Monday, October 17, 2011

Harvest Jamboree at Smith Farm

Last week, we went to the Harvest Jamboree at Smith Farms area of the Three Creeks MetroPark. Admission was free, and so were many (but not all) of the activities, parking was $5 per car. We were a bit disappointed, but overall had a good day with a lot of new experiences for the kids.
The disappointing part was that there was an enormous line for the hayride that the kids were so looking forward to. I feel like there must have been some poor planning for that aspect of the event, since the turnout was huge and there was just one tractor with a single trailer that could only hold about 20 people at a time. We got there within 15 minutes of the starting time, and the line was already long enough for about an hour to an hour and a half wait. That missed hayride caused some tears, but they'll get to go on one soon at another farm.
We've been wanting to find a place for the kids to try out a climbing wall, but haven't found anywhere yet that has harnesses small enough. Luckily, the Recreation and Parks Department had a tiny harness that fit, so the kids were able to try out the wall they had set up. They didn't get up too high, but did great for their first climb. Fun fact: the Rec & Parks Dept portable climbing wall has an auto belay system, and 32lbs isn't quite heavy enough to allow it to release. So, if they'd gotten much higher, someone would have had to have gone up after them.

Straw maze
After the hayride drama, we found the pumpkin corral. I'm glad we got there when we did, or the kids would have been in for disappointment #2. But, they got to choose a pumpkin from the few that were left, and then decorate it. The boy went for the roundest, smallest pumpkin he could find, and the girl found the largest she could. There was then a flurry of glue, paint pens, stickers, feathers, and pipe cleaners, and the pumpkin creations emerged.

Decorating his tiny pumpkin
Fancy pumpkin
There were also a few creatures there from the Columbus Zoo. We got to see frogs, toads, hissing cockroaches, and crayfish. Then a bit later, we were surprised to turn a corner and find a barn owl.

Barn owl
And then, a penguin. I'm not sure what makes a penguin relevant to a harvest festival in Ohio, but the kids thought she was cool. 

There were quite a few tables set up with autumn-related crafts for the kids, and they had lots of fun doing those for a while. It was very, very crowded though, and got overwhelming quickly. We decided at that point to call it done so that we could go get some lunch at...

Scott and I had been there once before, but this was the first time for the kids. Everything they serve is 100% vegan, and they have a generous selection of gluten free and raw items as well. It's so nice to be able to go out to eat and not have to worry that we won't be able to find something that won't make us sick.
The kids shared an incredible strawberry/cashew smoothie that I would love to reconstruct at home. I barely had time to taste it since they inhaled it so quickly. They and I also shared a raw salad with beets, sweet potato, apple, avocado, olives, and sprouts. It's called Love Letter From the Earth, and it was amazing! We then tried the raw french fries, which are avocado slices rolled in spices and nuts.
The Loving Hut is located in such an unlikely, ignored little strip of stores in Reynoldsburg. But, they prepare their food with such care and everything is always presented beautifully. We will definitely be back to try more of their menu.

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