On Sunday after church we decided we would go to the pumpkin patch. We have visited the same farm for several years. It's THIS one and again HERE. Over the years it has gotten more and more commercialized...more glam...more money. Last year we were horrified. What used to be a nice place to get pumpkins, run around outside, pet the animals, run the corn maze had turned into a three ring circus with food vendors and mylar balloons! Seriously? Mylar balloons? All the kids wanted to go on a hay ride. It was $25.00 for a 10 minute ride for our family. They wanted to sling pumpkins...that was too expensive too. It was too much for us.
So, this year we decided not to go back. We love the place we cut down our Christmas tree and we noticed earlier that they were growing pumpkins in the adjoining fields. We like this place because we can go get our tree and that's it. Well, the guy does give the kids a candy cane. But, the point of it for us is to enjoy each other, select a tree while running around together.
Oh no, when we arrived we realized too late that this would not be just a pumpkin patch. As we pulled in we noticed a new barn. A huge bright red barn. Hmmmm. We also noticed zillions of cars. Uh-oh. Then as we parked we spotted something we REALLY didn't want to see. A bouncy house. Gulp. And, food vendors, and horse rides, and playground...and....
Now, we are not against any of these things. But, what we wanted was to run around a field and get pumpkins. That's it. Of course as soon as the kids saw all the glitz...ie: the mini carnival...they were no longer really interested in picking pumpkins.
I should also explain that we are working really hard to spend less....you know that really hard thing called living within your means. After back to school shopping and vacation we are broke. Anyway, we are on a strict budget which doesn't include funds for horse rides on top of pumpkins.
In order to even enter the field you had to put on a plastic wrist band (so carnival like). In order to enter the area of the bouncy house, corn maze, playground, horse ride, etc....you had to pay $9.00 per person! Yikes! $63.00!! Plus you have to pay more for horse rides, hay rides, etc. We sucked it up, huddled up and told the kids, No. No to everything that costs money except a pumpkin.
Now on to the pumpkins. The shock of the price of pumpkins! Who would pay $25.00 for a pumpkin? I took this photo to show you how ridiculous the prices were. I can go to Safeway and get one of the midsize pumpkins for $3.99. Really? Why are pumpkins in a muddy field that I have to pick myself more expensive? Ridiculousness I say!
We almost left but decided to let the kids get one pumpkin...in the 2-4 dollar range.
This proved difficult. I'm sure every other parent had the same idea. And, due to the extended sunny weather we had this year the pumpkins grew huge! We looked and looked to find 7 smallish pumpkins.
This is me joking that I found a pumpkin we could afford. The joke was on me! This little thing was 79 cents! I balked at the price so they offered me a discount. I got four of them for $2.00.
I was surprised to find the wheelbarrow use was free! Yeah!
BG and Sis had a great time watching this horse eat his hay. They really, really, really wanted to have a pony ride. It did tug at my heart and make me feel guilty...for about 5 minutes until Cam snapped me out of it. Good thing.
It's our goal next year to find a field of pumpkins, just pumpkins...and mud. Lots of fresh air and the mountains in the background. The birds flying overhead. And kids running through mud undistracted by glitz.