Pumpkins!

As a family, we love going out in crisp fall air and trudging through mud and leaves to get to the perfect pumpkin. We do it every year, sometimes more than once!

Eugster’s is a huge favorite of ours, and when Lily’s preschool had a class fieldtrip scheduled to go, we were super excited! It was fun, as always, but we also learned that they have experienced an unfortunate blight on their pumpkins this year, and had to plow under a whopping 45 acres of pumpkins! They also had to buy in 20,000 pumpkins to provide enough for all their regular fall festival visitors and fieldtrips and such. So sad! So, we were happy to support them on a year that they need tons of extra support!

Both Tiffany and Kat did find the cute rows of tidy little pumpkins tucked between the apple trees quite appealing, even if the bought-in pumpkins were a little surreal there. Here’s a picture of Milena finding her perfect pumpkin!

However, if you prefer real, honest to goodness, dirt covered pumpkin patch pumpkins we’ve confirmed that you can find them at both Eplegaarden and Yesteryear Farms.

Have fun!

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Apples, Pumpkins and Hayrides!

We at RM love fall! It’s one of our favorite times of the year. So we’re very excited to see apples appearing at the Farmers’ Market and pumpkin flavoring returning to our favorite coffee shops and bakeries! Along with cooler weather (hooray!), fall also means pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, hayrides, and corn mazes.

Milena enjoying her first pumpkin patch last year.

There are a lot of local farms that will be starting their fall festivities soon, and we wanted to share some of our favorites with you. If you have a favorite place to take your family during the fall months, please share it in the comments!

Treinen Farm

Jess and my (Kat’s) favorite place to go in the fall is Treinen Farm. The big draw is, of course, their 15-acre corn maze! If you have a chance, take advantage of their special Moonlight in the Maze Nights (Friday and Saturday nights) when the maze is open until 9 pm. We’ve tried the maze a few times at night, and it’s a lot more challenging! This year’s maze is a gecko:

Photo credit: Treinen Farm

Treinen Farms also has a 13-acre pumpkin patch (that you get to via a horse-drawn hayride), farm animals, a smaller maze and play area for children, and delicious produce! There’s also a pumpkin catapult, and really, who hasn’t wanted to shoot a pumpkin out into the water?

Hours:
September 3 through November 14:
Fridays 5 pm – 9 pm
Saturdays 10 am – 9 pm
Sundays 10 am – 5 pm

Horse drawn wagon rides to pumpkin patch
10:30 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sunday from 9/25 thru 10/31, also on 10/28 and 10/29

Admission prices vary depending upon how many activities you plan to participate in, so check the website for pricing information.

Treinen Farm is located at W 12420 Highway 60, Lodi (608-592-3481).

Eugster’s Farm Market And Petting Farm

Maggie and I took the girls to Eugster’s Petting Farm earlier this summer to celebrate Milena turning 18 months. We all had such a great time! We’re excited to head back for their fall festival, which begins September 26. Tiffany’s been telling us such great things about it:

Eugsters Fall Festival is so fun! It’s a sampling of fall fun all in one place. Apple cider, baked goods, wagon rides, pumpkin picking, haunted houses .. it’s all there! Lily has especially enjoyed the kids version of the corn maze which was smaller and pretty simple to navigate.

Dates for Eugster’s Fall Festival:
September 26 & 27
October 3 & 4
October 10 & 11
October 17 & 18
October 24 & 25
Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. No entrances passes will be sold after 5:00 p.m.

Admission is $7.50 for adults and children. Kids 2 and under are free!

You can find out even more info on Eugster’s Fall Festival at their website.

Eugster’s Farm Market And Petting Farm is located just 15 minutes south of Madison at 3865 Highway 138, Stoughton (873-3822). Hours: 10:00 to 6:00, 7 days a week.

