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Halloween Snacks and Goodie Box

Halloween is just around the corner! (Just in case you haven’t noticed from all my posts)

Monte and I have been doing lots of various activities that are fall and Halloween oriented like visiting orchards, pumpkin patches, making yummy “fallish” meals, sensory bins, and more!

To get Monte more into the spirit, I decided to make him some healthy Halloween snacks.

Both of these items I found on Pinterest!

The original recipe for the Frozen Yogurt Banana Ghosts can be found here.

What you will need is …

  1. Large Bananas
  2. Vanilla Yogurt
  3. Mini Chocolate Chips
  4. Popsicle Sticks
  5. Wax Paper


Cut the bananas in half and freeze for about 30-45 minutes. Insert the popsicle sticks, then spoon the yogurt all over the bananas. The original recipe says to “dip into the yogurt” but my bananas began falling apart and falling off the stick so I just spooned the yogurt on top. Add the mini chocolate chips for the eyes, then freeze until you are ready to serve!

I also found this Candy Corn Fruit Cocktail recipe! Of course, the link was broken but you can tell what needed to be done by the picture.

What you will need is …

  1. Pineapple chunks (you can used can in natural juice or fresh chopped pineapple)
  2. Mandarin orange segments (you can used can in natural juice or peel & separate small cutie segments)
  3. Whipped topping
  4. Candy Corn (optional)


You can use whatever container that works best for you. I’ve seen some in mason jars, but I chose to use small, clear cups (easier for Monte to get his fingers in there). Divide the pineapple chunks evenly on the bottom of your container. Then place the mandarin orange segments evenly among the containers, on top of the pineapple. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top and a piece of candy corn!


I absolutely love activity boxes for Mr. Monte! It’s so simple to create a theme and place a bunch of different items into the box, so he can take it to my mom’s house. It keeps him busy and I think he enjoys all the goodies he finds ūüôā The other great thing, there is no right or wrong way to create these. You can use whatever items you have lying around. Another great place to look is the Dollar Store and dollar bins at Target!


This box includes:

  • Rubber toy skeleton
  • Assorted bugs such as spiders, butterflies, etc.
  • Small orange pumpkin
  • Several short Halloween books
  • A couple Halloween sticker books
  • Foam sheets (to put stickers on)
  • Halloween magic paint book


Everything was purchased from Michael’s or I already had it lying around the house!

What items would you add to your Halloween Activity Box?


Living History Farms – Family Halloween

Another thing has been crossed off our 2013 Fall Bucket List!

We went to the Living History Farms – Family Halloween!

This is a perfect event to take the little kiddos to. Monte had so much fun!

His costume this year is a FOX! Him and Elvis are going as the Fox and Hound. Of course, Elvis could not make an appearance at the Living History Farms, so he has a body double (stuffed animal) that Monte will carry around ūüôā

You enter into the Living History town and trick or treat through the street, stopping at all the old buildings. We stopped at the bank, general store, veterinary clinic, etc.

Everything was decorated with scarecrows and pumpkins!

My favorite thing decorated was a gazebo, they dressed up as a witch. So creative!!

Monte’s favorite thing to do was roast marshmallows ….

…. more like eat them!!!

“Pumpkin” bowling was also a hit and there was a huge line to give it a try. Monte got the hang of it quickly and knew exactly what to do.

 There was also kettle corn available for purchase, story time for those kiddos a little bit older, and a horse drawn wagon ride.

This event is also going on this weekend too! If you do not have plans, I would definitely recommend taking your kiddos.

$6 for non-members

$5 for members

1 year and under are FREE!

Days and Hours

Thursday – Sunday

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Don’t miss out!

DSM Activities & Events 10/17 – 10/23


There are lots going on in the Des Moines area this weekend! Do not forget to check out my list for Pumpkin Patches & Orchards AND my list of Haunted Houses!


1. Living History Farms – Family Halloween

When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

What: Go out to Living History Farms for a horse drawn wagon ride, roast marshmallows, listen to stories, pumpkin bowling, and see scarecrows! Children under the age of 12 can trick or treat through town. For more information check out their website!

