It’s farm and pumpkin season again! I didn’t realize until last year, pumpkin patches and “Farmusement Parks” (yes, I totally made that term up) are actually popular Southern attractions in the fall months. This year, we were able to catch up with some local homeschooling families and go to Dewberry Farms on the outskirts of Houston.
My kids didn’t really remember all that we did last year since they were so young, but they did remember visiting a farm that had large slides, hay bales and a corn maze. We had not heard of Dewberry Farms until recently but learned that it had all of that and more, so we decided to go and visit. It turns out, being a much bigger farm, it had many more attractions. Overall, there was a pleasant, nostalgic carnival feeling. I felt like I should have been wearing overalls, carrying a cone of cotton candy and a bag of kettle corn with my hair in pigtails. We did actually bring a sack lunch since they had a large commons area with plenty of seating and food to eat if you didn’t bring any. I met up with a good friend of mine so that our kids (and us moms) could spend time together, but it turns out that they had completely different interests. As we stood and talked, my husband took our boys out to explore some giant birdhouses, which they enjoyed, while my friend’s son enjoyed playing pretend on a stationary train. “Eventually, they’ll get back together.” we thought. Our boys love tractors and trains, and it turns out that there was one small train pull and one huge tractor pull ride that made it around the entire property. “After two hours in the car to get here,” I told my friend, “they’ll never want to go on the sit-down rides.” We laughed and chased her son around the trains and an old firetruck.
By the time we were all ready for a snack and some water, I went down to meet all of my boys, while my friend waited in line with her son for another attraction. There were all sorts of games, obstacle courses and a large wooden playground, but what we ended up spending the rest of our time on were the hay bales. It was as simple as a bunch of hay piled up in a large mound with ropes hanging down from a metal roof. I can imagine country kids throughout time who had this very same setup on their farms having a blast hanging off the ropes and landing on the soft hay. It’s kind of funny to think that now you have to drive a ways and buy a ticket just to experience such simplicity.
When we were on our way to the car, I asked my oldest what his favorite attraction was. “The hay bales!” he said. Then, I asked my youngest. “Big tractor!” he yelled. “Big tractor?” I asked my husband. “Yeah,” he said. “They really wanted to go on the big tractor pull, so we rode it for about 15 minutes all around the property. I got some shade and rest, and they loved it”.