Pumpkin Patch Palooza

I love fall. I absolutely love it. I’m not really into the pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin breads and treats that most other people love- my thing is all the outdoor fall activities! There is so much to see and do and I’m a huge fan, especially when you have 3 kids under 3 years old to entertain on a regular basis. Fall means lots of free, or relatively inexpensive, activities for everyone to see and enjoy. So check out our review of the local farms we’ve visited so far . . .

Burt’s Farm

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Our first stop was to Burt’s Farm. We actually went here the last weekend in September. I’ve never been before but KH  had and suggested we avoid the crazy October crowds and hit this one early. Apparently the lines get incredibly long (even to get int he parking lot!) and with our little 3 that was not something we wanted to mess with.

Pumpkins – Burt’s has LOTS of pumpkins to choose from. All colors and sizes. They even have farm grown squash and other vegetables as well you can buy.

Hayride- They hayride at Burt’s is a MUST. Seriously the best one we’ve been on. Its about 20 min long and they literally have set something up every step of the way for you to see and experience. I don’t want to spoilt the fun but just know you won’t be staring at farmland or woods the whole time. My 8 year old niece said, “this is the best hayride I’ve ever been on!” and I absolutely agree with her. You can’t beat it. Cost is $5/person. 2 and under are free.

Activities – There really aren’t many other things for kids to do. There is a tractor they can sit on but no farm animals or other activities beyond the hayride.

Shopping- We went through the store pretty quickly but they have lots of locally made preserves, breads and other products as well as homemade crafts you can pick up.

Photo Opp- Lots of photo opp spots including this one below with the Burt’s Farm name in the background!

The Draw – The awesome hayride and the variety of pumpkins!

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Kinsey Family Farm

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Out second stop was Kinsey. It’s become an annual tradition as it was the first place we took our son to see Pumpkins when he was only 5 months old and the tradition has continued. It’s a small family farm with an overall great experience.

Pumpkins-  Kinsey has a good amount of pumpkins to choose from, just not as many as Burt’s. Some white ones as well and lots of different sizes.

Hayride- Good hayride takes you around the farm property where you get to see the animals as well as the Christmas tree area. Cost is $2/person. 2 and under are free.

Activities- The farm includes goats and cows which you can feed for a small price to buy the food. You can bet them for free 🙂

Shopping – There is a very small store with jared preserves, honey, pumpkins breads and even a couple t-shirts.

Photo Opp – Plenty of nature spots around the farm and with the pumpkins and hay bales.

The Draw- Kinsey is smaller, easier to get in and out, and a shorter drive than most other places. We like it for the “ease” factor.

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Warbington Farms

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Our third stop was Warbington Farms. We went earlier in May to go strawberry picking and had a great time. This past weekend they had a Pumpkin Palooza with lots of activities and fun for the whole family. Warbington is the only one that charges to actually get in the farm but there is lots to do there. Cost is $10/person. 2 and under are free.

Pumpkins- A very small area sectioned off. I’m not sure if they actually grow the pumpkins there. It’s separate from the rest of the farm.

Hayride- The hayride was VERY short. The price is included in the cost of visiting the farm. We got to see more of the farmland and got to see them feed the cows but that was about it. They hayride is also not actually a hayride but a ride on bench seats on the back of a tractor.  Cost is Free.

Activities- LOTS of activities. They had multiple bounce houses, a giant blob bouncy, slides, a corn bin where kids could get in and jump around among, a corn maze, vendors selling items, face painting, as well as a petting area where we got to pet a 5 DAY OLD cow! So sweet! Couldn’t believe he was only 5 days old! We also got to pet some goats and a big. Bring a good stroller if you have little kids. The activities are all within walking and sight distance but you might need to push around the little ones.

Shopping – When we went there were vendors selling some of their crafts and local items however generally there is no shopping. Just a concession area with some food and drinks for sale. (During strawberry season they sell homemade strawberry ice cream which is AMAZING! but that’s just in the summer!)

Photo Opp – There were multiple picture cut outs to stop and get a picture as well as a sign by the entrance.

The Draw- While its a bummer its so expensive there really is a TON to do for kids and its a short drive as well – just off exit 17 on 400.

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Anniversary Getaway to Highlands, NC

Kyle and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary on August 20. Our (or really my) original vision for our 5 year was to head back to our beloved honeymoon spot and go back to Kauai, Hawaii. We LOVED our honeymoon there and I have been ready to go back every since we left. However, having 3 kids in a little over the last 2 years changed that plan up a bit and so we decided to stay a little closer to home this year. Having already travelled to a lot of the nearby towns within a short driving distance (Savannah, Charleston, Destin, Asheville, etc) we decided to try a new spot and go to Highlands, NC. We didn’t know what to expect but we were thrilled! In short, it was the perfect getaway. Only 2 hours from home, lots of beautiful scenery and hiking. Incredible food, great shopping and even wine tasting. It was the perfect little getaway for us and gave us the peaceful, relaxing, and fun vacation we desperately needed.  Check out the list of everything we did below.

