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Archive for the ‘Fall Activities’ Category

This week we have a longtime reader and first time guest blogger! Alex’s very own Mommy!

From a trip this summer to Sea Girt, NJ

From a trip this summer to Sea Girt, NJ

I wasn’t sure how Alex would take to Halloween this year. Alex has a weird sense of fear when it comes to costumes and inanimate statues. For instance, when he first saw Verizon’s Halloween Star Wars commercial he said, “No costume, no costume…” and frantically ran to hide. Apparently an image of a baby dressed as Princess Leia in a bjorn attached to Jabba the Hutt is a bit disconcerting for a 2 year old. However I wasn’t going to let that hold Alex back from experiencing the spirit of Halloween so this past Saturday we headed over to Halloween Town at Purity Springs Resort in Madison, NH.

There were two reasons I was interested in going – so Alex can enjoy Halloween as every kid should and to support an important cause. Halloween Town is a FREE event, but donations are gladly accepted and 100% of the proceeds go to The Laura Foundation for autism and epilepsy. “Halloween Town has been designed with the desire to offer kids an opportunity to enjoy…what some of us remember from childhood…Traditional Halloween Fun…” – Steve Harding, President of the Laura Foundation.

“Experience a truly family-friendly Halloween experience. Dress in your Halloween costumes and walk up the hill to Halloween Town on the grounds of Camp Tohkomeupog. Many are claiming “It’s better than Halloween night itself!” Halloween Town is a good, old-fashioned way to have Halloween fun; something to be enjoyed by kids and parents alike!” – http://www.purityspring.com

Halloween Town is filled with a variety of events which include: a tethered hot air balloon, music, some amusement rides, games for kids, a food court and of course a trick or treat “trail”, which is comprised of about 25 themed cabins. Each cabin has a sign to inform visitors of the level of scariness. It ranges from non-scary to terrifying. The local non-profit Mount Washington Observatory had sponsored it’s own kid-friendly cabin this year!

MWOBS Cabin

MWOBS Cabin

Weather observers are not that scary

Weather observers are not that scary

While visiting the non-scary cabins we ran into Alex’s best friend Rowan!

Best Friends Super Why and Robin!

Best Friends Super Why and Robin!

It was so exciting for me to see how much fun Alex was having. He was so proud of his character Super Why that whenever someone recognized him he went into character mode, put his arms in the air, and made the swoosh sound as if he was flying to save the day with the “power to read”! It was even more fun for him to recognize characters that he knew, especially Humpty Dumpty and Duke, who he even shared a few dance moves with.

Humpty Dumpty and Duke

Humpty Dumpty and Duke

Although Alex insisted on walking around everywhere, I was glad I had the stroller packed in the car. Parking is a few minutes of a walk to the event, but not terribly far. Having a stroller was key, especially when he started to get tired right before leaving. We visited cabins, all decorated with fun themes, road the train ride, petted the goats, danced and played music and had a great time with friends.

With the support from families, friends and local businesses – volunteers and sponsors – it has been a growing success (from 300 hundred attendees five year ago to thousands in 2013). We’re looking forward to returning for Halloween Town 2014!

What Halloween activities have you been sharing with your little ones?

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Sorry for the double post today but we’ve been very busy with Fall activities lately and tonight is the only time I’ve had to blog!

Something about the cooler temperatures and vibrant colors of this season invigorates me, and today we took the advice of a good friend to head to Pietree Orchard in Sweden, Maine for some apple picking fun! A very scenic 45 minute drive from Conway, NH, this farm offers “the rich cidery taste of a long proudly cultivated lineage, the crisp never-fresher bite of fruit right off the tree, and a feast for the heart, soul, and eye.”

Alex was pretty excited this morning as I told him we were going to pick apples from trees. His face lit up, and during the car ride he would sit in his car seat pretending to eat apple slices… it was quite comical. We arrived at the orchards just after noon.

Pietree Orchards

Pietree Orchards

Walking into the quaint country store we were greeted with the smell of fresh cider donuts being made, ripe produce, wood-fired pizza, and a warm welcome from the lady behind the counter. We grabbed a bag of still hot cider donuts and picked up a couple “peck” sized bags for our spoils. Each conventional peck was $10.

Enjoying freshly made cider donuts (still hot)

Enjoying freshly made cider donuts (still hot)

We headed over to the nearby staging area where a woman let us know what types of apples would be available and how to identify them. They marked the trees with a colored tape to show you the variety.

