Last weekend, we went to a local apple orchard with friends (recap here!) and also visited a (new-to-us) farm for the first time. It was perfect way to kickoff the autumn season in September!
This farm will have to become a new family tradition, at least while E is still a toddler – there were so many fun things to do and explore that were geared toward wee little folks! When we arrived, we checked out the general store, then hopped onto the flatbed of a tractor for a hayride up to the pumpkin patch! E marched right into the patch and grabbed a perfect little round pumpkin off the vine (?). He carried it all over the patch – he was so proud of it!
We picked out a few other small pumpkins and rode back down to the store. After depositing our pumpkins in the car, we ventured back into the farm to visit the horse and the donkey. E loved them! We were also able to sit in the bleachers and watch a few piglet races.
There were also pretty gardens that created a gorgeous backdrop for pictures, and a giant 60′ slide-tunnel with a 20′ drop carved into the hillside. Sitting on burlap mats, we ducked into the tunnel and – whoosh! Away we went. E did it with each of us, and I think he had fun!
There were all kinds of playgrounds and even a wooden train to climb through, so we let E run around in those for a little while. He loved collecting large green tree nuts and handing them out to other kids.
It was getting late, so we finally made our way to the corn maze and selected a toddler-themed scavenger hunt from a large selection of “choose-your-own-adventure” inspired routes. We were in the maze for about 45 minutes! I held a long piece of PVC pipe with flags on it so that the workers (who looked like lifeguards on their tall posts) could monitor our progress. We all really enjoyed the maze, and about halfway through, I thought to turn on my RunKeeper app to see what kind of crazy route we were making as we went in what seemed like endless circles. Although, I’m proud to admit, I think I did a great job blindly navigating the maze, as direction-challenged as I am! I followed the cues and found all the correct passport markers, in order.
When we finally emerged, we headed back up to the barn for one last carousel ride! The indoor carousel was hand-painted and built in 1942, I believe. We were the last family there, so we had the whole carousel to ourselves. E has ridden the one at Busch Gardens, but this one was a little too fast for his (or my!) liking, and it went on for about 10-15 minutes! We all felt sick afterward, and E was in hysterics. It felt like the crazy boat ride from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie! We had even contemplated jumping off, but the attendant had gone out of his way to allow us to ride after he was technically closed for the evening. After that, we selected one last pumpkin from the farm and headed home, happy and tired!