Oh. My. Gourd. These cooler temps have my family craving more fresh air and outside entertainment which brought us about 20 minutes away from town to the “BIGGEST backyard in Texas” – Mainstay Farm Park. Imagine classic entertainment, fresh outside air, and pumpkins galore. That is Mainstay Farm.
Yes, despite COVID, they are open for the Fall season and the place was quite busy! Mainstay does recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time online (the prices are cheaper) and you do have a few different options. There is pricing for a Wednesday/Thursday pass, a Friday/Saturday/Sunday pass, as well as a season pass. The hours shift each day so make sure to check their social media depending on when you decide to visit!
As you enter, you’ll see the array of different pumpkins for purchase as well as the Pumpkin House, The Dig, Kiddie Trike Track, Jumping Pillows, Latvian Group Swings, and Farm Animals galore.
Our kids immediately gravitated towards the sand dig and hay stack climb. I have to admit, when there’s this much hay laying around, even the adults had fun climbing around and the lighting was surprisingly superb for a best girlfriend picture. It’s officially going to make its way to a picture frame on my desk. I love these babes, their dudes, and their precious kids. Sometimes you choose members of your family and sometimes the ones you choose end up being the best parts of your life. I digress…
From there we walked along the path towards the petting zoo and up around the hill. After passing by the sheep races and stopping at the swings (of which the littles loved this slow but fun swing!) we made a quick dart towards the Apple Blaster station.
There is something I personally look forward to each year when I know I can buy a bucket of apples with the sole intention of shooting them out of a gun towards an old, battered car.
Call it stress. Call me crazy. It’s addicting and a wonderful feeling I crave.
But sadly the Apple Blasters had malfunctioned the day before so they were closed until further notice. (Insert my slow tears) Until next year Apple Blaster…
But no worries. We decided to keep the energy up by signing our waivers to take part in the Texas Tubin’ Hill. For this hill you have the option to either sign up in person before you ride or you can also complete the waiver online prior to your visit. I should have signed up ahead of time, but we made it work and I tapped away on their iPad for a few minutes. It really wasn’t a big deal. Note: there is a height requirement for this ride. I believe its 40 inches.
Over 100 steps uphill later, while carrying tubes, our kids and dearest friends went down the slide and has a complete blast. The kids loved racing the grownups.
Beware – there is a bump in the middle. Don’t let it catch you by too much surprise.
Next we waited our turn in line for a hayride. With three kids under the age of six and a beautiful friend of ours in her second trimester, sitting down sounded lovely. And it was. There’s something about riding behind a tractor learning about honeybees, vineyards, and growing Christmas trees that just makes you grateful for local agriculture.
Also- after seeing the Christmas trees, the kids are already convinced on making a return trip…so that surely worked in Mainstay Farm’s favor.
As we arrived back from the hay ride us adults quickly decided we had heard enough hints about the Farm wine and it was time to relax a bit. The boys went to go in search of wine and us mama bears got the kids set up and happy on the Jumping Pillow. Now, these Jumping Pillows are HUGE and there’s two of them. You can literally watch your kid’s energy disappear in front of your eyes on this toy and it’s incredibly satisfying.
As we finished our bottle of wine, (Yes. We bought a bottle.) the kids tried every slide, activity, zip line, swing, and rubber ducky race they could find nearby. They literally didn’t stop running and moving around but the proximity of the activities was such that us adults could stay in one spot and enjoy each other’s company for a hot second.
And yes, it was starting to get hot…I mentioned earlier that the breeze was cooler but it was still a toasty 90 degrees in the sun. Yowzas.
Finally we hit a point where we told the kiddos we had to stop the fun to eat lunch and of course on the way there they had to pre-select their pumpkins.
Yes. Our kids picked out their pumpkins ahead of time, hid them, and then we went to lunch. It’s quirky. It’s weird. I was honestly curious to see if it would work.
Lunch was surprisingly delicious. Real food (freshly made) and let me say, the Pulled Pork Sandwich hit the spot.
Next up. Mazes.
More Farm Animals. (We’re personally big fans of the donkey. And the sign that lets you know you are not supposed feed wine to the donkey. That sign must have an interesting story, right?! I can’t be the only one wondering…)
And then exhaustion hit. The kids could not take one further step. It happened all in one swift motion and the family fun time was just over. There was zero crying and the whole experience was tantrum-free, but their eyes just screamed, “I’m all full of fun”.
So we all agreed as a family that this experience was way too fun, so we would return for the slide that goes through the hill, the new roller coaster, and the train as soon as possible.
Kids amaze me. Just when I thought they were both almost asleep, their energy was quickly (and shockingly) restored for a hot second as we neared the exit because they saw the pumpkin patch. Question of the day: WERE THE PUMPKINS WE HID STILL AVAILABLE?!?
Yes. Yes they were.
And we took them home. And we love them.
Outside entertainment, fresh air, dear friends, and a down-home good ol’ time was just what my heart needed after so much time stuck at home. Agri-tainment is very real and Mainstay is one of the local bests at it. We can’t wait to go back to the farm!