Last year, we took our first trip to a pumpkin patch with Lillian, who was almost exactly one year old at the time — for a trip down memory lane, you can check out that post here. This year, we continued the pumpkin patch tradition, though we picked a different one than last time just for the sake of trying something new. This year’s destination was County Line Orchard in Hobart, Indiana, about an hour away from us.
That main barn-looking building had lots of goodies for sale inside, and on a whole County Line Orchard is definitely more of an apple orchard than a pumpkin patch (despite what the title of this post may suggest). There were huge fields of apple trees to go apple picking in, and they had about 20 varieties of apples to choose from, though we didn’t end up picking any — we were mainly there to check out the pumpkin patch and petting zoo.
Out in front were pumpkins of all shapes and sizes — I already shared this photo in my last post, but here’s Lillian picking up a pumpkin that’s just about the right size for toddler hands:
But there were also big, oddly-shaped pumpkins that were nearly as big as she was! Here’s a photo from a bit later showing Lillian with a very tall, oblong pumpkin:
Admission-wise, the “All Access Pass” for the day was $10, and free for kids ages two and under, but when Lillian saw us putting on our yellow wristbands, she wanted one too. We asked the ticket folks if we could have an extra one for her, and they happily gave it to us free of charge — so that’s the story of why she has that yellow wristband in the photo above!
The petting zoo had an interesting atmosphere — it was like being in the middle of a forest, with paths winding through very tall trees, and the various enclosures with the animals scattered throughout.
There were some cute humorous touches thrown in. For instance, the pen for the miniature pot bellied pigs had three little “houses” inside — one made of straw, one made of sticks, and one made of bricks (though unfortunately the brick one got cut off when snapping the photo below):
Here’s Lillian saying “hi” to a goat a few pens over:
There was also a play area reserved specifically for children ages 3 and under, which we figured would be perfect for Lillian (and they had another separate play area for the older kids). There were a bunch of strollers parked outside the fence, and if you look closely at the photo below you can see Joe and Lillian in there:
There were a lot of little plastic tractors for the kids to ride around on, though it seemed like kind of an odd choice for a play area where the ground was covered in a thick layer of straw — they definitely didn’t move as easily as they would have on a sidewalk. Lillian tried riding one for a little while, but seemed to lose interest pretty quickly.
But that was okay, because they had much bigger tractors for the kids to climb up on and “drive,” with wooden stairs and railings to get up there. Here’s Lillian “driving” a big red tractor:
In the “random humorous touches” department, here’s a funny face on a the side of a tree:
And here’s me and Lillian standing by the funny-face tree, where she may or may not have been trying to imitate its goofy grin:
Not far from there was an outdoor picnic area with a live band playing on a “Barnyard Jams” stage. The music was lively and the huge trees stretching over the area created an interesting atmosphere:
Moving out of the wooded area, we encountered a giant cornucopia full of pumpkins, and a wooden house-shaped structure with pumpkins stacked all the way up to the roof.
It was possible to go inside the house o’ pumpkins, and there were even windows-like openings in the side with more pumpkins set on the windowsills:
And then there were the bins full of gourds of all different shapes and sizes and colors. Lillian kept picking up random gourds and trying to run off with them.
We did eventually get to the hayride, which was much fancier than the one we took last year — in fact, there wasn’t any hay involved at all, but rather solid wooden benches on a big cart pulled by a tractor:
And whereas Lillian was a baby sitting on my lap last year, this year she rode on the bench like a big girl, having insisted on not even sitting on someone else’s lap.
The pumpkin patch itself wasn’t really a pumpkin patch — just an empty field where a bunch of pumpkins had been brought from somewhere else — and that part was a little disappointing, especially after the huge one we visited last year.
But Lillian didn’t seem to mind, and wasted no time finding another toddler-sized pumpkin to carry around:
The funny ending to this post is that somehow, after all that, we didn’t actually leave with any pumpkins — just a jug of fresh apple cider (delicious) and a bunch of freshly-baked apple cinnamon donuts (also delicious). I guess these just seemed like the appropriate things to bring back from a place that was more apple orchard than pumpkin patch! Right behind, you know, actual apples, which we didn’t get any of either, haha.
Anyway, that concludes this year’s (slightly belated) recap of our annual pumpkin patch expedition — just in time to start transitioning into the next holiday season. Hard to believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away!