Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Patch!

One of my all-time favorite traditions is visiting the Pumpkin Patch. I realized this year that I like it as much as picking out a Christmas tree. Don't get me wrong, Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday, but the joy of visiting the patch, walking the rows of pumpkins, and watching the kids pick out the perfect one brings me such joy!

This year I got to go twice: once with both kids for Maddie's class and another time just with Sam and his classmates. 

The best farm first: G&M Farms in Livermore is by far the most fun & organized patch we've visited. They charge only $7 and that includes: a tractor-pulled hay ride, teaching time in the "cornfield classroom," small farm animal exhibit (with learning tools), hay maze, corn box, play structure, pumpkin, indian corn and decorative gourd!

Sam especially enjoyed the play structure and corn box! :)

If I could have one of these year-round, I would totally do it! The corn is coarse and the texture feels really nice on bare feet. It doesn't stick in all your crevices like sand, and is easy to shake out. All of the kids thoroughly enjoyed it! Even I took off my shoes and wandered in for some photos.

Sam was also really excited to try out the maze. He played in here for about ten minutes, following other kids around, trying to find his way out. Eventually he just hopped on top of the bales and walked out. Hilarious.

There is an indoor section with spooky things that light up, laugh, giggle, and move. Sam thought they were funny and kept returning to check everything out. (Not my favorite part of Halloween).

Gratuitous cut-out shot:

Me and my little pumpkin after a fun morning at the patch:

With Maddie's class, we visited Forest Home Farms in San Ramon. For $10, we got a pumpkin, a couple rides, and a pea plant to grow. It was less organized, a lot more chaotic, fthe rides were a little crazy, but if was fun nonetheless.

Maddie really wanted this "BIG" pumpkin but after paying $10/kid plus knowing another patch trip was upcoming, I was too cheap to buy an extra pumpkin. :) We found a couple small ones that were included with our fare.

It was a weird day, weather-wise. It was incredibly humid and maybe that added to my lack of interest in staying any longer than we absolutely needed. The kids grabbed their pumpkins and then we hit up some rides.

My two pumpkins:

On the first ride with their friend Christopher:


On the second ride, kind of like an enclosed teacup, one that spins:

The first trip on this particular ride was smooth. They hardly spun at all and really loved it. The second trip both kids climbed in with a group of four five year-old boys. When the ride finally stopped to let one kid off, I peeked in to find Maddie and Sam on the FLOOR of the ride. It was spinning so fast that Sam fell and when the big boys wouldn't stop spinning Maddie got down with him to keep him company. They both looked a little queasy when they got off.

Probably the most fun part, at least for my kids, was getting their own pea plant. They grabbed some soil, pushed a pea down in, and added water. A few days later, they both have little shoots growing up. Very fun, fast and rewarding.

Maddie and her friend Barrett from school:

Yay for visits to the pumpkin patch!

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