Fall Family Fun

Saturday was so gorgeous that we didn’t have the heart to stay inside. After I had a good, long walk/run (and a shower; you’re welcome), we all clamored into the family frumpmobile and drove out to Lancaster County in search of a corn maze and whatever else we might find to do.

I expected to see signs indicating various quintessential harvest activities, but when we didn’t, I turned to my good friend Mr. Google and discovered a huge adventure farm not too far away.  We set our GPS, and we were there in a matter of minutes.

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend Cherry Crest Adventure Farm for some good old-fashioned country family fun.  It’s located right next to the Strasburg Railroad, so you can totally make a day of it.

It’s not cheap, but once you’re on the property, you can avoid spending as long as you manage your children’s expectations.  We explained that it was expensive to get in and that we would not be buying junk or treats or toys, and once they understood that, they didn’t ask for a thing.  We bypassed the greasy carnival food and went to lunch at nearby Isaac’s Deli after we were done at the farm.  Isaac’s is an old favorite of ours.  If you go, you MUST order a sandwich on their pretzel bread.  DIVINE.

But I’m getting ahead at myself.  Back at the farm . . .

The main attraction is the super duper fabulous Corn Maze. It’s 2.5 miles of trails, and there’s an adventure component to keep it interesting.  They give you a map and you find puzzle pieces along the way.  There are activities and water stations and even snacks to be purchased inside.  This is America, after all.  Far be it for us to go an hour without a junky snack.

< insert dramatic rolling of the eyes >

My kids loved the rope climbing station.

Of course, C had to prove that she can do whatever her brother can do.

On our way out of the corn maze, we crossed a bridge that overlooks the farm.  How cool is this view!?

My kids made a bee-line for the “jumping thing” that they spotted from the bridge.

There were actually two “jumping things” — one for older kids and one for the little ones.  My “little one” was not amused that she had to be separated from her big brother and sister, but she soon got over herself once she saw how fun it was.  She’s the one in the pink shirt and black pants.

There was a fun little obstacle course made out of hay bales and an enormous slide dubbed the Straw Bale Racer; the kids enjoyed both of those.

There were lots of things we did NOT do, like take the Farm Wagon Tour, drive the Pedal Karts, visit the farm animals, and challenge our minds with the Logic Mazes.  But it was crowded, and we were hungry, so we opted to cut our visit short and drive a few miles on scenic country roads to our favorite lunch joint in Lancaster County, Isaac’s.

We worked off our lunch afterward, running around the grassy property beside the restaurant.

After THAT, we drove a mile or two into downtown Strasburg, one of my favorite hangouts back when I was young and childless and used to frequent the Lancaster outlets for day trips and shopping jaunts.  It’s such a quaint little town with lovely old homes and darling shops.  We stopped into our favorite Country Store and Creamery for the best ice cream and homemade waffle cones in the county.  No, really.  They totally are.

And no trip to Lancaster is complete without a stop into my favorite cheese shop, Town Clock Cheese Shop in Gap for some new cheeses to try.

I’m glad we made that trip because it looks like the weather is finally taking a turn for winter this weekend.  Temperatures have been hitting 70 almost every day for a couple of weeks now, but tomorrow we’re dropping into a more typical range, with highs only in the mid-50s.  Brrrrrr.  I’m not looking forward to it, but I suppose I can’t complain.  We’ve had an unseasonably warm fall, and now it’s pay back time!

What is your favorite thing to do for family fun in the fall?  )And try saying THAT five times fast!!)