Hunting for Rubies

Fall in South Florida – Pumpkins, Heat, and Hay Rides

Our family moved to South Florida from New Hampshire, and I grew up in semi-rural Maryland. My husband and I are both from up North (even if Maryland is technically below the Mason-Dixon Line). Fall is by far my favorite season. I love the flavors, the smells, the feeling of crisp cool air, and I love the colors (rust and hunter green are my jam)!

Apple picking at Applecrest, Hampton Falls, NH

Apple picking at Applecrest – Hampton Falls, NH

So when my senses get excited for pumpkin and spices, warm drinks, and leaves changing, that is when I miss living up North.

Pumpkin Patch at Applecrest - Hampton Falls, NH

Pumpkin Patch at Applecrest – Hampton Falls, NH

The bright side is that the local establishments in South Florida do a really great job at creating the Fall environment and attractions that we so miss from Gaver’s Farm in Maryland and Apple Crest in New Hampshire.  But unfortunately, they can’t do anything for sweating and sunburn, so be prepared and wear cool clothes and sunblock.

Giant Jumping Pillow at Gaver's Farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland

Giant Jumping Pillow at Gaver’s Farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland

FLAMINGO ROAD NURSERY

Despite the fact that apples and pumpkins do not actually grow in this tropical environment we call home, we still had a great time “picking” pumpkins at Flamingo Road Nursery in Davie. They have a weekly Fall Festival with Hay Rides, Pumpkins to Paint, Frozen Apple Cider, Live Music, and a life-size Mater from the movie Cars.

Flamingo Road Nursery is absolutely gorgeous. You can stroll through the flowers and plants, look at pottery and wind chimes, check out the Farmers Market and Creamery, sit and relax in the adirondack chairs, or find a seat around the pond and listen to the band.

All and all, it was a nice visit (even if it was boiling hot). You can also purchase a Picnic Lunch or grab food at the BBQ tent that is there (it smelled really good). The festival is free, but everything else pretty much costs $4 an item. Buy tickets at one of the booths to purchase food, pumpkins, and the hayride.

BEDNERS

Last year we went to Bedners to get our pumpkins. We planned a weekday play date with about 6-8 other 2 year olds and there families full of shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables,  a wagon ride out into the fields, and of course, getting our pumpkin. Not to forget the best bag of tortilla chips we have ever had that are locally produced here in Florida! Get them!

Ruby & Hunter at Bedner's, October 2013

Ruby & Hunter at Bedner’s, October 2013

We have not been to the official Bedner’s Fall Festival which has a petting zoo, bounce house, corn maze, and all the other Fall Festival favorites, held every weekend through November 2nd, but we hear it is crowded. Our best advice with any of the Festivals is to get there early and beat the crowds.

OTHER HALLOWEEN & FALL ACTIVITIES WE LOVE

Fern Forest and Other Broward Parks are some of our most favorite hidden gems in South Florida. These Parks and Nature Preserves sometimes go unnoticed, but stop in and check them out and you might be surprised in all they have to offer. There are a few places on the list like Secret Woods Nature Center that we have yet to visit, and going when they have another event is more bang for your buck (even if it is a nominal fee)!

Flamingo Gardens in Davie starts their Haunted Nights this weekend. While that event is a little too old for my crew, we like the idea of attending Story Time with the Good Witch on October 26th from 11:30-4pm. Half-price admission if you dress in costume, plus a free hayride, visit to the pumpkin patch, costume contest, crafts and games, and a spooky bounce house!

I am also totally into checking out the Hayride and Campfire Series, another Broward Parks events. It doesn’t have to be Halloween and Thanksgiving to get your Fall-On. I think roasting marshmallows over a campfire and making S’more absolutely qualifies! The next Family Hayride and Campfire  is at Easterlin Park in Oakland Park on October 24th, 7-9:30pm. Cost is $3 per person 3 and up and includes a hay ride and a bag of fixings to make S’mores.

The 5th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration in Fort Lauderdale is November 2, from 1-7pm. We have never been to a Day of the Dead event, but this looks awesome. It looks like the Family Day start off at the Museum of Art from 1-3pm, the traditional Skeleton Processional begins at 3pm, and there is a Kids Corner from 3-7pm at America’s Backyard with arts, crafts, and face-painters.

Here are some great resources for other events going on this weekend and the rest of the month:

Modern Boca Mom Weekend Roundup

Sun-Sentinel’s Tri-County Calendar of Halloween Events 

Local Mom Scoop Halloween Happenings

About.com Ft. Lauderdale – Pumpkins, Trick or Treating,  Fall Fests

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