Weekend Pumpkin Festival

So this past weekend my sister, her husband and I decided to take the girls to the Pumpkin Festival at Hunsader Farms in Bradenton.  We figured that this would be a nice fall activity, and a great photo op!  The girls each wore their favorite dress-up dresses so we would have even cuter pictures – V was dressed as a fairy (sans wings), A was dressed as Rapunzel and L was dressed as Minnie Mouse.  We all decided to drive over together in my brother-in-law’s extended cab truck (yes, 3 adults and 3 babies/toddlers in 1 truck – all were buckled in safely!), which was surprisingly not bad.  We parked in their “parking lot” – likely a plowed hay field which served the purpose – and walked into the festival.  Cost is/was $5.00 for parking and $10.00/person over 12 years old (children under 12 years old were free).

First impressions – IT WAS SOOOOOOOO HOT OUTSIDE!  Not even kidding.  By the time we got to the entrance of the festival, I was already wondering how long we would be able to stay until the heat got the best of us, and my fair-haired, fair-skinned Miss V was already flushed.  The festival was actually much larger than I anticipated, almost like a mini state fair!  There were games, pony rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and tons of fair food.  There was also a small craft fair!  One of the first things we came to was a kid-sized corn maze for <5year olds – here’s V:

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At first she was feeling adventurous and explored a bit, but then some bigger kids needed to pass her, so she followed them back to the entrance.  After that she was only interested in pulling hay out of the bales…so we moved on.

We came across a pumpkin patch next, and thought it would be a great photo opportunity. Plus, the girls were having a blast climbing all over the pumpkins like a jungle gym, and it was in the shade…

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Believe it or not, I did not have to do any positioning to get these shots, V was just happy to be playing with/standing on/picking up the pumpkins.  The owners of the pumpkin patch did not seem too concerned, although I kept her from picking any of the up.  I thought she was just the cutest little fairy 🙂

We did some exploring of the rest of the festival, tasted some fair food – V loved roast corn on the cob!  We rode their tractor train, which was a little scary for me – I was sure that V was going to jump out at any time (although it was moving so slowly that we could have caught her), but she loved it!  She was laughing and steering the whole time!

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There was also a small petting zoo, and we walked around the craft fair for a bit until it was closing time.  In total, besides for the heat, it was a pleasant way to spend a few hours.  We thought it was very fairly priced at $10.00/person, considering the kids were free, although several of the activities, and obviously the food were extra expenses.  If you looked at the experience like going to a fair, most of the activities were very reasonable.  The only extra activity we paid for (besides food) was the train, which was $2.00.  I wish we had purchased a pumpkin, because they were very nice and reasonably priced, but the parking lot was a fairly long ways away, and we didn’t want to have to carry it around.

Any fall activities your family can’t go without?  How about fall activities for toddlers?  Let me know!