An hour after opening proved to be the perfect time to visit Montpelier Farms.
My daughter first spotted the enormous pumpkins and sunflowers that dotted the landscape. I mean, these pumpkins were like no other I had seen in terms of size. Hard to believe that just off the highway you can walk through the patch – no hayride needed; whoo hoo! She wondered why there were small, pastel cradles lined in order at the front of the patch. Why it was pumpkin daycare, otherwise known as a nursery for moms and dads to keep their pumpkin babies safe until it was time to go home. Pumpkins incur an additional cost and can be purchased in the patch.
While this was going on, my husband made a b-line for the farm football lounge. Outfitted with a large screen television, comfy, leather backed chairs, and a covered space, meant he was king of the barn with remote in hand. It’s good to know that there is a nice bathroom here if you want to avoid the portable toilets. We left my husband there and decided to get a snack from the farm market.
The barn is filled with more than just food. They have a great selection of drinks, cold cider, jams, ice cream, produce, caramel apples, fudge, apple cider donuts, whoopee pies, candy, and kettle corn. There are glow stick bracelets, pumpkin carving sets, princess cowgirl hats, farm books, and, of course, Spookley the Square Pumpkin memorabilia. Credit cards are accepted here. Just outside are photo ops for infants with the spooky spider, the lone ranger chair, and the pumpkin princess chair.
With a sugar high from the donut, we proceeded to the hill slides. The slides consist of two tunnel versions and a long slide in the center. She made sure to ride all three and kept saying how awesome they were. This was the furthest amount of walking with a brisk morning, so be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Most of the area is hilly and grassy so a good stroller is also a necessity.
Bring coins to feed the alpacas, sheep, goats, pigs, and partake in a horseback ride. Bury yourself in corn or watch the movie Spookley the Square Pumpkin in the barn. Beware, the entire farm is filled with bees and other insects. Many families were complaining that they should have brought insect repellant.
I felt the kids corral was more like a cub corral in the sense that it’s more for younger children. There’s a small roping range, hay maze, a loch ness set of tires to climb on, pint-sized playground, and a reserved picnic shelter. The pedal kart track was great if only they had more karts. Some children grew impatient waiting for one of only a handful of different sized karts. I had a blast pedaling with my daughter in the back of my kart. We didn’t have time to do the corn maze whose theme this year is The Star Spangled Banner, but I did see some colored flags touting through the stalks.
There’s no shortage of food at Montpelier Farms consisting of seven places to serve you. From hot dogs, burgers, and BBQ to roasted corn on the cob, freshly made kettle corn, and hot apple cider, there are picnic tables throughout the farm to enjoy your food.
- Montpelier Farms is open Fridays from 5 to 11 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 11 pm, and Sundays 11 am to 7 pm until November 2, 2014.
- Admission is a reasonable $10 for adults (age 13 and up), $8 for kids, and free for kids 2 and under. If you live in the area, consider a season pass at $35 per person or $130 for a family of four. They do also offer a military and senior discount.
- I’m not a fan of venues that charge extra for certain activities, especially since it’s difficult to tell a child that they can’t do certain activities. Note that here, duck races, grain train, pumpkin chunkin’, paint-a-pumpkin, face painting, gem stone mining, and scarecrow workshop will run anywhere from 3 to 8 tickets for each activity. Tickets are $1 each and can also be purchased in bulk amounts. The only activities I saw people paying for was the grain train (a tractor led barrel train), and the scarecrow workshop. There is plenty to do that we didn’t feel we missed out on the extra stuff.
- Pets, as long as they are leashed are allowed in the park (and in the corn maze as well).
- Save the date – December 4 to 21, 2014, Montpelier Farms will host a Holiday Celebration. Included with a $5 admission is a peaceful hayride while enjoying trimmings, lights, holiday decorations and more. There will be a blazing bonfire and you’ll also receive one cup of hot chocolate, coffee or hot apple cide.
- Montpelier Farms offers school tours, picnics, parties, campfires and more.
Photos by Kathleen Molloy.