2. Blank Park Zoo – Night Eyes

When: Thursday & Friday 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm AND Saturday & Sunday 1 pm – 8 pm

What: Walk through Blank Park Zoo and trick or treat! The park will be decorated in various ways such as a spooky forest, pumpkin patch and a yellow brick road! Check out admission prices and more information on their website!

3. Scary Jump 

When: Friday 7 pm – 9 pm

Where and What: Go to Pump it Up and jump! $12 per child/$15 at the door. Each child will receive a treat bag and a glow necklace. The bounce houses will be decorated in halloween decor! For more information or to purchase tickets check out their website!

4. Mysteries of the Castle

When: Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

Where and What: Walk through the rooms at the Salisbury House and explore! There will be story telling, face painting, science experiments, learn about owls from the Owl Lady, arts and crafts, balloon animals, and more! Make sure to wear your costume. Gusto Pizza will also be available! $5 admission. More information on their website.

5. Octoberfest at Penoach Vineyard & Winery 

When: Saturday 12 pm – 6 pm

Where and What: Located at the Penoach Vineyard and Winery in Adel, come out for free wine tastings, free popcorn, tractor and wagon rides, live music and barbecue! Check out their website for more information!

6. Family Hayride & Bonfire

When: Saturday 3 pm – 7 pm

Where and What: Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary is hosting a Family Hayride and Bonfire. All proceeds will go towards the bonobo ape family. Take a hay rack ride through the sanctuary and when you are finished roast marshmallows and drink hot cocoa! $10 per person (before), $12 day of the event and children 2 and under are FREE! For an additional $5 you can go in and visit the bonobo ape family. For more information check out their website.

7. Spooktacular 5k Fun Run 

When: Saturday at 6 pm

Where and What: This is a kids fun run with food and drinks afterwards! Proceeds go to the Johnston Partnership. The run will take place at Johnston High School. Register now through October 17th $20. $25 to register the day of the event. Check out here to register online!

8. Mysteries and Movies After Dark 

When: Saturday 7 pm – 10 pm

Where and What: This is a perfect date night event to get in the Halloween spirit! Located at the Salisbury House, join others for adult beverages, snacks, spooky stories, and movies. Please RSVP! Check out the website for more information and to RSVP.

9. Great Iowa Pet Expo 

When: Saturday 10 am – 6 pm AND Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

Where and What: This event is being held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Come out and learn about all sorts of animals, enjoy entertainment, education, and win prizes! There may be some animals available for adoption also! Check out their website for scheduled events and prices for admission.

10. Spirits in the Gardens 

When: Saturday and Sunday 4 pm – 7 pm

Where and What: Located at Reiman Gardens in Ames! Come dressed in your costume and enjoy different craft and activity stations. Listen to stories and see live owls and raptors! Of course there will be trick or treating! FREE for all youth under 18 years of age. Adults are $8 and $7 for seniors. For more information check out their website.

11. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Where and What:¬†¬†Located at the Wells Fargo Arena, you will not want to miss taking your kiddos to ‚ÄúThe Greatest Show on Earth‚ÄĚ full of animals and shows! Check out the¬†website¬†to see times and to purchase tickets.

12. Sample Sundays

When: Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm

When and Where: This is one event I definitely want to check out sometime! Located at Picket Fence Creamery in Woodward, walk around and try samples of items from various, local places. There will be root beer floats, kids activities, live music, and much more! And it’s all FREE! Check out their website for more information and other dates they host this fun event.

¬†Plan Ahead …

1. Wonder of Words Festival 

When: November 2nd – November 12th

What: This is a very neat event! The Wonder of Words Festival is an event that connects readers, writers, and publishers. There are many sponsors and several scheduled events. Check out the official website for more information and how to get involved!

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Another item has been crossed off our 2013 Fall Bucket ListMake Pumpkin Pancakes!

Since my Paleo¬†obsession … I came across these Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes and thought we should give them a try! I cannot take all the credit for making these though … my wonderful father made these for us Sunday morning.

This is a doubled recipe from the original.

 Here are the ingredients and steps we used to make this Paleo fall favorite!


