It's almost Halloween and it's a great time to visit a pumpkin patch or go on a hayride. The weekend is right around the corner and will be the last chance this year to enjoy those fun Fall festivities with October 31, 2017 arriving next Tuesday. A few things to think about before you load up the family and head to the nearest pumpkin patch.
1. Check online for details on the place you want to visit. Look for a website or Facebook for current activities that may be available. Many local farms now have petting zoos, hayrides, inflatable bounce houses, slides, etc. as activities and they may not all come at one price. Pumpkin farms are not just about picking out the perfect pumpkin for carving or decorating and you can spend a wonderful afternoon making memories with your family. Many now have food options so you can even have a picnic lunch while you are there!
2. Bring plenty of hand sanitizer. It's crucial to keep germs at bay while your having fun and anytime you visit a place with animals and children there will be germs. Apply the hand sanitizer after contact with any animals and before eating.
3. Supervise your children. There is a LOT going on at many of these farms with a lot of children running around. Be sure to keep a close eye on your children, especially in the corn mazes and when they are interacting with animals and other children. Parking lots can also be a dangerous area. Sometimes it's a field or grassy area that is roped off for parking. There could be uneven ground that can lead to trip and falls or areas that are hard to see for vehicles entering and leaving the parking area.
4. Respect the animals. Normally the animals children are allowed contact with are calm and have adjusted to the commotion of having small children around. But it's important to be respectful of the animals because almost all animals will either bite, kick, or scratch if they feel threatened. Remember these tips when interacting with them.
Approach slowly and don't waive your arms around. Lots of animals like to smell your hand before you can pet them.
If you are feeding the animals, be cautious. They LOVE FOOD! Just like we do and can get a little exited. Instruct your child to hold out their hand, palm up, and keep their fingers together tightly making a small "cup". You can then put the food in their hand and help them feed the animal. Don't be afraid to ask the farmer for help or have them show your child the best way to feed or touch the animal. They are the expert here and it's also a memorable moment for your child.
Remember to HAVE FUN! It's all about making memories and starting traditions with your family!