Sunday, 29 October 2017

Pumpkin Patch 2017

Yesterday we spent the day getting into the Fall and Halloween spirit with a visit to a pumpkin patch. Like a few years ago, we visited McClelland's Dairy near Petaluma just an hour north of San Francisco. We picked pumpkins and gourds to decorate at home, met farm animals, went on a tractor ride, shot mini pumpkins out of a cannon, played on bounce houses, walked through a haunted house and buried each other in the corn pit.

Here's a look at our fun day on the farm...


Our first stop when we arrived was the pumpkin patch itself. As we visited just a few days before Halloween most of the big pumpkins were already gone. There were still lots of smaller to medium sized pumpkins though once we ventured a little further in. The girls found the pumpkins they wanted and we loaded up our wagon. We then had a little fun balancing pumpkins on our heads


After a little more exploring the pumpkin patch we found small gourds growing among the corn and other taller plants. Lola decided they made pretty good maracas!


Any time we visit a farm with corn growing we have to take a few creepy "Children of the Corn" shots of Lola. She doesn't look quite so creepy here but she is rather well camouflaged!


We paid for our pumpkins, wheeled them back to the car in our wagon and made our way to the amusements part of the pumpkin patch. 


There were so many fun things to keep the kids occupied. Ava and Lola had fun swinging on the tire swings shaped like horses before we made our way over to check out the farm animals in the petting farm. The cows, pony, pigs and sheep were just to look at and pat through the fence, but we were able to go in with the calves. One calf in particular took a liking to Ava's dress and kept trying to eat it! Actually, this calf was trying to eat everyone's clothes but Ava's dress seemed to be a favorite. Lola dubbed it the "goat cow"! 


Next up we hopped aboard a tractor trailer and took a small ride around the dairy and feed storage sheds. At the end of the ride we went inside a viewing room to take a look at the cows being milked. The smell of all that fresh milk (and cow poo!) took my back to my childhood when we use to visit a friend's dairy farm and drink the creamy milk straight from the vat. 


We then moved onto smaller tractors. Mathilde got a little frustrated trying to pedal her tractor (it was pretty tricky) so while Ava and Lola raced each other she headed over to climb the hay bales.


We took a quick pit stop for photos and then made our way over to the bounce houses.


The girls had a blast playing in the various bounce houses. There were traditional bounce houses (Mathilde's favorite), obstacle courses and a giant slide. The slide was a hit with all three of the kids. Mathilde was a little scared to go on it by herself so I went with her. The first go was fun (as you can see in the pictures below) but the second time a toddler climbed in front of us as we hurtled down the slide so I spun myself sideways in an effort not to hit them. I succeeded in not hitting the toddler, but unfortunately my maneuver resulted in me sliding, bare legged, right along the seam in the middle of the slide. I ended up with a painful burn across my thigh and elbow. Note to self, don't go on bounce house slides with bare skin!


The biggest blast at the pumpkin patch came courtesy of the pumpkin blasters! We loaded these fun cannons with mini pumpkins and blasted them out into a field. There were targets to try and hit but I don't think the kids were too fussed about that. They just loved shooting the cannons. Last time we visited McClelland's Dairy they were all out of mini pumpkins and we shot apples instead. The girls were happy to have pumpkins for the pumpkin blaster this year.


We then made our way into the haunted house. Ava had been through it earlier in the day with Kim and she told me that things had jumped out and touched her. She was a little freaked out but keen to take me through it as well. To my surprise Lola and Mathilde decided to tag along. I was half expecting tears from Mathilde but she was happy to walk through it holding my hand and laughed at the ghosts and ghouls. Nothing jumped out at us this time around.


Our last stop for the day was the corn pit. This is always one of my favorite things at pumpkin patches. Imagine a giant sand pit or ball pit filled with dried corn kernals. The corn is so smooth and feels really nice against your feet as you walk through it. Of course, the kids didn't spend much time just walking in it. They buried each other, had "swimming" races across the pit, made corn angels and did a lot of digging.   


It was getting pretty cold by now. In fact, it was cold enough that Kim had gone back to the car right after the pumpkin blaster. It had been pretty hot during the day so the girls and I were in Summery dresses but as the sun set and the fog rolled in the temperature dropped dramatically making me wish we were dressed much more warmly. We made one quick stop for a few photos with some pumpkins (with hilarious results from Mathilde who suddenly looked super short!) and then we made our way back to the car to warm up and head home.


Seriously, how hilarious does Mathilde look in that last photo? I can't stop laughing at it.

We'll save carving our pumpkins until after school on Monday as they go mouldy so quickly in our apartment. I can't wait to roast all those tasty pumpkin seeds after we carve them. Mmm... so good.

Did you visit a pumpkin patch this year? It's one of my favorite Fall traditions and the kids always have so much fun.

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