1. 8 eggs, beaten

2. 1 can pumpkin puree

3. 2 ripe bananas, mashed

4. 4 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted

5. 2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract

6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

7. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

8. 2 teaspoons cinnamon

9. Pinch salt


1. Whisk the eggs and vanilla extract together, then add the canned pumpkin.

2. Sift the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and pinch of salt into the wet ingredients.

3. Mash 2 bananas, then add to the wet ingredients and mix.

4. Melt 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and then add to pancake mixture.

5. Spray your skillet, then pour batter onto skillet to make the pancakes!

The original recipe called for coconut flour to make the pancakes thicker and firmer, but we did not use because we thought the bananas would do the trick! I would definitely recommend adding in the coconut flour, because it was hard to flip the pancakes and they were kind of flimsy BUT they tasted great!

This recipe makes 10 pancakes.

Serve with pure maple syrup, almond butter, fruit, nuts, etc.

What is your favorite pumpkin pancake recipe?

Center Grove Orchard

We crossed off a bunch of items on our 2013 Fall Bucket List this weekend! We went to Center Grove Orchard!

If you have not been … you NEED to go. This was also on my list of¬†Top 10 Pumpkin Patches & Orchards to visit in the Des Moines area.

First thing we did, when we entered the Farm Fun area, was check out the kid toy tractors! Monte thought he was such a big boy “riding” around.

Next, we were off to check out the farm animals. Monte isn’t too sure of goats. Remember when he wouldn’t get near the goats at Wills Family Orchard? Well, same thing here!

One of my favorite things is the 3 Little Pig houses they have. They are sooooo cute! They are perfect size for Monte to walk in and check out.

The bridge and old school house was fun too! Monte enjoyed the small desk. He was ready to learn!

Off to the corn pit! I wanted to do this last year with Monte, but he was still a bit young. Monte had so much fun “swimming” in the corn and would not stop laughing ūüôā

The Jumping Pillow is another highlight at Center Grove and GREAT exercise!

Riding on a hayrack ride was also on our bucket list. We hopped on the hayrack ride to go find us some pumpkins! Monte enjoyed all of the bouncing and scenery along the way.

When we got out to the pumpkin patch there were so many pumpkins to pick from! Monte picked one out just his size ūüôā

Last, but not least, we could not leave without trying some yummy apple cider made from apples at Center Grove. The perfect ending to a great experience!

Overall, Center Grove Orchard is a definite must! There are so many activities to do and see! I couldn’t list them all!

Some other things include …

  • Huge slide
  • Corn maze
  • Horse bounce races
  • Hay maze
  • Lots of food to eat such as apple cider doughnuts and caramel apples
  • Apple picking


Admission is $9.95 per person for ages 3 and up BUT if you go during the week it is $7.95 per person for ages 3 and up. The main advantage for going during the week is it’s not as crowded. There are some things that are not available though, such as the restaurant and science shows they offer.

If you think you may go multiple times, purchasing a season pass would be smart for $21.95 and you can visit the Farm Fun area as many times as you like for the 2013 season!

Check out the Center Grove Orchard website for more information!

Have you been to Center Grove Orchard? What is your favorite thing to do there?


DSM Activities & Events 10/10 – 10/16

Make sure to check out the calendar on the right hand of the screen. There are a lot of festivals and events going on this weekend not listed here!

1. Friday Funday “The Little Red Hen”

When: Friday 9:30 am, 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

Where and What:¬†This is a once a month event! Located at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. This is an interactive theater for preschoolers! Each month they play out a different story and this month it is “The Little Red Hen”. This will be last one of this season, but this will be something to remember when it starts up again in June! For more information check out the¬†website¬†to purchase tickets and learn more about this awesome program!

2. Valley Junction РGallery Night 

When: Friday 5 pm Р9 pm

Where and What: Located in Valley Junction, walk around a visit six different galleries that will be open to the public. This events is FREE. Shops and other restaurants will be open later for this event. This would be a perfect date night!

3. Children’s Haunted Forest

When: Friday & Saturday 6:30 pm

Where and What: Located in Carlisle, this is the perfect opportunity for your kiddos to participate in a kid friendly “haunted” house! There will be swinging bridges, pirates, ball pits and more! Admission is $6 ages 12 and under in costume! Everyone else $8!

4. Ames Oktoberfest 

When: Saturday 1 pm – 11 pm

Where and What: Located on Main Street in Ames come drink beer, play games and dance to Polka music! The Nadas will also be performing at 9 pm! You can purchase tickets ahead of time and take a look at their schedule of events here.

