A Pumpkin Patch Just Right for 8-Year-Olds – Swank Farms

The cuteness factor of tiny tots running through pumpkin patches is always high around this time of year. Unfortunately, my girls are beyond the age when their stature rivaled that of the most commonly-sized pumpkins. Likewise, it takes a bit of entertainment to keep them interested in a visit to a pumpkin patch than the standard train ride or pumpkin picking. So when my friend, Akemi, mentioned Swank Farms in Hollister, I was looking forward to checking it out.

Last Friday, a Staff Development day at school, my plans were already set. To Swank Farms we went…and a few other friends from school. Can I just say that Akemi was absolutely right? None of the kids were ready to leave when we moms were but as always, we’re the ones keeping everyone on schedule. My girls had soccer practice in the afternoon and we couldn’t be late for that. But let me tell ya, Swank Farms kept all the kids happily distracted while we (moms) got to chit chat. A giant jumping pillow, two tall pumpkin sling shots, a corncob cannon, pedal karts, a cornfield maze, a cow train, a place to mine for gems, piggy races, and of course, feeding the goats. All of this kept our crew of eight 8-year-olds happily entertained as they rushed from one attraction to another.

And can I say how warm and friendly the staff at Swank Farms is? After a couple of our kids ended up with bloody hands from falling during the hunt through the corn maze, the staff was ready with First Aid in hand. When one of my daughters dropped her plastic baggie of gems she’d just mined down the water hole, a staff member hurriedly ran out to help her retrieve her collection. When my girls and their classmate wanted to use the giant pumpkin sling shot and fire the corncob cannon, a staff member was right there to show them how…and add a little brawn to the actual pulling back of the sling. Now, it was a relatively light day in terms of visitors last Friday (I imagine the threat of rain and the fact we were there on a regular school day for other districts) and the staff had a lot less kids to worry about but still, that kind of hospitality is always appreciated and makes us want to return…or at least tell all our friends about it.  🙂

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.


Field Trip To Uesugi Farm

Truls and I were quite lucky this year. We were both able to join Songwriter’s and Storyteller’s classes at Uesugi Farm to visit the pumpkin patch. I haven’t been there in a couple of years and goodness how they’ve developed it. There was a corn maze with stops for a little educational recording, a small train ride around the pumpkin patch and through a ghost town, a short film about pumpkin making and a chance to pick out a pumpkin to take home.

The poor kids were melting throughout the visit. It was an unusually hot day with temperatures into the mid-90’s! I kicked myself because I forgot to bring water with me on the tours, instead leaving it in the car with our lunches. Ugh. But of course, I did bring my cameras.  😉

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

First Pumpkin Patch Visit

You know, the holidays are notorious for encouraging one to stroll down memory lane. It’s so cliche but I guess we’re just human. This time, though, I’m referring to Fall and pumpkin patches. It’s not something we did as kids. It may not have been the thing for young moms to do when we were young. It could also be a cultural thing…not sure there are any pumpkin patches in the Philippines. So, it probably goes without saying that it wasn’t something I’d thought about doing when I had children. But when my fellow mom friends started getting all excited about taking photos of their little ones amongst the giant pumpkins, well, the visual was hard to resist and the potential cuteness factor was pretty high.

This week is our girls’ first field trip of the year to…you guessed it…a pumpkin patch – and my inspiration for taking a little stroll down memory lane. So, here are a few images from six years ago when our girls made their first visit to the pumpkin patch. And of course, I’ll update this blog with images from this year’s trip later. Enjoy!

OK, say it with me now…aaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww….

Yup, the good, the sad and the precious. Yea, I know. They’re crying in a couple of shots but hey, it was part of the experience…and I like to capture it all.

An original It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog post.