Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Recap: Family Fun

As planned, Friday night we took it easy on the couch and started our new habit of Breaking Bad. Saturday morning we woke up and went for a quick run (I've been terrible and have only been going about twice a week. Once I'm out, I forget how good it feels to be moving, especially now with the feeling of fall in the air). I hurried home and made our favorite breakfast sausage casserole, this time subbing in turkey sausage and it was still delish.
After breakfast, coffee and showers, we hopped in the car and headed to the suburbs to meet Ben's family in Boilingbrook (which may sound familiar to you because of Drew Peterson, the only reason I've heard of it).

We weren't there to track down Drew, rather to visit the pumpkin patch at Johansen Farms! I've been begging Ben a few years now for us to go to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard in the fall and I've never gotten a great response, so when my SIL sent an email that she wanted to take our nephew, it was the perfect opportunity to get him to tag along!
Although, to be honest, both Ben and I were really disappointed in this "patch" because it was nothing of the sort. More like a tent and boxes full of pre-picked pumpkins; not the leafy green vines and fields we'd envisioned.

Whomp, whomp!

After the initial disappointment, we still had a blast. Pumpkins are sold $0.40/lb. My SIL picked out a whomping 65 pounder, which is much bigger than our nephew!
Of course, having driven a hour to get to the pumpkin "patch", I refused to go home empty handed, so we found a nice twenty pound pumpkin, which looked like a baby compared to the big ones!
They also sold a variety of other fall items like mums, gourds, mini-pumpkins, apple cider donuts and miscellaneous Halloween decor.
I think the main attraction of the farm is just that, the farm animals.  Johansen has a children's farm that includes animals and attractions with a paid admission fee.  And, the majority of the people there had kids, so thankfully we'd gone with Ben's family rather than I dragging him out there just the two of us and looking like odd balls!
They were so many cute animals penned in and eagerly awaiting snacks from little hands full of corn.

There was the cutest exhibit full of baby chicks, dozens of them, that you were allowed to pick up and hold. 
However, they are fast little boogers! I tried to pick on up and kept getting nervous that it would run away. I finally got one, but just for a brief second before it started to peck at my hands and I dropped it (don't worry, it was a couple inches above the pen and ran away once it hit the ground). Ben captured it on film. 

I love dogs, but maybe farm/petting zoo animals just aren't my thing? 
I have a distinct member from when I was young and at a petting zoo. My dad had bought me two little dixie cups full of feed for the goats.  Being as I wanted them to eat out of my hand, I tied my jacket around my waist, put one of the cups in the pocket and then I had my hands to hold the other cup and my second hand to feed the animals.You know where this is going right?
Sure enough, several goats starting coming up to me, but not to eat from my hand; they were after the cup in my coat pocket! I was so scared! Ever since I have not been a fan of petting zoos, can you blame me? I was swarmed!
Is it mean to say that I prefer goats behind gates?  I mean, this was a pretty cool set up with a bridge they could climb to go inside. 
My SIL loves llamas. These guys are just too funny looking. It's kind of like a bulldog, how can you not see him and smile?
I think our nephew must already be a fan of them as well! He was intrigued with all of the animals.

In addition to animals, there are several child-based activities, like hayrides (which we skipped), bounce houses, and inflated slides.
The only activity we partook in was the Corn Maze. There weren't many opportunities to take the wrong turn, until the end. But I guess if you're under the age of 10, it could be kind of cool?

The animals were definitely more intriguing than the activities. Especially the baby animals, like this cow and goat.
We had a lot of fun, until we decided that everyone was getting a little sleepy and it was time to go. 
From there, we were a skip away from Two Brother's Brewing Taphouse. This was how I'd convinced Ben to come to the pumpkin patch. The way to my man's heart is definitely through beer :)

While we had fun with Ben's family at the farm, we won't be headed back next year. I guess I'm still on the hunt for a spot for us to pick our own pumpkins!
 Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans


  1. Love fall activities like this, but I hear ya I'd rather actually pick my pumpkin off the vine (preferably by arriving to the field/patch by a hayride). We're checking out a place in a few weeks that says it's a pumpkin patch with hayrides and a corn maze so I hope it doesn't disappoint.

    LOVE the look on your face while holding the baby chick! Priceless!

  2. What a fun weekend ... I love this time of year! Pumpkin Patches are always a great kick-off to fall, and that breakfast casserole looks so yummy!!

  3. There are 2 places in the burbs...we always go to Didier Farms in Lincolnshire but you can't pick your pumpkin, it sounds like the same set up as in Boilingbrook but we enjoy it. The other, that I just discovered and haven't been to so I can't speak of it is Goebbert's in South Barrington. It looks kinda big and there's lots to do there. Apparently it's their 2nd location as the actual pumpkin patch is in Hampshire IL.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I'd heard of another, Bengston's and wish we'd gone there. They have a pumpkin launcher! A friend mentioned a place in Aurora where you can actually pick pumpkins. I'll have to look into Goebberts!


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