5. Walk for Wildlife 

When: Saturday 8 am – 1 pm

Where and What: Come out to Jester Park for a beautiful fall walk! There is a 5 k or 10 k walk to choose from. You will walk through the woods, on trails and terrain. Activities will be available. Pets on leashes are also welcome! This is perfect for the entire family! For more information check out here.

6. Fall Craft Day 

When: Saturday 1 pm – 2 pm

Where and What: Located at the Grimes Public Library for kids ages 7 and up. Come out and create fall crafts and decor including a spinning gourd. This event is FREE. Please register. For more information check it out here.

7. Zombie Nation 5 k Fun Run/Walk 

When: Saturday 12:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where and What: Dress up as a Zombie and walk around Water Works Park! $35.00 for individual, $30.00 per person for teams of 4 plus, and $8.00 per kid (5-13 years). The proceeds to go various charities including Blank Childrens Hospital. There will also be an after party for individuals 21+! For more information and to register check out here.

8. Pint Size ScienceРOn the Farm 

When: Tuesday, October 15th at 1 pm & Saturday, October 19th at 10 am

Where and What: Located at the Science Center of Iowa, this is a perfect learning experience for your kiddo and the whole family. Help harvest crops, learn about planting pumpkins, learn how farm machines work, how to plant a garden, and much more! This is for children ages 3-5 and families. $12 for non-member and $8 for member. Pre- registration is encouraged. Check out their website to register and for other Pint Size Science classes available through out the year.

9. Madison County Covered Bridge Festival 

When: Saturday & Sunday 9 am Р5 pm

Where and What: Located in Winterset, take a tour of the beautiful covered bridges. There will also be arts, crafts, entertainment and food available! Check out here for a list of vendors, list of events, and information on the scarecrow contest!

10. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Fall Book Sale

When: Friday & Saturday 9 am – 9 pm AND Sunday & Monday 9 am – 6 pm

Where and What: This is a book sale you do NOT want to miss! There will be over 600,000 books available to purchase AND CD’s, DVD’s, puzzles, and posters. This book sale will be taking place at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Admission is $10 and Monday is FREE! For more information check out here.


It’s that time of the year! Check out these Haunted Houses!!

1. Sleepy Hollow Haunted Scream Park

 Friday & Saturday

October 17th – 20th, 24th – 27th and 31st

7 pm – Midnight

$25.00 all inclusive


2. The Slaughter House

Friday & Saturday

October 18th – 19th, 25th – 27th, 31st AND November 1st – 2nd

8 pm – Midnight

$12.00, coupon on website for $2 off


3. Ultimate Haunted House

Friday & Saturday

October 18th – 19th, 25th – 26th

7 – 10 pm

Sunday October 20th & 27th – 31st

7 pm – 10 pm

$13.00, coupon on website for $2 off


4. Linn’s Haunted House

Friday & Saturday

October 18th – 19th, 25th – 26th AND November 1st – 2nd

7 pm – Midnight

October 20th, 27th – 31st

7 pm – 10 pm

$12.00, coupon on website


5. Haunted Barn 

Friday & Saturday

October 18th – 19th, 25th – 26th AND November 1st – 2nd

8 pm – Midnight

October 20th, 27th – 31st

8 pm – 10 pm

$15.00, $3.00 coupon on website


6. Trail of Terror

Friday & Saturday

October 18th – 19th and 25th – 26th

6:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Kids Trail

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

$8 children ages 12 and under. If you wear a costume $2.00 discount!

Here is an awesome website that lists a few more haunted houses, including the ones listed above and more information! 


Fall Sensory Bin

I created such a fun activity bin for Monte … a Fall Sensory Bin!

He absolutely loves it and I absolutely love it because I love fall (if you had not heard).

Anyways, all of these items I picked up from the Dollar Store and Michaels. I also had quite a bit of these items already.

You can put whatever you want in your bin, but some things I included were: gourds, leaves, a fake little owl, mini pumpkins, basket filler, tall red feathered grass, acorns, and a sensory jar.

Some things you could add or use instead: hay, pine cones, wood chips, corn stalks, small scented tealight candles, etc. I almost did the candles for Monte, but I was concerned he would try to eat them instead.

