Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.
I love fall. In fact, I think it’s safe to say fall is my favorite season. When I was a child, I would have told you fall was my favorite season because my birthday is three days after Halloween. In my mind, nothing could beat TWO kid holidays only days apart. As an adult, I became more practical in my seasonal rankings. Fall was my favorite season because of the welcome relief it brought after a beastly hot Texas summer. I think it was after I became a parent that fall graduated from just being my favorite season, to being a season I love. To me, fall feels like the beginning of the year and a new start. There’s the excitement of a new school year, college football, the State Fair of Texas and the new season of Dexter. And, yes, I’m one of those people who considers Halloween the “unofficial” start of the holiday season.
My favorite way to mark the “unofficial” start of the holiday season is a trip to a pumpkin patch. Rose was just over a year old when we visited our first pumpkin patch at St. James Episcopal Church. Having always gotten my pumpkins from the grocery store, I never knew such a place existed. I was instantly taken in by the all the color, atmosphere and – most importantly – the endless photo opportunities for cute kid shots. I think Rose was just as awestruck as I was. She was just learning to talk, and outside of “mama,” the only word she knew was “that.” I’m not sure why she latched on to a pronoun as her first word – rather than “dog” or “cat” or even “no” – but it made for a memorable scene as she toddled around the miles of pumpkins, pointing and declaring “that!” at each one.
Last year, we decided to broaden our pumpkin patch tradition by taking a road trip. We grabbed a few friends, piled in the car and headed to Yesterland Farm in Canton. Originally a Christmas tree farm, the owners expanded to include a pumpkin patch. But it’s more than just a pumpkin patch, it’s an Autumnal Wonderland! (Sorry, I had to get my Martha Stewartism in there.) There are rides for the kids, a three-acre corn maze, pig races and miles and miles of pumpkins. Also, if you get a chance, try out the pumpkin launcher, where you get to load a pumpkin into a large sling-shot contraption and “launch” it into a nearby pond.
Mainstay Farm, just outside of Burleson, comes highly recommended by my co-worker Gila. Besides the obligatory pumpkin patch and a wooden corn maze, it has an “adventurous” hayride that goes over hill and dale and ends at the foot of a three-story tree house. There’s also a 100-foot super chute slide that the kids loved. Fort Worth Pumpkin Days are on Saturdays through Nov. 3.
There are a number of great pumpkin patches in our area just waiting to be explored. A great website to help you locate the perfect pumpkin patch for you and your little pumpkin is pumpkinpatchesandmore.org
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 7-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at email@example.com.