Autumn Excursion

Autumn: cool weather, college football, pumpkin spice lattes, and two very special birthdays…our love for fall is known far and wide. So we asked ourselves: is there any better way to bring in the best season of the year than with a weekend visit to the pumpkin patch? We didn’t think so, so that is exactly what the Hardinge Five (plus Grandma Cindy) ventured out to do this past Sunday…and after a fifteen minute jaunt out of town, we found ourselves at Howell’s Tree Farm and Pumpkin Patch!

From farm animals and pumpkins to hayrack rides, Christmas trees, and even a “feed corn box” (you know…as opposed to sandbox)…Howell’s has become an agritourism institution of central Iowa. Being the first weekend of operation for the pumpkin patch proper and spectacular weather to boot, the “city folk” were out in droves. However the girls didn’t seem to mind the crowd and they soon were all getting acquainted with the ever friendly (and always hungry) local goat herd.

To our surprise, mama horsey and her foal soon meandered their way up to the crowd…and let me tell you:  the girls really got a kick out of seeing them up close!

After our fill of farm animals, we all enjoyed a snow cone treat while perusing the already-picked pumpkins, before making our way over to the line for the hayrack ride…

…which whisks visitors (noisily) across the farm to the pumpkin patch and corn maze!

The corn maze (or is it “corn maize?”…hey-o…) was super fun…at least it was once the girls stopped trying to turn around and run back out the entrance!

However, the girls didn’t last long in the barren {…of shade…} pumpkin patch under the bright and unseasonably warm October sun; our windbreakers and sweatshirts could have easily been exchanged for shorts and sandals. We did find a few keepers, but quickly ended up back on board the hayrack shuttle to the main farm.

While Missy searched for a few more pumpkins to take home, the rest of us made our way to the “just for kids” portion of Howell’s, where swings, pedal tractors, and the “feed corn box” of earlier mention awaited us. Out of the sun and under the shade of old pine trees, this was just the remedy we needed for hot, fussy babies…

…as long as they didn’t try to eat it!

It was well past naptime as we loaded the girls in the van for home…and we both knew that despite being outside for two straight afternoons, any hope of them napping back at home was futile. Even so, it was time well spent outdoors and away from the house. Times which, as the days get shorter and colder, will increasingly become a rarity.

…hold me…

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

4 thoughts on “Autumn Excursion

    • She’s a goof, there’s no doubt! We all had a blast, even though we wish it felt a little bit more like fall outside. I think temps reached the mid-80’s…craziness! Regardless, it’s definitely worth a visit, just be prepared for an insane amount of children and strollers 🙂

  1. Pingback: Monday Musings | living in pursuit

  2. Pingback: Monday Musings | living in pursuit

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