We worked on our colors (red, yellow, brown, orange), touch (rough, crinkly, tickle, soft) and smelling certain items.

As mentioned above, I also made a sensory jar. Monte loved this! At Michaels, I found little glass pumpkins. I put a few of those and a leaf into the jar. I filled it about a third full with water and added 1/3 cup vegetable oil.

¬†The picture isn’t the greatest, sorry. But, the vegetable adds a really cool effect to the pumpkin beads when you shake it.

Overall, the bin was a hit! I definitely recommend for you to try it out!

What type of sensory bins have you made for your kiddos?

DSM Activities & Events 10/3 – 10/9


Don’t forget to check out the events calendar on the right hand side of my page! Lots of fun things going on in the Des Moines area!

1. Mixology Night 

When: Friday 5:30 – 9 pm

Where and What: Perfect date night activity! Located at the Science Center of Iowa. Come for drinks, live entertainment (The Parlours), and adult-themed presentations. Admission is $5 and FREE to Science Center members.

2. Slaughter House

When: Friday and Saturday

Where and What: This haunted house is located in Pleasant Hill. Definitely not recommended for the kiddos, but if you are a fan of terrors and haunted house, this is a definite must this Halloween season! Check out their website for times and also a $2 off coupon.

3. Soap Box Derby Association Haunted House

When: Friday and Saturday 7 – 10 pm

Where and What: This is the 29th year for the spooky haunted house! Located at Linn’s Supermarket, the tour takes approximately 20-25 minutes. The admission is $12 which also includes a free line of bowling at Plaza Lanes AND a coupon for Trophy’s. There are $4 off coupons available at Plaza Lanes and other Halloween shops around the metro area.

4. New Moms Event by Des Moines Moms Blog

When: Saturday 10 – 12 pm

Where and What: Located at the Valley Community Center in West Des Moines. There will be food, drinks, giveaways and a great chance to meet other new moms. There will also be swag bags valued at over $300! Oh yeah, and FREE massages! Do NOT miss this! $15 and reservations are required. Click here to purchase tickets. Also, check out the Des Moines Moms Blog. It is a great blog to follow!

5. DSM Sushi Roll

When: Saturday at 11:45 am

Where and What: Do you LOVE sushi? This is the perfect event for you! Make it into a date activity also. A party bus will pick you up at Appare Steakhouse and drop you off at about 4 pm at Appare Steakhouse. You will travel around the Des Moines area, traveling to different sushi restaurants including: Sakura Sushi, Wasabi Tao, Wasabi Chi, and Waterfront. $45.00 per ticket and reservations are required. Check out here for reservation information and schedule.

6. Corn Harvest: Living History Farms

When: Saturday 10 am – 3 pm

Where and What: Discover how hard it is to harvest 80 bushels of corn a day! There will be horse drawn wagon rides and demonstrations on how corn is harvest! You can also see what tools are used in person. Check out here for more information!

7. DSM Zombie Walk 

When: Saturday at 1 pm

Where and What: Event will start at 1 pm downtown in the East Village at Zombie Burger! This is something you will NOT want to miss. Starting 1 pm go get your make up done, check out the vendors, and eat some crazy burgers and drinks. There will also be a costume contest beginning at 3 pm with CASH prizes. At 4:30 pm the Zombie Walk will begin through downtown Des Moines ending at Zombie Burger. For adults, enjoy the Zombie Pub Crawl which starts at 6:00 pm. Bars that will be included are El Bait Shop and High Life Lounge. This is truly an event for the whole family! For more information check out their website.

8. Cat-N-Around Cat Club 

When: Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 4pm

Where and What: This event is for all you cat lovers! It will be held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. There will be over 200 cats and 30 different breeds being judged. There will also be lots of different vendors for food, treats, beds, toys, and other fun cat products. Admission is $10 for a family, Adulst $5, and Children $4. Children 4 and under are FREE!

9. Apple Pumpkin Fest

When: Saturday 9 am – 6 pm & Sunday 1 pm – 6 pm

Where and What: Come out to Wills Family Orchard! Lots of events, activities, and entertainment! Pick pumpkins, pick apples, go on a hay rack ride, meet some farm animals, paint gourds, and much, much more! Check out our visit from last weekend, we had so much fun!