Flags on trees helped with identification

Flags on trees helped with identification

We then loaded into a tractor wagon much like the one from last week’s trip to Sherman Farms! The view to the north was great!

The view from the tractor ride

The view from the tractor ride

A short ride had us to the back of the orchard where a farm hand pointed out the areas that had each variety of apple tree. We headed over to the Cortland’s first.

The very first one picked!

The very first one picked!

Alex was thrilled to be able to pick and eat an apple from each different type of tree. We spent about 30 minutes roaming around the orchard filling our two peck bags to the brink with a couple different varieties.

This way!

This way!

After I eat this

After I eat this

This one looks good

This one looks good

Mommy goes high

Mommy goes high

Apple paradise

Apple paradise

Walking to the Cortland trees

Walking to the Golden Delicious trees

You’ll need to click twice on this next photo to see the full panorama in better detail.

Panorama

Panorama

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious

Another family had come out to pick some pumpkins and graciously took this family shot for us.

Ready to ride back with our pickings

Ready to ride back with our pickings

When we go back to the main store we grabbed a couple slices of their brick oven pizza, which was absolutely delicious! We then browsed their produce deciding on some fresh kale and some mixed greens.  On the way home we stopped by Country Side Butchers in Fryeburg and picked up some Chourico so Michelle could make us some Portuguese and Kale Soup tonight!

Great store

Great store

Yum!

Yum!

Farm Fresh!

Cider donuts in the making!

The double rocker

The double rocker

We finished our visit with some fresh cider and headed home. We’re so glad our friends recommended this place and we’ll certainly be returning!

Do you have an orchard nearby? Share your favorite Fall farms in the comments below!

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Last weekend we took a family trip to the iconic Sandwich Fair. Located in the beautiful town of Center Sandwich just south of the White Mountain National Forest and north of Winnipesaukee Lake this historic fair’s origins date back to 1886! The fair draws so many visitors over it’s 3 days that the town arranges parking in fields a mile or so back from the fair itself and runs free shuttle buses to the gates. Riding a yellow school bus turned out to be one of Alex’s favorite parts of this adventure!

School bus mommy school bus!

School bus Mommy school bus!

We entered at Gate A, near the Midway and rides. Tickets were $10pp, under 7 is FREE. Youths 8-12  $3.00. Tickets included admission to all events and shows, so if you don’t need to drop a lot of money on buying “ride tickets” this is light on the pocket book. We only bought 5 ride tickets, for 5 bucks, so Alex & I could ride the carousel., which cost 3 tickets ($3).

Gate C, near the rides

Gate C, near the rides

Most of the rides in the Midway are for bigger kids than Alex so we strolled around and caught the second half of an “interesting” automated “vegetable” show.

Melody Farms Show

Melody Farms Show

Soon we met up with some good friends & neighbors whose child had shared some time in daycare with Alex so the two have become little buddies. Rowan got his 2nd trip on the Carousel with Alex then we all went in search for some food.

Alex riding with his buddy Rowan

Alex riding with his buddy Rowan

There is a huge variety of fair food here making deciding a bit tricky. We settled for a couple enormous Italian sausage subs with all the fixings, and a family sized bowl of hand cut fries. A bit of homemade root-beer washed it all down and we headed off to the catch some of the main parade.

Busy!

Busy!

We ended up near the horse show ring when a slalom race was about to begin. Alex loved being able to watch the riders maneuver their horses through the course only 20 feet from his spot at the fence!

Eyes on the rider

Eyes on the rider

Mommy & Alex watch a racer

Mommy & Alex watch a racer

Alex’s grandparents arrived and we decided to check out some of the indoor exhibits, sheep shearing, 4H projects, livestock, and outdoor band, but first Alex’s buddy Rowan had to head home so it was time to say goodbye.

So flippin' cute

So flippin’ cute

Mooooooo

Mooooooo

After trying some fried pickles and fresh fair lemonade we decided it was time to roll. We hopped the school bus shuttle back to our car and headed for home. Alex made about 1.5 minutes of driving before falling asleep.

This fair is a NH classic and we’ll be making this an annual event. It happens every Columbus day weekend, with the Saturday being called “Kids Day” and the Sunday “Family Day”. Either day has plenty to do for everyone. Next time we’ll remember a picnic blanket (because I’ll re-read this post).

Did you go to a fair like this when you were a child? What was your favorite fair memory? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

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