Eplegaarden

Dave and I (Tiffany) have a lot of favorite fall places, but I have a special place in my heart for Eplegaarden. It’s the first Wisconsin farm I visited, it’s the place my husband and I have visited each year for apples, pumpkins, cider and raspberries. We designed a dish on our restaurant’s menu to feature Eplegaarden’s delicious Honeycrisp apples. My daughter picked her first raspberries there. I even spent several hours in labor there last fall.

Okay. you get it, we like the place.

We’ve always found a good parking spot, found what we were looking for, had a nice time, and felt everything was priced fairly. I can’t recall ever using a restroom there, so I can’t speak to the facilities, however the farm itself is lovely and the farmhouse has such a nice rustic charm (check out the antique cash register when you pay!).

Because fruit is finicky, and also because this year all the crops have been early it’s best to check their website for information about what’s available when, and what hours they are allowing “selv-plukk”, if that’s what you are looking for.

Hours:
Sept. 1 – Oct. 31
Closed – Mondays (Open Labor Day)
Tues.-Sat. 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
(“Selv Plukkin” apples stops at 4:30 Tues. – Sun.)

November (until Thanksgiving)
Tues., Thur., & Sat. 9 am – Noon
(“Selv Plukkin” apples stops at 4:30 Tues. – Sun.)

Eplegaarden is located at 2227 Fitchburg Road, Fitchburg (their website recommends you bring a map!) (608-845-5966)

Schuster’s Playtime Farm

We’ve also been hearing great things about Schuster’s Playtime Farm. Although none of us have been there yet, it’s where my brother and his family go for “pumpkins, corn mazes, haunted forest, play yard, farm animals, caramel apples, fudge, and hayrides!”

You definitely need to check out this year’s corn maze at Schuster’s! This year they partnered with the US Transplant Games and the Boy Scouts of America to present their first ever double-corn-maze adventure – an 18.5 acre corn maze!

Fall Harvest Season
Open to the public — 9/18-10/31/10
Monday – Thursday 9 am-7 pm
Friday – Saturday 10 am-10 pm
Sunday 10 am-6 pm

Schuster’s admission varies based on days and activities, so check the website for pricing information.

Schuster’s Playtime Farm is located at 1326 Hwy. 12 & 18, Deerfield (608-764-8488)

Eugster’s Farm Market and Petting Farm

Yesterday was Milena’s half birthday, so we invited a few of her friends (including Maggie and Dahlia) to join us at Eugster’s Petting Farm (thanks to RM readers Ally and Wendy for the suggestion!).

It was the first time any of us had been there. The farm itself is beautiful! Admission to the petting farm is just $3 for adults and kids (children 2 and under are free!), and you’re welcome to use one of their red wagons instead of worrying about a stroller. You can also buy a bottle of milk for $1 to feed the goats, and there are quarter machines with pellets to feed them as well.

We all had such a great time! The animals were really friendly, and most came right up to the fence to see us. Milena and I visited a petting zoo a few weeks ago where you basically just go into a big fenced-in area full of animals, and Milena didn’t care for being surrounded by so many animals at one time, so I was glad that Eugster’s gives you the option of actually interacting with the animals or just watching from a distance.

Milena’s favorite part of the farm was being able to milk a pretend cow (I’m pretty sure she would have stayed there all day if I had let her). While I could have spent all day in the “Kitty and Bunny Palace” (where there were, unfortunately, no bunnies to be seen).

The girls were also really excited to see the giant sandbox full of toys and the play structures. There’s also an area for older kids to race on tricycles, and a nice covered pavilion with numerous tables where you’re welcome to enjoy a picnic lunch (Milena and I shared some much-needed watermelon before heading back to our hot car!).

I think we all plan on visiting again soon. It’s such a nice, clean place and only 20 minutes from our house!

We’ve also heard great things about their fall festival, which begins September 26. So we’ll definitely have to go back for that as well!

Eugster’s Petting Farm is located at 3865 Highway 138 Stoughton, WI (873-3822). They’re open 10:00 to 6:00, 7 days a week.

Has your family visited Eugster’s or any of the other local petting zoos/farms? If you’re interested in writing up a review of another location, we’d love to post it on the blog!