On the eve of Hurricane Irma, I braved Destin Commons, saw the movie IT, and reviewed it for Beachcomber. History somewhat repeated itself this past weekend, when Hurricane Nate was forecast to arrive Saturday night. Nevertheless, I trundled myself and my toddler Nathan up to Holland Farms in Milton.
It was well worth it. Nathan and I had a great time, and, of course, we came home with a beautiful pumpkin.
The drive was just over an hour, but Holland Farms was easy to find. Upon arrival, I purchased an armband and off we went. First, we took a quick stroll through the small country store, which offers boiled peanuts, jams and preserves, and t-shirts.
Then we made our way to the giant corn bin. I had never seen one of these before, and let me tell you, it’s exactly what it sounds like—a giant bin full of dried corn for children to play in, to run and jump in, and to wallow in. There was a lot of wallowing. All the kids loved it, and Nathan was no exception. It was his absolute favorite part of the trip. In fact, it was hard dragging him out so that we could get some lunch.
Speaking of food, there were two food trailers. One sold Hawaiian shaved ice, and the other had a kid-friendly menu with hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken tenders and fries. Lunch was good, but after being dragged away from the corn bin, Nathan was more interested in the Pug at the next table over. An avid dog lover, Nathan spent most of lunchtime trying to feed French fries to the Pug (whose owners, thankfully, kept him close and out of French fry range).
After lunch, we tried to explore life beyond the corn bin. Holland Farms offers many activities, including a playground, horse tire swings, pedal tractor carts (similar to go-karts), hayrides and a corn maze. Nathan is a bit young for some of the activities, but the older kids had a blast. The tractor carts were always full.
There is also a small zoo with goats and at least one miniature cow. Nathan had a lot of fun mooing at the goats, although he didn’t last long after that. There was one more trip to the corn bin, but we didn’t try a hayride or the corn maze. It was pretty warm, and they wouldn’t have been much fun with a cranky, tired toddler. Of course, we did visit the pumpkin patch and claim our pumpkin.
One small thing that really impressed me? The restrooms. They were large and clean, and there was even a changing table. It was a far cry from the Porta-Johns I’d been expecting.
I highly recommend Holland Farms. They offer a fun, affordable time for the whole family. And even after the pumpkin patch ends on Nov. 4, families can enjoy “Christmas on the Farm,” which runs Nov. 21-Dec 11. To plan your visit, call 850-675-6876 or visit hollandfarmsonline.com.
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