Farm Day: Pumpkinfest at Ticonderoga

My son and I love to explore our local farms, and one of our favorites is Ticonderoga Farms in Chantilly, VA.   We’ve been going there for years, and they’re our preferred non-fruit-picking farm for a number of reasons:  1) They’ve got tons of fun activities for kids to enjoy, and they keep adding new stuff each year;  2) They offer different “fests” each season, which keeps things fresh and new; and 3) Unlike some of the more popular local farms, it is relatively undiscovered by the masses, so we usually have the place to ourself.
 

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There are lots of fun activities at Ticonderoga, but the jumping pillow tops our list — obviously.

 

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These guys are not timid — right after I snapped this they got up on my son and he turned and high-tailed it out of there.

 

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The goats are a bit more docile, and appreciate being fed the fresh bamboo you can purchase for $1.  (Or you can just pick a handful for free from the bamboo maze across the trail.  Not that we would know anything about that.)

 

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If you go on a weekday, you’ll practically have the place to yourself.  Weekends are a bit more crowded, but not as bad as most other local farms.

 

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The slides are always a big hit…

 

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… as are the firetrucks (especially if Grandma is co-piloting).

 

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Of course, the main reason to go this time of year is for the pumpkins.  There’s a great hayride that takes you over the river and through the woods — literally — to the pumpkin patch.  Unfortuantely, many of the growing pumpkins had been picked when we visited, so they had a pseudo-patch set up with trucked-in pumpkins.  I don’t think the kids care whether the pumkins are growing or just sitting in a field, though.  My son was thrilled with his enormous pumpkin — it was so large that he had to rig his fleece into a sling to haul it around on his back.

 

If you haven’t been to Ticonderoga Farms, we highly recommend it.  It’s great for all ages, and they have year-round offerings.  We will head back in a month or so for their Christmas Tree Fest, complete with hot chocolate, bonfires and s’mores.  For now, though, we’re enjoying our pumpkins — some for carving, some for eating.  Check out some of our recipes here and here, with more to come in the next few weeks.

 

Happy pumpkin season!

 

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Photo credit:  Kathleen Flickinger

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