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    « The Saturday Post: Coming soon to a theater near you edition | Main | Halloween fun: Simple spooky spiders »

    Friday field trip: MacDonald's Ranch

    My awesome friend and fellow grandma blogger Connie from Family Home and Life lives surprisingly close to my grandsons. So when I needed suggestions of things to do in the region during my recent visit with Bubby and Mac, Connie was clearly the one to ask.

    She came through with flying colors, giving me ideas and links galore. One in particular was a sure-fire hit. That was MacDonald's Ranch.

    MacDonald's Ranch offers an old-fashioned ranch experience for kids of all ages. There's no shortage of fun—though this mountain mama did feel there certainly was a shortage of shade to keep her from that blazing desert sun, a scorcher even this late in the year.

    Despite the heat, Megan, the boys, PawDad and I visited MacDonald's Ranch one day last week while Preston slaved away at work. The fun began the moment we walked through the gate, as old-time farm equipment, hay bales and more immediately captured Mac's and Bubby's attention.

    First up of the big attractions: a horseride for Bubby, on a horse far bigger than the one he rode last time we visited a ranch.

    Next up was the petting zoo, where Bubby and Mac hand fed baby goats and their parents, admired peacocks, and pet the miniature horses...but not the donkeys (thankfully). Gramma and PawDad led the boys through the pens as Mommy cringed, shuddered, and refused to roam among the animals.

    Megan did volunteer to go through the hay maze with Bubby, though. After a bit of wandering and misturns, Bubby decided the best way to get done with the maze was to scale the walls and go out through the in door.

    The pumpkin patch was the primary reason for visiting MacDonald's Ranch, and Bubby's goal was to get the best. pumpkin. ever. With the patch about a mile from the main area, though, a hay ride to the patch was required—a bonus if ever there was one.

    After the short hayride, the plentiful pumpkin patch beckoned. Mac and Bubby were off and searching in no time. With so, so many pumpkins, making the final decision on which to claim as their own was a tough one, narrowed down only by the requirement that they must be able to carry on their own whichever pumpkin they wanted to take home.

    They tested the weights of several here and there. Once the choice was made, both boys proudly carried their spoils on the hayride back. From there, it was time for lunch with Daddy, time to show him the ever-so-perfect pumpkins his ever-so-perfect pumpkin pickers chose.

    Bubby did come away with the best. pumpkin. ever. As did Mac.

    'Twas a perfect autumn outing indeed.

    Interested in visiting MacDonald's Ranch? Find details here:

    MacDonald's Ranch • 26540 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 • (480) 585-0239

    Today's question:

    Where do you typically get your pumpkins for Halloween time?

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    Reader Comments (10)

    Always love your pictures and glad to see you had a fun time compliments of Gma Connie. I love Bubby's expedient solution to a corn maze. What a smart boy!

    Since I've only pumpkin shopped in brisk weather, I can't fathom doing so in the desert. My favorite patches in the Chicago 'burbs...Sunny Acres & Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch.

    P.S. Do pumpkins fare well in the heat of the desert?

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    NonnieKelly: I'd rather be picking pumpkins in the weather you enjoy while doing so. I truly, to my very core, am not a fan of the desert heat. Pumpkins faring well there? Well, I'm not so sure about the pumpkins themselves, but once cut to make Jack-o-Lanterns, according to Megan you have about two days before it goes bad and collapses on itself. Once they do that, apparently the common way to dispose of them (or at least how Megan and Preston do it) is to throw them out for the javelinas (basically, wild pigs) to gobble up. Ah, it's a different world down there in the desert. :-D

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    I'm so glad you went there! It is a fun place. They also have night hay rides available. I went on a couple of those and we were taken to a desert location were we had grilled burgers, hot dogs and beans cooked over an open fire. Great fun! I thought we might have our Harvest Day there this year too, but my sons new house has a huge back yard perfect for large crowds so we will go there. Thanks for the shout out too :)

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

    Old McDonald had a Farm...Wow, looks like such a fun day. Glad you could all do it together.

    Last few years, I've settled for a lighted plastic one (if I can remember where I stored it).

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Those pictures are wonderful! You guys all look like you are having such a great time! We don't usually get pumpkins for the house but this year will be different! One of our other blog buddies sent me an awesome link and we have pumpkin fun planned! Which means we will also be taking a trip to the pumpkin patch. Maybe this weekend!

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Odd! I left a comment a few hours ago and it never showed up. Silly Computers!

    I love all of the wonderful pictures. You look like you are having so much fun and the boys look so proud of their choices! We don't usually get pumpkins for the house but this year will be different! Another blog buddy sent me a great pumpkin idea for Amara and there will be much blogging! This means a trip to the Pumpkin Patch and I am looking forward to it!

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Adorable photos, and I like the carry your own pumpkin rule.

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinger Kay

    Great pictures. When we want pumpkins, we go to one of several local farms and usually pick up some apples while we are there. Up in this area, we love our Macoun apples as much as we like our pumpkins.

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

    AH it does look like the perfect outing! :) love that hay maze!!

    October 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdebra

    Oh that looks like fun. We are headed out for a day at the pumpkin patch. I'm excited after reading your post. Stopping by from Saturday Sharefest.

    October 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
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