My friend Kim and I took the kiddos to Green Level Gourd Farm this week. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a true pumpkin patch, but Gigi didn't seem to mind that the pumpkins were sitting on flats. Nope, she didn't mind at all.
Like many places in North Carolina, the Gourd Farm was out in the middle of nowhere. The elderly couple who was running the place had built their house at the edge of a large farm property, and had created a kid's paradise of farm animals in pens, a playground, swings, slides, sandboxes, and games such as beanbag toss and horseshoes. I can't imagine that people visit this farm in any month besides October, but on the day we went we shared space with a big group of costumed preschoolers and their parents, so maybe their one month of revenue gets them through the winter.
And Gigi was completely happy with the hay bales.
The place was a bit loopy. Old hollow ceramic pastoral animals filled with fake plants in the farm scene, a large sign reading basically "it's not our fault if you die", and my favorite part of all: the Hay Ride. It started out normally enough, with a large group of happy kids and parents chugging slowly along the farm road...
(Kim, Kaitlyn and Kinsey!)
...and then all of a sudden things got strange. When we passed the large white zombie woman being eaten by a spider, Kim distracted Kinsey with other interesting things like, "Look Kinsey, there's a tree".
There were ghouls shaking violently with blinking red eyes rigged in the trees, sound-triggered spiders that dropped down suddenly above our hay ride when the old man clapped his hands at them, and of course, the skeleton wedding scene. But there were also a few fun ones. The old man riding the tractor was very proud of his art.
All in all, it was an affordable, fun place to be. There was no entrance fee, so we only paid for what we wanted to do or buy, and it was kiddo heaven. Gigi sat in a swing for the first time, and the ladies took their turns in the tractor.