are alive and accounted for. Dek is already looking for more animal sightings. Who knew a simple trip to Flower World, a wonderfully large and diverse plant nursery just northeast of Seattle, could be so thrilling. We hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet.

Once we unloaded the whole family the request (ahem…demands) began, “want to see the chickens, want to go see the goats.” Good grief. Weren’t we here just to get some stuff for the yard? I didn’t realize I’d set myself up for a morning at a petting zoo. Darn me for bribing Dek into the car that morning with promises of goat sightings. I really have to remind myself that this kid now has a memory of steel, and the will to find what is promised him that would rival any bloodhound on the hunt.

Animal encounters at the Maltby Produce Market

I can’t complain though. All farm animal encounters were free. Dek could go wild chasing the chickens all he wanted. We were able to run away from the attack geese without being charged a fee. I could grab some fresh apple cider from the farm stand while Dek fed the goats and we marveled at one very showy white peacock.

But again, we were not here for the animals. We were here to get a few pretty plants; a little pre-Mother’s Day shopping/birthday present for me. Yeah. Try telling Dek that. As far as he was concerned, we were there to see the animals, not look at more flowers. Well, sometimes we have to do what mommy likes to do too, not just what Dek wants.

Create a fun scavenger hunt for your toddler so they aren’t bored while you shop

Go on the hunt for flowers of every color, shape and size

Whenever we head to Flower World, or any nursery for that matter, I usually keep Dek moving with a little scavenger hunt. We look for the pond displays throughout the property. He always hopes for a fish sighting. I point out various statues to him; some he feels the need to explore or give a little kiss, others he could care less about. Lately we have been working on recognizing various colors. We go on the hunt for purple, red, blue and orange. Green would just be too easy.

The property is so huge you need a map; something Dek happily takes out of one of the many mailboxes stationed around the nursery. He holds it like it’s a treasure map, one he doesn’t know how to read. He clasps the map in his hand and points us in the direction he thinks we should go. More often than not we do a little redirection to actually get to the section we need to be in.

The display garden is always a fun spot to explore

I’ll admit it, sometimes I just head up to Flower World with a hot chocolate and we take a stroll around the display garden. The spinning water wheel and fountain in the pond are always worth a few minutes distraction. I’ll plop down on a bench or in the grass with our snack and watch Dek explore. He gets to be outside and I get to see a beautiful setting. The added kid bonus is a bit of farm life thrown into the mix.

Goats and chickens may not be on my agenda when we head to Flower World, but Dek is coming to expect them. He knows once we turn down that drive he is going to see a chicken. He isn’t sure what peacocks are, but he does know there are some fancy birds and maybe even a baby duck in his future that day. For Dek this is just another example of a mama excursion that he has turned into his own. Another win, win for the whole family.

Dek may have to move over once Ty is big enough to ride on the cart

Know Before You Go

  • Flower World, 9322 196th Street Southeast  Snohomish, WA 98296
  • Why you should go? The plant and flower prices are only rivaled by the variety they carry. The display garden is also a great place to have a picnic before or after a little shopping. If plants aren’t your thing check out the Maltby Produce Market across the street for some fresh cider and produce.
  • Why your kids will want to go? Chickens, geese, peacocks, goats, ducks…need I say more? There is kettle corn too if you need an extra bribe.
  • Strollers can easily navigate most of the paths around the nursery, however there are gravel paths in the display garden that are hard to roll through.
  • Several seating areas are set up in the nursery, many of which have a little privacy if you are a nursing mother or just need a place to hide out in the shade while your significant other spends your entire travel fund on plants.

    Mike has learned that it can be dangerous to send me off to Flower World alone

Food Find:
The Maltby Café (8809 Maltby Road  Snohomish, WA 98296) is just down the street from Flower World. Mouth-watering raisin bread and sugar-coma inducing cinnamon rolls are just two of our favorite items on the menu. If you head up on the weekend stop by to put your name on the list for a table first. Set a timer for yourself and head to Flower World. See how much you can explore (and buy) before your table is ready.

Everyone is happy after a trip to Maltby Cafe

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Showing 8 comments
  • Denise

    Free animals??? nothing beats that!

  • Lisa

    Flowers are pretty but they certainly can’t compete with chickens!

  • Allison

    For most people, that’s probably just a place to buy plants. For your family, it’s a great memory. I love how having kids helps us appreciate everyday experiences and opportunities.

  • Leigh

    Looks like a trip to the nursery is going to be a highlight for your kids for years to come. Brilliant so you can spend more time there.It looks like a lovely nursery. I am missing the range of plants I could have in Vancouver versus here in Calgary.

  • Dick Jordan

    Interesting! Another place near my old hometown that I’d never heard of before.

  • Sabrina

    Why kids wanna go? All the cute animals are why I wanna go too 🙂

  • InsideJourneys

    Kids sure have a way of making us get excited about chickens and everything we jaded adults ignore.

  • Wow, I wish we had this kind of nursery in Utah. It could be a daylong excursion! Super cute photos, and I love your idea of doing a scavenger hunt to keep Dek entertained.