This post is in continuation with my previous post about our Day out with Thomas (and Percy) trip. In booking our trip, I decided a three hour drive was a little too long to do Day out with Thomas as a single day trip. After all, that meant six hours in a car in one day plus all the time outside doing the Thomas activities. So I decided to book a motel for the night before and definitely for the day of Thomas.
C’s preschool schedule leaves us with a long weekend every weekend (Thursday to Sunday.) I decided to take advantage of this and also stay through Saturday and find something fun to do in the area.
SUPER 8 STAY
To keep costs low, I did a lot of searching for hotels in the area around the NC Transportation Museum. Fortunately, I found the best deal at the Super 8 in Salisbury. It was a short drive to the museum. The cost difference was great and the reviews on Google and Yelp led me to believe it would be a decent enough place to stay.
The hotel was good. The room was cozy and easy to get in and out of. The beds were surprisingly comfortable and I slept just fine. My two year old decided to have a panic attack when it came to sleeping in his pack n play so he also ended up sleeping on a bed. (It was a room with two beds.) Fortunately, the pack n play made a perfect barrier on one side to keep him from rolling off and the spare pillows blocked him from rolling the other direction. He slept well too and I was impressed because he hadn’t slept in an open bed before.
We never had any issues with noise and no one complained about any noise my little guy made. (All of you toddler moms know that their noise levels are just a little hard to control!)
THE ONE CON?
My only issue with the hotel was the free “breakfast.” Don’t expect to eat there, especially if you have a toddler in tow. They offered bananas, bread for toast, one cereal, a prepackaged sugary treat, and a waffle making station. Most mornings there wasn’t bread for us to make toast. The cereal wasn’t kid friendly. My toddler doesn’t like bananas. The prepackaged pastry was stale. And who has time to try and make a waffle while watching a toddler? So ya. Don’t expect breakfast from here. However, IHOP is just about next door and all your favorite fast food restaurants are just minutes away as well.
A couple weeks before our trip, I started doing research on other family friendly things to do in the area. I found a few potential things, including some bigger park type attractions and a couple of farmer’s market type places. One being Patterson Farm.
I had it on my Autumn Bucket List to get C out to pick pumpkins and go on a hay ride. Everything I saw about this place sounded perfect and a great way to cross some things off my list.
So we went for it. The farm was about a twenty minute drive from our hotel and was incredibly easy to find. For a Saturday, it wasn’t very crowded either, which made things more pleasant for me.
FARMER FOR A DAY
C had tons of fun playing on their wooden boats. We chose to go for the Farmer for a Day option for C which included a ride on the Cow Barrel Train, a pony ride, and a free small pumpkin. (Normally those cost extra.) C loved the Cow Barrel Train. He sat on my lap in one of the bigger cows and we were driven around a large portion of the property.
I was surprised he was ok with the pony ride as he’s never been near a live large animal like that before. He seemed to enjoy it. It was four ponies hooked up to a post that went in a small circle. I was able to stand in the turnstile and hold on to him so he wouldn’t fall or jump off without warning.
We also got to feed some of the animals in the barn: goats, chickens, ducks, etc. Fair warning, they are used to being fed and fight for the food. This can include trying to bite any fingers that go too close to the cage. (C got his finger nipped by one of the goats, but it wasn’t hard enough to cause any problems.)
I was able to encourage C to go through the corn maze with me. They give you options of clues to choose from to help make it through the maze. (I chose the Halloween trivia one which went really well. It happened to include a trivia piece about Morton, IL where they have a fantastic pumpkin festival every year! I was fortunate enough to attend while I was in college.) And for the kids, they get a little chart to fill out in the maze to figure out who stole an apple pie. There are stations set up near the clues for the adults to find the way through the maze that you use a crayon to etch a stamp onto the paper. It was pretty cool. C and I finished it and he got a sticker out of the deal.
In our last adventure, we went on a wagon ride (like a hay ride without the hay.) The wagon took us all over the property where we saw lots of different crops and some really cute hay animals. It ended with a trip to the pumpkin patch where C picked out his very first pumpkin.
Our last stop was the little store of goodies. I picked up some fresh apples, a toy for C, and a small bottle of apple juice for the car ride home. Let me preface this by saying I am not an apple juice fan, really don’t care for it at all. After pouring some into C’s cup, I tried a sip before giving it to him. Oh. My. Gosh. This was the best apple juice I have ever tasted. I almost pulled C out of the car to go back in and buy more, it was that good. But I didn’t feel like dealing with a whiny toddler, so I went without.
I highly recommend a trip to Patterson Farm. It’s great for the kids and there is plenty to do and see as well as some great produce and flowers to buy.