It’s no secret that Averie’s Nana is a Halloween NUT. Okay, to be fair – she’s probably a fall nut. Maybe even just a nut. But I digress.
Every year we make the trek to the Anamosa Pumpkinfest and Pumpkin Patch Pizzazz and watch Averie’s Nana act like a kid in a candy shop… She loves pumpkins. And Halloween. And fall. I think you get the point.
Needless to say, Nana’s love for all things fall has rubbed off on Averie. This year she actually remembered the pumpkin patch. In the days leading up to the “big day” she was recollecting stories about last year…
“We’re going to find a pumpkin in the field. Nana and I are going to walk around and find a special pumpkin and a baby pumpkin. Then it’s going to grow arms and legs and be my best friend and we can go for a walk with it to the park and we can ride the swings and I want to go on a roller coaster ride too. Can we go to the fair?”
It’s quite possible that Nana’s love of fall isn’t the only thing that rubbed off on Averie. I’m pretty sure her attention span is in there. I refuse to accept any accountability for that one. “Oh look, a chicken!”
Anyway, we always meet up with Nana at the Community Center to check out the big pumpkins and see how much they weigh in at. I’m seriously amazed at how BIG they can get!
After that, we wandered the streets and checked out the vendors and grabbed some snacks while waiting for the parade to start. I didn’t take any pictures when we were wandering because it was SO.FREAKING.COLD! Yes, I know I live in Iowa. Don’t worry, I’ll adjust. But I’m still in ‘summer’ climate mode for now, so I was FREEZING!
My kid, however, was blissfully unaffected. I don’t know how it is that kids never seem to be affected by the cold. Averie even had a slushie. Seriously. Who has a slushie outside at a parade when it’s freezing out and everyone else is huddling over their hot chocolate. And who in their right mind buys a kid one when it’s that cold? Daddy of course. Needless to say, I was not the popular one that afternoon. Daddy was the cool parent… for a little bit anyway!
After the parade the Farm Bureau building hosts a display of carved pumpkins. I’m always amazed at how awesome they look. I don’t have that kind of talent. There are a handful of them that are done in the foam/plastic pumpkins that return year after year, but the majority are done in real fresh pumpkins, and they’re nothing short of awesome!
After the pumpkins, it’s Averie’s favorite part — Pumpkin Patch Pizzazz!
The patch is in a new location this year. They did an amazing job making sure that there would be pumpkins and gourds galore, and more activities for the kids than ever before. I was impressed. We’ve been going to their patch for years, and I have to admit I was a little worried about the new place living up to the standards of the old place. It didn’t take long for my worries to be… squashed. (Sorry, I had to throw a pun in there somewhere!)
Not only was the crop amazing, but the activities were fantastic. There were more things for kids to do than I could manage to take pictures of. The standard hay bale mazes were there (full size and mini for the little ones). The corn bin for kids to play in was GIGANTIC, I’m not sure how I ever coaxed Averie out. There was a ball pit, ring toss games, a tractor tire sand tower… and more. I couldn’t even keep track, and we definitely didn’t do it all!
And there were animals. I love animals. There were birds in the barn next to the corn bin — ducks, chickens, turkey and bunnies. (okay, so bunnies aren’t birds – but everything else in there was a bird)! There were goats outside next to the corn bin. And on the other side of the farm, there were animals to pet and feed. Including alpacas. If you haven’t had the chance to pet an alpaca, you’re missing out. So, so, SO soft!
There were, of course, other animals in the petting area. Most of which were friendly and loved being fed. Except the bigger donkey. I don’t know if Averie held her hand wrong or what, but it got a nip of her finger. Thankfully she recovered and moved on to feed other animals after it, so although it scared the heck out of her (and us), it must not have been as traumatic in the end as it seemed it could have been.
After the animals, we had to find Nana who was wandering in the pumpkin patch.
We wandered the patch for a while, helping Nana pick out gourds until her pocket was full! Then it was time to pick out our pumpkins and get our annual photograph of Averie sitting with the pumpkins…..
Umm… I think she might have grown. Just a little… I’m not going to dwell on that. And I’m also not going to dwell on the fact that we now have four pictures of her at the pumpkin patch…. FOUR!
Right. Pumpkins. Averie picked out her pumpkin and she also had her gourd that she picked from the patch. Her gourd, by the way, she named “Dinky”. It’s been a couple of days and she still is calling it “Dinky” the “Gourdy Guy”.
And then it was time for Mommy’s favorite part:
Seriously. If you don’t LOVE pumpkin bars, we might have to reconsider our friendship. And the pumpkin bars from the pumpkin patch are some of the best around. There were also ginormous pulled pork sandwiches. I don’t eat pork, but Aaron seemed to think it was delicious!
Averie was exhausted when all was said and done, we made a trip to Nana’s house and let her run around a bit, then went out for dinner before coming home. We were EASILY able to carry her from the car, to the bathroom, and then straight to bed. She didn’t even pretend to argue about going back to sleep. She was TIRED! Perfect end to a perfect day!