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Friday 16 October 2015

Hoes Down Harvest Festival 2015

A few weekends back we attended the annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Fully Belly Farm in Yolo County. We all had such a great time and I have so many photos I've been wanting to share but I've been a little caught up lately in prep work for Lola's upcoming 5th birthday party, and once again I've found myself falling behind.

So, it's time to catch up with some fun on the farm photos...

This year we attended the Hoes Down with some good friends who have daughters the same age as Ava and Lola. The kids loved having friends with them, especially when it came to camping in the evening. We managed to coordinate arriving at the same time and set up our tents right next to each other. The girls loved being neighbors! Like last year, we went for the car camping option and set up our tent next to our car. Unlike last year, this time around we had a new tent and we actually all fit inside it without feeling like sardines. What a difference it made! Five people crammed into a three person tent is no joke. Our new tent felt like a mansion in comparison!

Once we got the tents set up we headed off to the festival to have some fun. On our walk to the festival we were offered a ride on a teeny, tiny truck. Who were we to say no? We all piled on the back and off we went.

We started out with a climb on the hay stack fort, then painted peace flags, bobbed for apples and cooled down with watermelon and ice cream. The kids were keen to try out a few more crafts and activities but the day was pretty hot (although much cooler than last year) and the heat was starting to get to them. We had heard from other festival goers that there was actually quite a decent amount of water in the creek this year so the kids were pretty excited to go for a splash.

On our way to the creek we came across the most amazing ride. I'm not even sure what you'd call it. The kids sat on a wooden board and tobogganed their way down to a splash pool further down the hill. It looked like so much fun. Ava and the girls' friend too several turns. Lola, however, got a little scared on her first go and didn't make it all the way to the water. I'm sure that Mathilde would've loved to take part if she was just a little bigger.

We made our way down to the creek and the kids loved it. The water was only deep enough for wading but it sure did cool us down. We spent quite some time splashing around in the cool water. Lola and her friend collected tiny shells, Mathilde splashed and stomped, and the big girls went exploring on the other side.

After cooling down in the creek we headed we headed back to the festival fun. We made our way to the zipline which was loads of fun. Lola and Mathilde didn't ride the zipline so they played farmer while Ava and the other kids waited their turns.

We then settled in to watch a circus performance by the amazing Circus Bella.

As evening approached, so too did a little stormy weather. We ate dinner and made our way back to the campsite, checking out the carved pumpkins along the way.

The kids couldn't get enough of playing in the tents. They changed into their pajamas straight away and got out their board games, flashlights and snacks and settled in for a night of fun. Us adults set up our deck chairs, wine and grown up snacks (which all of the kids stole, of course) outside. It was a little windy at first but nothing too bad. Then we started noticing lightening a little way away. Then a little drizzle. Still fine. Then all of a sudden... BAM! The heavy rain came crashing down! We gathered our stuff as quickly as we could and got into our tents. The rain and wind settled in for quite a while so we decided to call it a night. At one point it was so windy that I worried our tent might blow over! In fact, one of the pegs got pulled out by the wind and one side of the tent kept collapsing on my head until Kim went outside and hammered it back in.  

We woke in the morning to a beautiful day and intact tents! Rather than joining the long queue for the Hoes Down breakfast we ate food that we'd brought from home outside of the tents. The kids played a little more and then it was time to pack up.

With everything packed up our friends headed home and we decided to go for a little walk around the farm. I'd seen quite a few "digger" type vehicles around and I just knew that Mathilde would love to have a look up close.

There was a low maze in a field of some sort of grass, so we spent some time running around in it trying to find the quickest way through.

We also checked out a few of the crops and some friendly sheep nearby before heading back to the car to drive home.

We had such a great time at the Hoes Down again this year and can't wait to go back again next year.

In the mean time, I think we're going to have to do a little more camping to make use of that nice big tent we now have. If you know of any great camping spots in the Bay Area I'd love to hear about them.


  1. Look at these cute babies have fun all around at the Hoes Down Harvest Festival. It's really nice to see the pictures of these babies who has a great time, enjoying themselves. Thanks to all who posted such nice pictures. I really like this:)


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