Check out their website here for more information!

10. Star Wars Reads Day

When: Saturday at 1 – 3 pm

Where and What: For ages 3 Р1o come to the Franklin Library to celebrate Star Wars Reads Day. Dress like your favorite character, participate in games and trivia. There will also be special appearances from the galaxy far, far away! All of this is FREE! You do NOT want to miss it!

11. Oktoberfest

When: Saturday 2 – 6 pm

Where and What: Located in Windsor Heights at Colby Park. Lots of fun things to do including: inflatables, live music from a Polka band, costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, balloon animals, food & drinks, and more! Check out here for time of certain events and contests.

12. Craftoberfest 

When: Saturday 6 pm – 12 am

Where and What: Located at Keg Stand this is the first year of Craftoberfest! There will be 20 seasonal beers available with live entertainment. Advance tickets are $6 and include a commemorative mug and first beer of choice. You can also purchase tickets at the door for $10. Check out here to purchase tickets before!

13. Pumpkin Train 

When: October 5 & 12 at 10 am and October 8 & 9 at 6 pm

Where and What: Located at the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum in Boone. Seating is limited so make sure to make your reservations ASAP! Ride the train, across the Bass Point Creek High Bridge, to the pumpkin patch and have your kiddos pick out their own pumpkin for FREE. $15 for all ages 2 and up. Check out their website for reservations.

14. Nature Friends: Bats

When: Monday 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Where and What: Located at Quail Cove Park in West Des Moines, all preschoolers with an adult are welcome! Guided exploration, art activities, and snack provided. Reservations are required at it is $7 per child with adult. Check out here for reservation information.

Top 10 Pumpkin Patches & Orchards


It was SUPER hard to narrow down only 10 pumpkin patches and orchards to visit this year! There are a lot of choices. Make sure to check out their websites for special events they may have going on during this season!

Also, make sure to check out my calendar on the right hand side, for events taking place at various places such as, Living History Farms, the Science Center, Blank Park Zoo and more.

1. Center Grove Orchard– Located in Cambridge which is between Ames and Ankeny. This is my favorite orchard and pumpkin patch to visit every fall. It is loaded with fun activities for the whole family including: apple picking, a pumpkin patch, farm animals, corn maze, corn pool, jumping pillow, hay rack rides, rubber duck races, and much more!

They also have a store with already picked apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts, caramel apples, sauces, and more. Check out their Pinterest board, where they post a ton of ideas for fall.

There is an admission price. Ages 3 and up $9.95 Saturday & Sunday. $7.95 Monday – Friday. They also offer a season pass for their fun farmyard!

2.Berry Patch Farm¬†–¬†Berry Patch Farm is located in Nevada and is actually not too far from Center Grove Orchard! They are known for picking your own produce. We made a trip out there this summer and picked our own blueberries. We came home with about 6 lbs! Right now, there are several varieties of apples, green beans, and raspberries to pick from.

On Saturday and Sunday there are hay rack rides available, along with pumpkins and gourds too!

There is NO admission to pick. You only need to pay for the produce you take.

3. Iowa Orchard– The Iowa Orchard is located right in the city, in Urbandale! Do not be fooled by the name, they also have lots of pumpkins and gourds available to pick from. They offer lots and lots of varieties of apples. They also offer pies, apple cider, different sauces and much more!

Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they offer hay rack rides, which also include access to the hay bale slide, corn box, tire obstacle course, face painting, and horseshoe toss.

There IS an admission for the hay rack rides. $4 per individual or $15 for a family of 4. No charge for ages 2 and under! There are also tour packages you can sign up for. Check out their website¬†¬†for more information! Of course, there is ¬†no charge to walk through their shop and purchase items ūüôā

4. The Pumpkin Ranch –¬†Located in Winterset. Not only do they have pumpkins to pick from, but they offer a 9 acre corn maze! Along with hayrack rides, horseback rides, zip lines, slides (new this year), playground, and jump house. Also, photographer Allison Knox will take a picture of you and your family for FREE! For times that she will be available check out the website.

There IS an admission. $8 per person, children 2 years and younger are FREE!

