Wednesday, October 1, 2014

trip to the Applebarn

I have seen pictures and posts of many friends going to the Taves' Famiy Applebarn in Abbotsford that I must admit I wished to go; it just never somehow made it to the top of our To Do list, sadly. When Rhys came home with a field trip permission slip to go the Applebarn, I knew I *had* to go too!  I had never been on any of the kids' field trips yet by myself. Oh, sure, I had gone to various pumpkin patches with the Olders while in preschool, but I also had a toddler with me on those trips. This would be my first one without any younger siblings (since the school recommended that the younger kids stay home. It would've been fun for them, but it would've been too busy since all four of the kindergarten classes were going together); I just needed to find a babysitter for Eden. I am so thankful for my parents for volunteering!  

I think I was just as excited as Rhys was to go on this trip.

Of course, after a hot weekend, we greeted Monday with rain, and lots of it. There's nothing like keeping it real and tromping through a farm in boots and the rain on an Autumn day! That didn't dispel our enthusiasm though.

While we waited for all of the children to arrive (it was a parent-driven trip, instead of going on the school buses. Rhys is hoping to go on a bus one day!), we introduced ourselves to the animals. Rhys bleated to the sheep and llamas; they didn't respond.  The sheep were curious at first then probably felt mocked and left. The llamas were unimpressed altogether, looking cool behind the fence.

Once we were settled inside, our class went on a hay ride. That was fun! We got to see all of the many trees with different apple varieties, as well as the corn fields. It is quite a big farm; they have 2000 dwarf trees, we were told. (they grow 9 different varieties of apples, as well as two types of pears) Halfway through it, the farmer stopped the tractor to talk to the kids. He asked if they could notice something about the trees that they all had. No, not apples or leaves. They all had tall stakes attached to them. He said that just like in life as we grow, we all need support from our family, our friends, our school teachers; we all grow tall and strong , but we can't do it on our own. I thought it was a wise thing to tell the children. It's true. We all need each other and can't do it alone. (even though we often want to)  I appreciated what he said.

 After our hay ride, we went to different "centres" and had a 5-10 minute talk by different leaders. We learned about how apples grow in each season, saw some honey bees they have, saw the apple sorting machine, and how apple cider is made. We even got to try some Jonagold apples (yum!) and their apple cider; that was so yummy! They don't add anything to it either, just straight apples, no sugar! I had to go back to the store just before we left to buy some of their hot apple cider! I wished I had bought more for home though too!

 (can you spot the Queen Bee? She has a yellow dot on her back...go figure, yellow dot on a bee of yellow and black! But we found her!)

The last thing we did before we stopped for an early lunch was the petting zoo area.  That was the part that Rhys had been waiting for all morning! He was excited to see the bunnies the most!


After lunch, we were allowed to go home if we wanted to (and many parents did since it was so wet and chilly) or stay and explore more. We had to take some pictures first...especially with the Mater truck! Then Rhys decided we should go see the bunnies again and the playground!  (I was very good and listened to the rules and didn't pick any of the bunnies up, or tuck one into my pocket to take home! I miss our bunnies so much!)

Rhys had a ton of fun on the Kangaroo Pillow! Yes, I let him go on it, even though it was wet and  he would likely get soaked. (I had packed an extra pair of clothes for him, so I figured it wasn't too big of a deal. Sometimes I'm a cool mom like that!)

He played on the slides, ran around the kids' maze, and had fun. I let him climb up to the bridge to go on a different slide, but he was taking a long time, so I had to search for him. I found him in the barn loft on the zipline! Another parent was helping his son on it as well, so he didn't mind helping Rhys along! 

I think the zipline may just have been his favourite part!

It was such a fun morning, even if it was chilly and rainy. (most of what we did was under covered areas, so it wasn't too bad.)

I have decided that we definitely need to return there on a sunny day with the rest of the family. It would be nice to jump on that pillow when it isn't wet. Maybe we can venture through the corn maze (I am terrible at directions, so the idea makes me nervous. What if we get lost? eek!)  And we definitely need to check out the corn gun and pumpkin cannon! And I need me some more of that apple cider!

I would say this was the funnest Harvest field trip I have been on. It was informative and yet short enough for kindergarten attention spans, and there was a lot of fun things for the kids to do. 

In the past, I think it was Abi's kindergarten class and maybe Kai's too, we went to the Aldor Acres (I don't remember what we did for Bryn's kindergarten class. I will have to look it up.) That is a 20-acre family farm located in the Glen Valley of Langley and has lots of fun things to do as well. I've been there to pick pumpkins with my family when it was just the three kids, also. The prices are similar at both places, so it comes down to location, I would think, or what you are looking for. If you are in search of apples, go to the Taves' Apple Barn in Abbotsford. If you want pumpkins, go to Aldor Acres in Langley!

This is why I love Autumn! Sweaters. Pumpkins. Apples. Changing colours. It makes me happy. This was a great way to spend a drizzly Autumn morning.


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