The pressure of a pumpkin. It is real when you have two kids and live in the USA. Even if it is still 85 degrees and there are not any trees changing colors, the family decided they NEEDED to do something “fall like” this weekend.
In past years we have visited the famous “Flaming Road Nursery” in Davie where we would take our annual family picture on their “big chair” and do different kinds of fall crafts, pick out a pumpkin in their oversized patch and shop in their farmers market BUT this year COVID hit and they decided not to host their annual Fall Festival. It really does attract hundreds of people each year…
So, we decided to hop in the car and head South to the Homestead area. My wife and I have always enjoyed this drive; having once lived in Kendall (before the major expansion and construction over the farms) and we always enjoyed the local U-Picks for strawberries, etc. We are not great at getting up too early anymore on the weekends like when the kids were younger, so we did not leave the house until after 11 a.m. (I would recommend NOT doing this and trying to get there earlier!) They open at 9:00 a.m.
We typed in “The Berry Farm” into the waze and jumped on the Turnpike. The parking lot was FULL of cars and so was the street driving up to the farm. I personally wouldn’t bother parking on the street as they have a large parking lot with plenty of staff guiding all the cars. I think most of the people who parked on the street must have assumed that there was not any other parking…
The line was LONG. They had two long lines for purchasing tickets to enter the farm. We probably waited a good 30 minutes in line, under the hot sun. We were all fairly entertained “people watching” while we waited…. lots of fun Fall & Halloween Outfits, lots of families dressed for photo shoots and many in “fall attire” with pants and long sleeves! Poor people! It was a regular, hot day in South Florida and typical cooler weather clothes must have been UNBEARABLE!
Tickets on the weekend are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 3 years and older. Weekdays cost $10 for adults and $7 for children. NOTE: If you plan on having any adult beverages (beer & wine are sold here too) then you need to buy a ticket here in advance too. (save some time and do this when you enter.) Wristbands are given out and you enter “a little piece of country in Miami” as their website states.
The pumpkin patch and Corn Maze are within eye’s view right away and the kids run off to checkout those magical pumpkins they so desperately wanted to get! They had all sizes and cute little areas set up for picture taking. (everything must be “instagrammable” now-adays!) Pictures were taken and a quick inventory of the pumpkins was assessed along with deep conversations as to WHY we could not pick one out right now and carry it around the whole farm…
Next Up: A run through the Corn Maze. This is best for younger children, but those tweens and teens seem to think it is “pointless” and my wife said at least she got some steps in…Perhaps if this one had a cool theme or a design (or DIDN’T HAVE THE HOT FLORIDA SUN BEAMING DOWN ON US) it would have been more intriguing to us all. Anyways, we did this fairly quick and went right over to the Sunflower Fields so we could capture some of those “Instragrammable Favorites.” This is where that earlier tip comes in…get there early when the sun is bright so that those Sunflowers are open to their fullest!
You are welcome to pick sunflowers to bring home at $1 each.
We decided to go back to the pumpkin patch to fetch our beloved pumpkins before the good ones were taken up! You pay for your pumpkins and sun flowers at the market place. The pumpkins are weighed, and your paid sticker is placed on your pumpkin.
Good ol’ Florida afternoon storms reached us just as we completed our purchase and ran to our car to avoid the crowds seeking shelter from the torrential rain. (once again, go in the morning to avoid afternoon rains too!)
Although the Berry Farms had food that smelt delicious, the lines were pretty long, and the rain came in, so we decided to hop back in the car and search for something new to discover! Just about a 10 minute drive south we encountered “Redland Ranch” featuring 3 different food trucks and a market/ deli and a fabulous environment to relax and enjoy with friends and family. There was an Argentina Truck, Mexican Truck and Peruvian. The line at the Mexican Food Truck had over 45 minutes wait so we decided on Peruvian and enjoyed a nice Aji Pollo and Arroz Chaufa. We got a table for four and enjoyed a nice family meal in the fresh air, with children laughing nearby on the tree swings and adults relaxing nearby.
The Berry Farms gave us an all-day bracelet, so we were able to return to the Farm to enjoy a delicious dessert (I highly recommend the Waffles with Ice Cream and Pecan Pie!) The kids wanted to go back for the Tractor Ride and “Kangaroo Jumper!” It was so nice to see families together, jumping outdoors, laughing, and enjoying some good old fashion outdoor fun!
P.S. a drive down south always calls for a stop by “Maria Corona Produce” stop at 15698 SW 184th Street, Miami, FL, 33028. Great prices, great variety and supporting local produce. Follow them at @mariacoronaproduce on Instagram. They are open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. We got a box full of fruits and veggies all for $25!