PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2012 and while it should still give you a great overview of the experience, please be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information.
It was time for Shawna and I to put together our second annual no carve pumpkin decorating post and I was missing one key ingredient, PUMPKINS!
These days I don’t have the energy to venture too far from home, so I decided to revisit a previous destination and take the family to The Pickin’ Patch in Avon, Connecticut.
You may or may not remember my post from last year on this venue. The farm had been hit hard by Hurricane Irene and lost their entire pumpkin crop (along with their other fall vegetable crops). Unfortunately, there was no “pickin’ ” to be had last year, but this year the crops seemed to be doing well and the FREE hayrides were back in full swing.
When we arrived at the Pickin’ Patch, we parked out front, right off of Nod Road. Most of the parking area is gravel, but on this day, Columbus Day, it was very busy and we had to park a little further down on the grass.
One of the great things about this place (especially when you are trying to navigate with toddlers) is that it is an easy walk from where you park to where you can hop on the hayride to the pumpkin patch.
I had baby girl in a carrier (I know, I know, she really needs a blogging nickname so I can stop calling here “baby girl”) and the twins just walked with me and my hubby.
We could see the tractor from where we parked and made our way down behind the Pickin’ Patch building to catch a ride to the fields.
You just needed to climb a few stairs to get onto the hayride. The vehicles are lined with bales of hay that you will sit on for the ride. The rails on the side come up fairly high and I felt safe riding with my three little ones. (I’m just mentioning this because I have been on some other hayrides where I felt like I had to hold on to the kids for dear life.)
The hayrides are FREE, so you just need to walk up and get on.
After we found a seat, I asked my hubby to snap a picture of me with the kids. I recently read a Huffington Post article that has inspired me to be in more pictures (side note: If you read the article, have some tissues on hand. My eyes well up just thinking about it.)
It was a quick five-minute ride from the store to the pumpkin patch. When we arrived, you could see the plethora of pumpkins in the field. We waited for the tractor driver to release the stairs and then headed out in search of our perfect pumpkins.
- We were going to get dirty on this adventure. From the dirt on our feet, to the mud on the kids’ clothes from tumbling over pumpkin roots, to our messy hands from picking up lots of pumpkins, there was dirt everywhere.
- Finding the perfect pumpkin wasn’t going to be as simple as I first imagined. Though there were lots and lots of pumpkins in the field, the area as you first got off the hayride was very picked over and the only remaining pumpkins there were bruised and rotten. You really had to head a bit deeper into the fields to find a healthy pumpkin.
- Pumpkins are heavy. We were only able to manage a return trip with two pumpkins. Fortunately, the pricing for the pumpkins in the field and the pricing for the pumpkins back at the store were the same. So you can have fun and pick out a pumpkin in the field, but you can still get more pumpkins once you return.
While out in the field, not only did we hunt for our pumpkin treasures, but we also took in the beautiful views of the changing leaves heading up to the Heublein Tower.
We also did a little airplane sight-seeing as the farm seems to be in the flight path to Bradley Airport.
It didn’t take long for one of the two hayrides to return to pick us up. We climbed aboard and found a seat. Thankfully my hubby had brought along a little towel so we could clean off everyone’s hands which were covered in dirt.
The return trip was slightly longer then the ride there, but it was still fairly quick. A perfect amount of time for my kids to enjoy the experience, but not become too antsy. The views on the ride were a combination of active farming shots and pretty fall foliage.
When we returned, we were dropped off behind The Pickin’ Patch store. There we saw lots of families waiting for the next hayride. Some of the kids were even dressed in their Halloween costumes. I’m hoping they were just planning on riding in the wagon and not planning to get off and pick pumpkins. I think the dirt/mud combo of pumpkin picking may cause a bit of a mess with their holiday garb.
As we exited the vehicle, we could see several wagons available for use. We grabbed one, loaded Bruiser, Sparkles and our pumpkins into it, and continued with our fall decorating shopping.
Behind the store was also the location of the restroom facilities. Not my favorite style, but it seems to be the standard for farm outings.
Once we were all loaded up in the wagon, we finished our shopping. We picked up some mums, regular pumpkins, and sugar pumpkins.
After gathering our goodies, we checked out inside. (This picture is a bit blurry, but it is proof that I did grab some syrup to purchase while we were there. My husband didn’t quite believe me, because the next morning when we were about to enjoy some pumpkin pancakes, the syrup was nowhere to be found. I’m chalking it up to new mommy brain like I do every other mistake I make these days!)
We also peeked around to see what else they had for sale. There were vegetables, gourds, syrup, cider, etc.
Before we left, we also had to try one other Fall delicacy, the apple fritter. There is a stand on the property selling fritters and fried dough (though in the south we called these funnel cakes). I purchased a half-dozen apple fritters for our ride home.
So, if you are looking for a convenient place to take the kids on a fun and stress-free hayride out to pick pumpkins, this is your place.
The Pickin’ Patch
219 Nod Road Avon, Connecticut
Phone: (860) 677-9552
Get directions here:
Hours & Admission:
- The store is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Hayrides to pick your own pumpkins run every weekend in October from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Hayrides are FREE
- Parking is FREE
- Regular pumpkins are $0.65/lb; but no pumpkin will be more than $19.50
- Sugar pumpkins are $2 each
- Mums are $6.99 each or 3 for $20.00
Tips & Things to Bring:
- Purchases can be made with cash or credit card
- The public restroom is a porta potty located behind the store
- If you are bringing a non-walker with you, consider using a wearable baby carrier. A stroller would not be manageable in the pumpkin patch, but could be used on the property around the store. There are also wagons available back at the store that the kids can ride in along with the items you are planning to purchase.
- The best form of footwear to bring is rubber boots. If you don’t have those, than close-toed shoes, that you don’t mind getting dirty, are definitely a must.
- Bring a cloth or some baby wipes to wipe everyone’s hands after pumpkin picking. They get pretty dirty.
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