WEDNESDAY

    • Left around 10 am. Easy drive up to Highlands.
    • Lunch at Wild Thyme
      • Kyle had the salmon BLT and I had the fried shrimp sandwich – both served with homemade sweet potato chips.
      • Hiked Glenn Falls (difficulty rating is HARD and it was accurate! Tough hike but incredible falls and great views). We hiked 2.1 miles of the trailIMG_1196

 

  • Shopping Downtown. Our favorite store was Bear Mountain Outfitters. Lots of great outdoor items. We got clothes and shoes (Toms of course) for the kids, and I got a swimsuit for myself.
  • Dinner at Ugly Dog Pub – a local hotspot!
    • Kyle had the 1/4lb Dog House pimento cheese hotdog, made with local beef
    • I had the Dog House salad with smoked chicken
    • Apparently Wednesdays are live music night so it was hard to find a seat at 6:30 when we arrived but luckily we got a seat at the bar
  • Walked back toward our hotel from dinner and stopped for Ice cream at Kilwins of Highlands
  • Sat on balcony of the Main Street Inn where we stayed overlooking main street

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THURSDAY

    • Breakfast at Mountain Fresh Grocery (we split French toast, eggs, grits, hashbrowns, bacon, eggs, and amazing French press coffee)
    • Chattooga iron bridge and river cliffs trail – hiked about 2.5 miles

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    • Lunch at Sports Page Sandwich Shoppe (basic but tasty sandwiches and sides)
    • Pedicures – oh yeah!
    • Shopping down Main Street
    • Wine tasting at Mountaintop Wine Shop
    • Dinner at Wolfgang’s Restsurant and Wine Bistro – Incredible!
      • Hand breaded fried brie with a cranberry walnut compote, a lemon dijon vinaigrette and crustini as an appetizer
      • Kyle had the crab cake on lobster cream sauce and pecan crusted shrimp with  vegetables, orange molasses dipping sauce with a hint of scotch bonnet
      • I had the cajun BBQ shrimp with asiago grits and andouille scented collard greens
      • We also split a piece of the frozen peanut butter pie- it was pretty good but not as good as the appetizer and main dishes.

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FRIDAY

  • Breakfast at Bake My Day- well known for their croissants and they were very tasty!
  • We planned to hit up a couple spots on our way out but decided to head straight home instead and snuggle our babies.

Here is a list of everything we want to do the next time around that we didn’t get to:

  • Visit/hike to Dry Falls
  • Hike to Sunset Rock (at sunset of course)
  • Satulah Mountain
  • Stumphouse Tunnel Park
  • Ugly Dog Pub (again). Great food and really fun atmosphere.
  • I’d probably go back to Wolfgang’s again too. Perfect date night spot and SO. YUMMY.

Traveling with Baby

image1 2My husband and I recently decided to head back to Asheville after an interesting attempt to try and visit earlier this year for a “Babymoon” before our little man arrived. Our first experience was cut short after we rented a “cabin” that was actually right off a very busy road and was the home to several mice which kept us up through the night. After a sleepless night our friend and dog-sitter Emily called us up early in the morning to let us know that our sweet puppy was incredibly sick and as a result our home was in a less than ideal state… Needless to say our trip to Asheville the first time wasn’t so great and so it was time for a do-over. This time we decided to do it right- We decided to stay at the Grove Park Inn (picture above) which is absolutely amazing, especially at Christmas. I’ll probably end up writing an entire post just on the hotel because of how absolutely amazing it is. Before we venture out to see the Biltmore at Christmas time we are camping out in our hotel room while our little man gets in a good nap. I thought I’d take this opportunity to capture all of our tips and tricks for traveling with a baby which has made this a pretty great experience so far:

  • SOUND MACHINE is a must! When sharing a room with your little one it makes it easier for all involved to have that extra buffer to keep him sleeping soundly. It helps that our little boy is also used to sleeping with a sound machine at home.
  • SNAP IN GO STROLLER. The best light weight stroller around which folds up and is easy for carrying up and down stairs if needed with or without the carseat attached. This particular model is the only one we found that fits the Britax B-Safe Carseat.
  • FORMULA DISPENSER or formula in a bottle. Our little man is no longer on breastmilk which has its own positives and negatives. One positive we’ve found during this trip is that we can carry around an empty bottle in tow with the necessary formula power already measured out in the bottle and then just add room temperature water when we are ready to feed him. Makes life a whole lot easier. However if still using breastmilk then a small bottle cooler and warmer are of course great for on the go.
  • BABY CARRIER. Just for when you want to nix the stroller and take advantage of arms free mobility. Ideal for our trip to the Biltmore this afternoon!
  • BACKPACK DIAPER BAG. Leave the large diaper bag in the car or hotel room. When walking around on vacation you want to minimize the “load” you are carrying and travel a little more light weight. We actually lucked out and found an outdoor store in our hotel and picked up one of these Patagonia sling bags. It may look small but it was perfect to fit a changing pad, a couple diapers, wipes, one bottle with dry formula, boogie wipes and a change of clothes. Perfection!
  • HEADPHONES for mom and dad. For the evening or during nap time if you want to watch a movie or listen to something on your computer or phone.

Can you think of anything else you’ve found helpful that I’m missing? Happy traveling! 🙂