It’s all about making memories, Janet Mixon, co-owner of Mixon Fruit Farms, said Friday of the opening of Mixon’s Farm House Inn and Mixon’s Amazing Play Place.
Mixon Fruit Farm, 2525 27th St. E., with its carefully tended groves and gardens, has long been a favorite location for weddings, class reunions, birthday parties and other special events. The newly added Farm House Inn and Play Place expand upon the amenities that a wedding party and others can enjoy there.
The Farm House Inn was the residence of Bill Mixon, patriarch of the Mixon family, who died in February at age 87.
Julie Busa, daughter of Janet Mixon, led an ambitious renovation of the home, incorporating many elements of Mixon Fruit Farms and Manatee County history to make the home an inviting and comfortable gathering place.
“We wanted to make a place that honored Bill,” Mixon said. “It’s a wonderful spot for family, bridesmaids and even the rehearsal dinner.
“As you wander through the house you experience a little bit of history of the farm and the history of the items in the house,” said Mixon, who owns the Bradenton landmark with her husband Dean.
Features of the Inn that make it like no other are an interior wall made of boards salvaged from a 1908 house, Chicago brick in the kitchen, towel holders made from hand drills, and lighting fixtures made from wooden pallets. There are even barn doors in the master bedroom.
The Inn offers bedrooms that can accommodate 13 members of a wedding party.
The other new addition at Mixon Fruit Farms is Mixon’s Amazing Play Place, which sits on 27,000-square-feet of artificial turf and includes a giant chess set, pickel ball, bocci ball, slides, a putting green and more.
The Play Place is adjacent to a garden maze and the Garden Oasis, a huge open-air pavilion where weddings are held.
It’s a long way from eight years ago when the first wedding was held at Mixon Fruit Farms.
“We got our certificate of occupancy the day before the first wedding,” Mixon said.
The Play Place is equally attractive to children and adults.
“Several brides have rented the Play Place for their cocktail party,” Mixon said.
Justin and Kristen Broderick and their daughters Hannah, 9, and Sophie, 7, from Benoit, Wis., were visiting Mixon Fruit Farms for the first time Friday.
“It’s very nice. I am impressed with the butterfly garden,” Justin Broderick said.
Kristen and Sophie Broderick then tried their hand at the orange racing game, furiously working the handle on a hand pump to see who could flush a plastic citrus ball through the race course first.
Other first-time visitors from Venice marveled at the gardens.
“We love it here. It’s beautiful,” one visitor said.
For more information, call 941-748-5829.