GREENFIELD, Ind. -- In 2001, Matt Lark--an Indianapolis attorney with a passion for farming--started receiving requests from local schools to visit his farm down in Loogootee. It was such a hit with the kids that he decided to add a corn maze, pumpkin patch and more fun activities until--with the help of his three sons--Lark Ranch was officially born in 2002.
Several years later, the Larks opened their second location at 1611 N. Meridian Road in Greenfield.
Today, Lark Ranch has been dubbed “The Ultimate Fall Experience.” It’s not difficult to see why.
“We have so many activities here. We have a bungee jump, a bouncing pillow; we have pedal go karts, a giant swing, a 90-foot slide... All kinds of activities for the kids,” said Mindy Lark.
But one of their most popular attractions is the train ride, which navigates guests past fun sets like their “western town” and through a spooky tunnel. It’s also where manager Kyle Lark joined our Rachel Bogle for the grand tour to share more about Lark Ranch.
Right off the bat, one thing is clear: this place is all about family.
It’s family-owned, family run and rooted the Lark family's desire to give families an opportunity to come together for some good, wholesome fall family fun.
That’s why they decided to expand to Greenfield.
“My grandfather had purchased the property and it was something that we really just enjoyed,” he explained. “At the time, there wasn’t anything up in this area and we just thought it would be a good opportunity to show what we do to other people and spread the word and grow as much as we can.”
Now, people will travel from hours away just to visit either location.
“We have people coming [to the Greenfield location] all the way from Columbus and Lafayette. Down at our Loogootee location, we have people from St. Louis, Nashville and Cincinnati, “he said. “So we’ve had people from all over.”
Their popularity is based not only in the fact that they have so much to offer, but also thanks to their pricing.
“We just want to have a fun family atmosphere at a price that everybody can afford,” he explained.
General admission is just $12 per person and free for kids age 2 and under.
“And that includes all the activities,” he noted.
There is a lot to choose from, such as life-sized birdhouses that look like something out of a fairy tale.
“We kind of got the idea of just a spin-off of just a regular playhouse, but we wanted our own unique look. So it’s something people definitely haven’t seen before,” said Kyle.
They also offer things like the spinning “Orbitron” ride, a log jam, farm-themed pedal go-karts, rock climbing wall, a jumping pillow, zip lines, selfie booth, games, the “Air-Extreme” bungee jump, zip line, and slides… including their new 90-foot slide, which is a personal favorite for Kyle Lark himself.
“It was a project putting in but it seems to be really really popular and they seem to really enjoy it,” he said.
In true farm style, there are plenty of cuddly animals to meet in their petting zoo area.
“Our animals are supplied by American Barnyard. It’s an outside group; they come in and they do our pony rides and they have goats, sheep, pigs. All kinds of little farm animals for kids to come look at,” said Mindy Lark.
Lark Ranch also offers all the beloved fall traditions like hayrides, picking your own pumpkins and navigating their popular corn maze… or as Kyle Lark put it, “Getting lost in the corn maze.”
So how many time’s has he gotten himself lost in there?
“More than I’d like to admit!” he said with a laugh.
If you really want to kick it up a notch, look no further than their apple blasters.
“It runs off air and shoots apples about 100 PSIs so they really come out of there fast,” he explained.
All that excitement is sure to work up an appetite. Fortunately, they’ve got you covered with all the fall and carnival-style foods that will definitely hit the spot.
“We have apple cider slushies, pumpkin pie and--new this year--we have a donut machine,” said Mindy. “We serve those with apple butter and they are delicious.”
Without a doubt, Lark Ranch is a huge undertaking. Yet, the Lark family is constantly thinking up ideas for new attractions, events and other additions to make the ranch bigger and better. It’s a lot of work, but Mindy Lark says—for them—there’s one thing that always reminds them why they do what they do.
“I think what brings us the most pleasure is just seeing the families come together,” she said. “And they leave with such big smiles and I think that kind of makes it all worth it for us.”
Four Things You Need to Know About Lark Ranch:
- Lark Ranch got its start back in 2001 when Matt Lark started receiving requests from schools for field trips to his farm in Loogootee. It was such a hit with the kids, he decided to start adding more activities for them to enjoy like a corn maze and pumpkin patch. By 2002, he and his family decided to officially open Lark Ranch as a Fall family attraction. Several years later, they opened their location in Greenfield.
- Dubbed “The Ultimate Fall Experience,” Lark Ranch offers a fun family-friendly experience at an affordable price. General admission tickets are just $12 and free for kids age 2 and under. That includes all the activities with the exception of pony rides and gem mining, which are just $5 each.
- The Lark family is always thinking about how to make lark ranch bigger and better. In the future, they are looking to continue building even more scenes like their western town along the train route and maybe even having a Fall festival or other special event.
- At the root of everything they do, is the Lark family’s mission of giving back to their community. That’s why they donate a portion of every admission ticket to Riley Hospital for Children. Plus, if your child is a current patient or has been a patient at Riley Hospital within the past 5 years, they can enjoy free admission to Lark Ranch.
For more information about Lark Ranch, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them via Facebook and Instagram.
While in Greenfield, check out these other local hot spots: