Pumpkin Spice lattés topped with whipped cream and nutmeg, crisp autumn walks through fallen leaves that crunch under foot, Corn mazes, Pumpkin Patches, Searching for that perfect Halloween Costume – it’s autumn in Calgary and I love it! I love every glorious golden moment of autumn.
We have many fall traditions in our family and spending a day in the country is one of them. We head to a local farm and enjoy experiences that can only be found outside our busy city.
Last weekend we chose as our Saturday destination, invited our friends, and headed south to Okotoks for the day. While not nearly as big an operation as the Calgary Corn Maze, there’s something simple and natural about Kayben Farms that we like.
You can take an old fashioned roll in the hay as you jump off of a low platform into a gigantic mountain of hay. Wagon rides, a walk through their corn maze, and a visit to see the farm animals enrich the experience further. The corn maze isn’t as big as others in the area but it’s the perfect size for preschoolers and families afraid of getting lost. You won’t need to pull out your cell phone to call emergency crews to come and rescue you here. (It has happened!)
We spent a good hour jumping on the Berry Bounce, a giant jumping pillow similar to a bouncy castle but with no walls. The best thing about a barrier-free bouncy house is that the whole family can jump together. There are no weight, height or age restrictions here – which was great news for us because I love jumping!
Something else unique to Kayben Farms that sets it apart from its competition is the Sunshine Adventure Park’s climbing wall. Toddlers will be able to get up with a bit of help and most preschoolers will scale the wall in no time flat. The reward at the top is a four lane slide that Dare Devils can ride down on a potato sack for a very speedy ride that pretty much catapults you off the end. Smaller children (and parents with fragile bones) can just slide down on their bums and it is much tamer. My three year old was still too scared to go down but most children were flying down the slide with squeals of delight.
Another thing we found to be pretty novel was the Wheat Wonderland. Think sand box, big enough for a dozen kids, but filled with wheat instead! The wheat is stored inside an old grain elevator which further adds to the experience.
Take a trip to the Farm during the annual Pumpkin and Scarecrow Festival that runs each Saturday in October for additional family fun activities. The coolest activity we found was the pumpkin painting station. You can purchase your own pumpkin (different sizes available) and then custom paint your masterpiece to take home with you. It was a very popular activity at the farm based on the crowds of preschoolers and school aged kids around the paint table. You’ll also find live entertainment, an October Fest beer tent (yes really!), and other Halloween themed activities.
For more information on the Pumpkin and Scarecrow Festival, visit Kayben Farm’s website at www.kayben.com