Kayben Farms Annual pumpkin and scarecrow festival

by Danielle

We decided to check Kayben farms out this past weekend on a whim.  I had noticed in the Alberta Tourism events and festival booklet that there was a pumpkin festival running.  We were happy we did it.  It wasn’t too far from the city limits – it’s located on the east side of Okotoks just off the #2.  We arrived at 10:45 and the place was already starting to fill fast.  There was ample parking and we were provided with a map of the farm to help us find our way around the large property.  The admission for the family was $20 and was well worth the price.  In previous visits to farms we’ve found you need to pay additional amounts for all extras – here everything was included with the exception of the café, pumpkin picking and the pumpkin sling shot.

Everything was child-friendly for every age.  There was a sandbox with diggers, water pump where you pump the water down the downspout and watch the balls make it to the other side and bean bag toss, tricycles to ride (with trailers attached for the farmer want-to-be).  The big hit was the “berry bounce” which appeared to be an enormous hill full of air that everyone was jumping and bouncing on – like a convex trampoline.  The next section of the farm had a giant slide – grain sacks were provided if you wanted to make it an extra fast ride down.  Our kids however simply clung to daddy as he played toboggan for them.  Under the slide were tire swings in the shape of horses and then a slide made of hay bales.  For the daddies there is a racetrack with cars to peddle around.  What I was most amazed with at the event it how well kids took turns without staff being present to keep order.

We noticed a sign for corn maze and decided to try it out.  First we had to make it through the forest.  It was a maze-like trail created around the trees and the kids had a great time wandering around until we ran into a deer.  We spooked the poor animal who bolted and then left my daughter terrified of what was in the forest!  Luckily we made it out just in time for her to forget about the whole event.  The corn maze was perfect for the kids.  It was small and as adults we could see above the corn to the highway and surrounding farm fields.  But for a 3.5 and 1.5 year old – it was perfect size for their attention span.  They were as proud as ever when they found the way out for us.

The place was busy but since the property is so big there is plenty of space to take pictures of the kids and sit at a table and enjoy some snacks quietly.  We checked out the café for lunch and were pleasantly surprised but the food.  We ordered paninis and the place offered kids sized paninis which is so refreshing.  The café has a small menu and they do the items they have very well.  Daddy enjoyed some Elk (yes elk meat) and I had a vegetarian sandwich loaded with zucchini and so tasty!

After lunch we headed to the pumpkin patch – the reason we had headed out there.  I was a little disappointed since I grew up in Winnipeg and a family fall tradition was to head out to the pumpkin patches and buy a pumpkin to carve – I have many a memory of being in a pile of massive pumpkins I was unable to lift and there would be hundreds of the orange gourds.  I am learning that Calgary & area does not have “prime” conditions for pumpkins and the summer we had this year must have really affected the crop (our own pumpkin in our home garden is still very green!).  There were small yellow pumpkins but the kids still got the chance to run through the field pretending to pick the one they wanted to carve.  We then headed into the garden centre and picked out a pumpkin to carve at home.  They even threw in a kid-friendly carving knife which was a bonus!

So if you are looking for a fun fall festival for the kids this is one I highly recommend!

Danielle is mom to a 3.5 year old daughter and 1.5 year old son and always looking for fun things to do with the kids.

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