Sunday, October 30, 2011
Patchin' With the Punkins
“So, what’s your vote – where do you recommend?” my girlfriend asks, a black and orange screen lighting up her face as she scrolled through frantically, searching for just the right spot to visit as part of many KC family’s traditions. Each year we ask the same, researching which pumpkin patch has tried to outdo the other for the season, noting the details based on the age of our children, what special events they’re hosting that weekend, etc. So if you’re looking to squeeze in a last-minute trip to the patch today or perhaps play hooky from work tomorrow to celebrate with the kids, here are the top three I’d recommend:
1. Louisburg Cider Mill
2. Deanna Rose
3. Johnson Farms
The Cider Mill has everything on-site, is clean, people are friendly and they have a killer general store. You can nab your cider donuts and hoards of candy on site while your kiddo climbs the hay bales, checks out the baby cows and ponies, watches how cider is made, does a little jig to the country band and the grandparents wander through the booths. The pumpkin selection is strong, and you have the choice to easily wander out or take a fun tractor ride. This patch can be super nutty on certain days, so if you can swing a weekday, all the more power to you.
Deanna Rose was the perfect place to take our little punkins with the MOMS group I informally throw together each month, because you not only have the joy of visiting the farmstead and all those activities, but spending some time in their “Pumpkin Hollow.” Though we were surprised by the additional ticket price to enter, you did walk away with three pumpkins, could dig through bins of corn (and throw them at each other if you have little boys), go down a huge slide made of hay bails, fish, put ping pong balls through and maze and more. Perfect for that toddler to pre-school age and in an area where you could almost always keep your eye on them and they don’t get too overwhelmed. Plus the most gorgeous Clydesdales run the tractors out there. Food and drink is always handy, there are tons of families and activities around and even a playground for when they want the ordinary.
Johnson Farms is one we’ve visited for our major trip for the past two years because of the beautiful drive out south, the easy access and smaller crowds. Not to mention the fabulous pumpkin choices and beautiful mums and décor they carry. Plus, if you again have a little boy, they can spend hours watching the dinosaur munch the pumpkins or the man “hook the pumpkins!” from a cannibal over the river. Parents can pick gorgeous wildflowers while kids delight in the super-ugly pig, score a pony ride, see the baby chics and piglets or spend hours jumping on what has to be the largest version of a trampoline we’ve ever seen. The food lines are short, the bathrooms clean and the pre-school play area with fast slides a dream…including a huge sandbox. The tractor rides out are convenient and fast with the ability to throw a wheelbarrow on to return and there’s even a place to measure how tall your child has grown since last year. Don’t forget to hit the apple place on your way out on Holmes for the donuts!
Admittedly, KC Pumpkin Patch was also on our radar this year, but unfortunately we just couldn’t squeeze it in between all the other pumpkin donut downing, cider drinking and finding the perfect orange guy activities we’ve been doing.
So, big city folk, will you make the pumpkin patch a tradition for your family each year with so many great areas to choose from? For us, it’s something we look forward to for the sights, sounds and smiles it brings to our little family…and our bellies and front porches.
Happy patchin’ with the punkins!