This is a story about my son’s first time tasting apple cider and my first trip down a 100-foot slide. And s’mores. There ain’t no party like a bonfire party.
The township where we live has an active parks and recreation department, and it’s one of my favorite things about living where we do. (I’m pretty interested to sneak into the department one time and see if their office is anything like the Parks and Rec TV show, but I haven’t yet figured out how to make that move.) Most recently, they hosted a fall party at a local farm, complete with hay rides and food. We had such a low-stress, high-fun family time, and we enjoyed some first-time experiences, too!
On a fall evening, the three of us loaded up in our truck and drove to meet everyone at Simmons Farm. Upon arrival, we got in line for a hay ride to the pumpkin patch. My son was eager to check out the tractors and wagons. He was hoping to catch a ride with a green tractor, but he was satisfied to go along with a blue tractor and green wagon combination.
There was just something beautiful about bouncing through the apple orchards, sitting close together with our little family, as the sun was setting, full of anticipation for the evening ahead. I think I am realizing that we haven’t recently been on quite enough adventures all together, the three of us, that don’t involve going to Home Depot or grocery shopping.
We have a lot of family time at home, and getting things done, running errands together, or going out to eat. But stepping out of the norm and experiencing something different together, especially out in nature…that kind of quality time is so energizing to me, and I think it’s refreshing for the whole family.
The pumpkin patch was not set up for nighttime visiting, so we were told to stay out of the pumpkins and stick to the other side of the farm road. And that was fine, given the great variety of activities scattered across the hillside. We had an evening full of firsts and enjoyed every minute of it. The activities were spaced out enough to allow breathing room for all 200+ event attendees, and they fed us, too. I don’t even think we had one toddler tantrum all night. That’s a night of beauty indeed, friends.
A list of family firsts:
- Ethan’s first time decorating a pumpkin (with Sharpies! Kids and permanent markers, yikes!)
- Ethan’s first time drinking apple cider. I tried to drink most of it before sharing my cup with him, since it went down oh-so-quick as soon as he got the cup! He loved it so much. We went back for seconds. It was lip-smacking good!
- Our first walk through a corn maze together. The maze was a little too long for toddler feet, but we survived! It’s kind of like exploring another world for a little while, walking around inside the corn field, isn’t it?
- Ethan’s and mom’s first ride together down a 100-foot slide on a burlap sack. (Oh, burlap sacks on slides! An old county fair favorite. I had forgotten all about it.)
At the end of our evening, we roasted marshmallows together and made s’mores. Daddy was on marshmallow roasting duty, and Ethan and I prepared the graham crackers and chocolate, sitting on wooden apple boxes.
As a product of what I will call the “s’mores season,” our little one really seems to have developed a taste for chocolate, and now asks for some almost every day. So far, we haven’t permitted him to eat any other candy at all, so chocolate is what he knows, and I am ok with that.
I had to laugh when we went trick-or-treating and he kept peering into the candy bowls looking for something in a brown wrapper, because he identified that as something chocolate that he would like. On a previous occasion, I once told him that lollipops are “for adults.” I don’t think he knows what any other candy is…except for cookies and ice cream and cake… With those, he is well-acquainted.
A hay ride back to the farm market and a walk back to our truck by the light of our new glow sticks rounded out the evening of family fun. I’m pretty sure we listened to “Truck Tunes” on the way home. We had such a great time and made some family memories to cherish.
Here’s to adventures, to family time, and to sharing in the joy of experiencing things for the first time.
fashion: aviator sunglasses . ladies gray v-neck t-shirt . Nine West suede ankle booties . ladies chambray shirt . GAP skinny jeans . Osh Kosh kids denim shirt . kids camo baseball cap . kids Rolling Stones t-shirt
What kind of adventures does your family enjoy? What “firsts” have you been experiencing together recently?