Monday, October 3, 2016

Cincinnati Fall Festivals and Making Friends with an Alpaca

One thing I love about Cincinnati is all the fun festivals they have around the city during the Fall season. We have visited three so far, and have at least two more on our to-do list before the season is over, but I wanted to go ahead and share some pictures and tell you a little bit about what I liked (and disliked) at each one. (For my Cincinnati friends..)

This has been my favorite festival so far because I really felt like they considered toddler aged children, so Leah had a lot of fun activities to do.
Admission: It was $9 for me (bought my tickets online for a discounted price) and Leah was free.
 She absolutely loved looking at all the animals, they had goats, turkeys, ducks, chickens, goats, and maybe a few more that I can't remember.
 They had an amazing sunflower backdrop that made the best pictures! (always a pro in my book).
 They had a mini pumpkin patch just for the little kids. (And also had a large one for the adults/big kids)
Their hayride was a little too long for what I wanted (I believe it was 30mins!), so I was thankful they had a cute little 5 minute ride for kiddos.  Any kid under three had to ride with an adult - so Leah and I took LuLu Bell for a spin. It was a fun little ride and so glad they had something fun like this for kids!
They also had other games for kids, like the egg drop race, fun cut outs to take pictures in, they had corn mazes (I believe they had a big one and one for small kids, but we didn't do it), slides, and much more. They also had a market where you could buy fruit, jam, candy apples and etc...and also had one food truck for those who wanted to eat lunch there. 
All in all, it has been my favorite so far.

So far, this one is my least favorite one.  Sure, they have hayrides and corn mazes (these cost extra), farm animals, and all the same stuff a lot of the other festivals have, but I just didn't love it.  
 Admission: Free
Maybe because it was really hot the day we went and we were all sweating, ha, but I really didn't love the set up of the festival. They did have the best animal selection though, pigs, cows, goats, alpacas, horses, chickens, ducks, etc. So we did enjoy looking at all of the animals. However, they (the animal keepers) did seem a little unorganized as they didn't seem to be ready for visitors. When we got there (an hour after opening)...they were feeding the animals and cleaning their bowls and such. I kind of felt like we were in their way when we were there.

 Our front they have big huge piles of pumpkins, but I did notice some were open and rotten...and all of them were dirty...nobody took any effort in washing them down before displaying them. 
(At Blooms and Berries, they had cleaned off all of their pumpkins...they were clean and ready to take home!)
They did have a market that was cute, sold Halloween and fall decor, apple cider, candy, etc. I don't think I saw anything "fresh" though - no fresh apple bundles or baked goods or anything like that. So anyways...this one was my least favorite.  We went last year too and didn't love it. So we probably won't go back to this one.

Another festival we liked...but I would have loved it if we planned it better. Unfortunately, this festival is only for one weekend out of the year, so you'll have to go next year if you didn't go this past weekend.
Admission: $8/adult, Leah was Free
I absolutely loved that they let you in the cages to personally pet the animals.  Leah got to make friends with an alpaca, which was the sweetest animal there. (The alpacas at Shaw Farms were mean and spitting everywhere.) She also got to meet a little bunny named Clover.  They had other animals too (goats, chickens, roosters).
 Now, the part where we should have planned better....
1. It was a long walk up to the sunflower fields and we did not bring a stroller, so we had to carry Leah the whole time.  Next time: Don't forget my stroller. (They don't let you have the stroller on the field, but you do need it to get there!)
2. It was a little muddy on the field and the ground was crawling with caterpillars. Next time: Wear Tennis shoes (one caterpillar bit my foot!)
3. Beware of sweat bees and other insects! (Leah got stung on her hand)
4. They let you walk the fields and cut your own sunflowers.  Next time: Bring scissors!

The sunflowers were $1/stem or $10/dozen.  I absolutely loved the concept and would love to go back next year more prepared. We didn't go home with any sunflowers...honestly by the time we walked all the way to the field (uphill) we were tired...haha...we took a few pictures, looked at some sunflowers and started walking back down.
They also had hay rides, horse drawn carriages and pumpkins for sale (clean ones!!) and instead of a Fall Market where the others have sold apple cider and jams and such...this one had food trucks (pizza, bbq, etc) and also had a few vendor tents as well.  It was a fun little festival and I would definitely go back.

So there you have it....our three fall festivals so far.
I have a few more fall festivals planned for Leah so I'll be back soon to tell you all about it! 
Cincinnati friends - any recommendations???


Erin LFF said...

Blooms and Berries is the one we go to every year! :) Glad to hear you guys loved it so much! We might do Shaw this year because it's closer to us and free to get in. And since T is so little we just want to get out and walk around/grab pumpkins mainly lol! Burger Farms is also nice, it's in Newtown. We went there for the first time last year and had a good time!

Health, Love & Fire said...

These all look like a lot of fun! I'm excited to take Harper to some fall festivals this year! it feels like our October is already so full but I am definitely going to have to fit in a few pumpkin patch trips!

Laura Darling said...

Fall festivals are the BEST! Looks like you had some great ones near you! That sunflower backdrop is gorgeous!

Allison said...

We have been frequenting all the same spots girl! I have a post in my drafts almost just like this. Haha. Your pictures are all amazing and Leah is just a doll! And we went to Blooms and Berries on a day when hardly anyone was there. Aiden tried out the cow ride and hated it because I had no idea adults could ride too so he didn't like being driven away from Mama and Dada. Oops. Next time, I'm hopping on too. Haha.