With all due respect to literally every other variety of flora, there’s nothing quite like a sunflower field in bloom. They’re wild, they’re whimsical, they’re fun, they’re a little chaotic… they’re not unlike your dog in those ways, actually. And to wit, there are lots of dog-friendly Minnesota sunflower fields where your pup can join you as you take in the colorful, fantastical view. (Tired: Old Yeller. Wired: Oh, Yellow!)
Fields typically burst into bloom between July and September, but it all depends on when the seeds were planted and what the weather’s been like. And sunflower fields don’t stay in peak bloom for too long, so you’ll want to follow the individual farms on Facebook or Instagram—or sign up for email alerts whenever possible—to make sure your trip is planned for the perfect weekend. Otherwise, you just need to grab your pup and camera to make some doggone memories at Minnesota sunflower fields.
Fish Sunflowers’ Free Fields
Scattered throughout Minnesota, Fish Sunflowers’ free-to-visit fields were started by farmer Johnny Olson, who literally just wanted to spread joy via sunflower. He leases the land on his own dime, planting hundreds of thousands of seeds to show love for people in his life. (It’s incredibly sweet; check out this story from KSTP.) And though your dog might not get the gesture, they are welcome to join you on a sunshine-filled visit to one or more of Fish’s fields.
Locations vary from year to year, but have included Maple Grove, Monticello, Buffalo, Elk River, Rogers, Minneapolis, Big Lake, Andover, and Princeton. Their hope is to have a whopping ten fields around the state this year (their sixth season!) which bloom at different times throughout the summer depending on when they’re planted. You can find the full list of locations here, and sign up here to get email updates on bloom times directly to your inbox. You can also check Fish’s public Facebook Group to ensure that the field you’re hoping to visit is open and get the most up-to-date info on bloom times.
Treasured Haven Farm
Located in Rush City, Treasured Haven is a hit with trail runners, who flock to the farm for 5Ks, adventure runs, and more. Your pup is welcome on the wooded, mowed trails as well—so you can take him for a hike before or after your sunflower field experience! (They just ask you keep canines leashed and away from any farm animals—they’d rather not have pups messing with their sheep and cows.) A dry, hot season means the sunflowers are getting a later start than usual this year, but a farm spokesperson tells Sidewalk Dog, “We should be starting up about mid-July; they’re getting closer.” Find up-to-date info on pricing, blooming, and Treasured Haven’s Sunflower Days, held each August, here.
Expect a magical experience at Sunflower Ranch in Big Lake, where thousands of people descend each year to check out the vast, blooming fields. Want to make sure you get a good pic of your pup for the ‘gram? They get that: Their website even includes a list of area photographers who’ve shot in the fields before and know how to capture your dog’s good side. The ranch is open to the public during Sunflower Fest, held from the last Friday in August through Labor Day each year, and private reservations are available year-round. Find the most up-to-date info on Facebook.
Dogs are welcome at Fresh Acres all year-round, whether your bud prefers the sunflower fields each summer or the fall corn maze and pumpkin patch. Admission to the sunflower fields is $5 a person ($10 per person for a cut-your-own bouquet), and this year, all five sunflower-filled acres should be blooming by mid-August. Have a specific event in mind? Give them a shout to book photoshoots, yoga classes, and other private events in the sunflower field. You can find more details on the “What’s Flowerin’” section of the Fresh Acres site.
Did we leave out your pup’s favorite flowering field? Give us a shout in the comments so we can add it before it’s in bloom!
Featured photo: Fish’s Free Sunflower Fields