After more than a decade of ideas, Young’s Jersey Dairy has decided to add a carousel and an imagination space for children to a new building that will be constructed on the property.
“For the folks that have been coming here for a decade or more, it will be a nice, new thing,” said Dan Young, the dairy’s CEO and chief ice cream dipper.
Young explained families typically visit the dairy April through October and are met with many outdoor activities. In the winter months, there is not much else to do besides visiting the dairy store, seeing the animals, watching the cows get milked or playing on the outdoor tractors.
He said they have always wondered what they could do in the winter time at the farm on the Clark County-Greene County line north of Yellow Springs. They have decided on adding a new 9,000-square-foot building that will house a farm-themed carousel and an imagination space encouraging kids to collaborative and play. The space will have multiple garage doors that can be opened on good weather days, Young said.
The new building will take the spot of a former house on the property that has most recently been used as an office space, training center and storage.
“Since we surrounded it with other stuff, it’s just kind of an odd building in the middle of Young’s,” Young said.
He added they hope construction will begin sometime in the next 60 days with the demolition of the existing building. The new addition could be built by the end of the year with the upgraded Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral moving into the space right away. Young said the carousel could come sometime in spring 2024.
“It will give folks another reason to visit,” Young said. “We’ve been here for a long time; it’s going to attract our existing customers... maybe one more time a year.”
Young noted the idea to add a carousel was from his sister, Deb Whittaker, who is the CFO, otherwise known as the head bean counter. He said they had looked into it previously, but became more serious after the new dairy store was built.
The farm themed carousel will be 40 feet in diameter with 38 seats plus standing room. Young said two thirds of the carousel will be horses with the other part including cows, goats, chickens and more.
Young’s son, John, who is the chief imagination executive, internet & otherwise (CIEIO), said the Kiddie Corral area will have activities similar to what people would see at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus or the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton. He said guests could see something like a food truck setup where kids can pretend to serve ice cream, a book nook with crafts or other interactive spaces.
They also said they hope to add additional birthday party rooms to the new space.
John noted this year-round attraction will also bring additional jobs to the area.
“Because we are so seasonal, we have a lot of turnover in the winter,” John said.
Young’s is credited with drawing more than one million people to the area each year.
Young said in the winter time, foot traffic typically drops around 80 percent, resulting in low sales at the dairy store. A busy month like October sees around 90,000 to 100,000 people, Young said. A slow month like January sees around 15,000 to 16,000 people.
“I think this opens us up to doing more off-season stuff,” Young added.
The addition of the carousel and Kiddie Corral area will give Club Cowvin members another activity that will be included in their memberships.
As plans for the new building begin to take shape, Young said he is looking forward to hearing the sound of the carousel on the busy summer and fall days.
“That’s happy music,” Young said. “That’ll be a really cool addition to the experience of visiting Young’s.”
Young’s Jersey Dairy has just begun hiring for the spring and summer. For more information, visit www.youngsdairy.com or the dairy’s Facebook page.