PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2014. While this post should still give you a great idea of the overall experience, it is also possible that it may contain some out-dated information. Please be sure to check the Karabin Farms website for the most current information, especially about things like hours and pricing.
I feel like recently there has been a buzz in the world of Connecticut parents as to which destination to pick for their family’s fall outing. Sometimes it can be tough as you search for that farm or orchard that perfectly meets your needs. Some families want a weekday outing (trying to avoid the weekend crowds) while others prefer the weekend excitement. Some want to pick pumpkins while others are still looking for apples and other fruits. Everyone wants a wagon ride and keeping the outing from breaking the budget is always helpful as well.
So I was excited when Shawna and I visited Karabin Farms in Southington last Friday and I realized that this destination might be absolutely perfect for some local parents.
- Apple picking
- Pumpkin picking
- Wagon rides
- Visiting with animals
- and more
Plus the activities are available Friday through Monday from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, giving families both a weekday and weekend outing option.
When we arrived at the farm, we made our way down its fairly short drive to the parking area on the right. We were visiting on a Friday morning so we were able to easily find a parking space. On busy days, however, they open a second parking area closer to the roadway.
Inside the farm store, we could purchase bags for apple picking, wagon ride tickets, flowers and a wide variety of other food and drink options. During the week, there is only a small selection of prepared food items available, but on the weekend there is a space right outside the store where visitors can purchase items from the grill, coffee, and cider donuts (yum!).
I was doing this outing with Shawna, so Sweetheart and I visited with some of the farm animals while we waited for Shawna and her boys to arrive.
Once they got there, Boo was very excited to check out the farm animals with Sweetheart. They saw cows, ponies, rabbits, goats, pigs, ducks, and more.
I really liked how they had these learning areas on the property as well. “Do only male goats have beards and horns?” If you don’t know, you can learn the answer to that question while visiting the farm. It was fun for all ages!
After expanding our farm animal knowledge, we made our way inside to get the scoop on apple and pumpkin picking. We learned that for apple picking visitors needed to pre-purchase their apple bag. You could either purchase a 1 peck bag for $15 or a 1/2 bushel bag for $25.
We actually were NOT picking apples that day (both Shawna and I still had a big pile of apples at each of our houses from previous outings) but we wanted to check out the wagon ride and possibly get a pumpkin. We learned that for visitors who do not purchase an apple picking bag, they need to purchase a wagon ride ticket. The good news was that these tickets were very reasonably priced at $1 per person for anyone older than three years old.
We purchased our tickets and headed out to the side of the store to wait for the wagon to arrive.
These two cuties were very excited about their morning outing!
In terms of baby items for the wagon ride, there were several options available. Shawna used a baby carrier (this one is actually the Moby Go) and we saw strollers used as well. One mom left her stroller next to the wagon ride area and another mom brought her stroller on board. During the busy weekend times, a baby carrier may be the easiest option, but a stroller is welcome as well.
Oh and right when we got on the wagon, they gave each of us an apple to taste. Delicious!
The wagon ride lasted somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes and then we arrived at the apple and pumpkin picking area. There was just one stop, so everyone who was picking (or just interested in walking around) got off there.
Several signs greeted us when we arrived and gave us some guidance on the rules for the farm and orchard. I thought it was nice that they had a sign that said “Eat all you want while here.” I know many orchards are happy to let you taste the apple varieties before (and while) picking, but I think this was the first time I had seen a sign giving visitors the okay. Very nice.
Sweetheart and Boo took a tour of the apple orchards and Shawna and I attempted to keep up with them.
Then we made our way over to the pumpkin picking area nearby. It was a nice spot and a great place to snap a few fall photos, but I did notice that the pumpkins there were rather large. Normally this would not be something I would complain about, but I don’t think I would actually be able to carry many of these pumpkins back to the wagon for our return trip. I did find the perfect pumpkin for us to take home, but on a future trip I might just wait and buy one back at the farm store.
Oooh. And what is that interesting object below? Could it be a port-a-potty in the apple orchard? Why yes it is.
It wasn’t long before our kids were nice and tired from running around the orchard and taste testing the available product. We were ready to head back (and I was ready to get my pumpkin to the car. Ha!)
On our return trip we went a little higher up the mountain and could see the beginnings of the leaves changing color and the gorgeous view. We also got a sneak peek of the Christmas trees which will be available for cut-your-own beginning November 29th.
Once back at the farm store, I headed inside to pay for my pumpkin. It ended up being almost 23 pounds and the cost was $0.49 per pound.
Shawna and I and our kids spent a little more time with the farm animals before we needed to head our separate ways. I also snapped a few picture of the buildings that are open on the weekend to offer food and beverages for sale.
So that is the grand tour of Karabin Farms (from a mom’s perspective of course!)
If you have been struggling with finding a fall outing that offers a variety of options for fun while keeping your budget under control, Karabin Farms might be the perfect choice. Check it out!
Phone: (860) 620-0194
Wagon rides to the apple and pumpkin picking areas are Friday through Monday from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.
Hot food and beverages are for sale on the weekends only.
- Apples are $15 for a 1 peck bag or $25 for a 1/2 bushel bag
- Pumpkins are $0.49 per pound
- Wagon rides are $1 per person for those ages 4 and up. If you are picking apples, the wagon ride is FREE.
- Stroller Friendly: YES. It is a gravel pathway outside the farm store, so a jogging stroller would be best. For the wagon ride visitors can either leave their stroller next to the wagon area and pick it up upon return or bring it on the wagon with them. Please note that we were visiting on a Friday when it wasn’t very crowded. There may be other rules for strollers on days when it is very busy.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES. They also have coffee for sale on the weekends.
- Restroom: YES. Two port-a-potties are located behind the farm store and one port-a-potty is located in the apple orchard.
- Baby Changing Station: NO.
- Parking: YES. Parking is free. There is parking available right next to the store and there is more parking available closer to the street for busy days.
- Food for Sale: SOMETIMES. On Saturdays and Sundays there are donuts, coffee, and items from the grill available for sale. During the week, there are some bakery items available for sale inside the store.
- Outside Food Allowed: SOMETIMES. On weekdays when food for sale is not available, you could enjoy your own food at one of the picnic tables located right next to the farm store.
- Cash Required: MAYBE. They accept most major credit cards (no American Express), but there is a $10 minimum to use credit cards. You might want to bring cash if you are just planning to do the wagon ride.
- Dress Code: Comfortable clothing and shoes.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES. Wagon rides and picking is available Friday through Monday from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.
Tips & Things to Bring
- Activities offered at the farm:
- Pick apples
- Pick pumpkins
- Cut your own Christmas trees (starting November 29, 2014)
- Purchase apples, pumpkins, or a variety of fruits and vegetables from the store
- Visit with the farm animals
- Take a wagon ride
- On weekends you can purchase coffee, cider donuts, and items from the grill
- For non-walking kiddos, bring a stroller or a baby carrier (Shawna used the Moby Go)
- 4D Vision Gym – A vision training center located in Cromwell, CT where Dr. Juanita Collier, MS, OD and her staff show members how to utilize Vision Therapy to correct visual issues and make learning and playing easier and more fun.
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT., welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!