5. Geisler Farms –¬†Located in Bondurant. They have a 10 acre corn maze which features the Ankeny high schools logos. There is also a fun zone available for a small price. Included in the fun zone area is swings, rubber duck races, and other fun games.

There IS an admission. Corn maze, fun zone, and hay rack ride $8. Corn maze and fun zone $7. Fun zone only is $2

6. Wills Family Orchard –¬†This is a definite must do this fall season! We already made our trip to Will Family Orchard and enjoyed every minute of it! Located just west of Adel, they offer organic apples for picking, a pumpkin patch, farm animals, a cute little store to shop at and paint your own gourd!

There is NO admission, but you do pay for whatever pumpkins you pick and apples you pick!

7. Patch Pumpkins & Honey Farm – Also located in Adel! Another pumpkin patch with lots more then just pumpkins! They have a corn maze, kid corn maze, duck races, corn pit, petting zoo, play center, bounce houses, and more!

They also have honey, pumpkins, apples, gourds and other various items to purchase.

There IS an admission. $5 per person. Ages 2 and under are FREE! $10 for a season pass. They offer discounted pricing for week days.

8. Howell’s Pumpkin Patch – Located in Cumming. They offer a pumpkin patch, corn maze, pony rides, duck races, farm animals, playground and giant tube slide. The Greenhouse Cafe offers yummy fall treats, hot dogs, chips, ice cream and more! You will not go hungry at Howell’s!

There IS an admission. $8 per person. If you have kept your eyes open recently, there has been a Groupon offer for Howell’s. I am not sure if it’s still floating around … but you should check it out!

9. Dan РD Farms РLocated in Knoxville. Are you kiddos a fan of the Angry Birds? Their corn maze is is an Angry Birds design! Lots of farm animals, pumpkins and other activities. Check out their website for different events they have going on this Fall season!

10. Williamsons Pumpkin Paradise – Located in Ankeny and has FREE admission 7 days a week. They offer a petting zoo, pony rides, bag toss, hay maze, hay rack rides, fire pit and more! Some of these activities are only available Saturday and Sunday.

Barrel train rides, pony rides, pumpkin cannon and corn maze have a small fee.


Which pumpkin patch and/or orchard is your favorite?

Wills Family Orchard

Sunday was a gorgeous Fall day! A perfect day to get one of our items crossed off our 2013 Fall Bucket List!

We went to Apple Pumpkin Fest at Wills Family Orchard. The orchard is located outside of Adel, so it was a bit of a drive, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

When we arrived, we walked up to the store to check out what was going on. They had some yummy samples of their homemade applesauce, apple butter, some of their jams, and apple cider donuts.

Monte was a HUGE fan of their applesauce. We ended up purchasing a jar to take home with us.

In the store they have picking instruction and tid-bits for picking apples on their orchard. We glanced through the tips and purchased a bag, to place our apples in. The bag was a really good size! You pay $25 for each bag and you can fill it up with as many apples as you want! It’s a pretty good deal for fresh picked, organic apples!

Next, we walked towards the orchard, but made a stop to see the goats and chickens. Monte was not too sure about either of them and would not get very close.

We continued on our walk to the orchard. When we got there a very friendly gentlemen was there to point out which trees were good to pick from and some other tid-bits on how to pull the apples off the tree. When you pull them off, you want to leave a spur so next year an apple will grow from that spur.

Monte got the hang of it very quickly and was picking apples left and right! He did such a good job picking them and placing them in the bag.

Each bag holds a peck of apples, which is 10 lbs! Here is are peck of apples …

When we were done picking apples we headed back up to the store. For the Apple Pumpkin Fest they were grilling brats, hot dogs, and had other yummy goodies to eat. We sat down and ate some brats!

Monte had more applesauce ūüôā

Monte also had a chance to paint a small gourd for 50 cents. He is so talented!

The last thing left to do was pick a pumpkin! We headed over to their 3 acre pumpkin patch! Monte had so many pumpkins to choose from, he just could not decide!

Overall, we had a great time and I definitely would recommend everyone to make the drive out to Wills Family Orchard. It is well worth it for some yummy organic apples. They also have cider, apple pies, apple butter BBQ sauce, and more! All of this is organic too!