From blogger Marney today. This weekend is your last chance to take advantage of the Fall Festival 2010. I have heard that Hill Ridge can get crowded, but also that it is worth it. Marney gives you the full scoop on what to expect.:
Allison was not the only one bitten by the farm bug this fall, my family has also been motivated to visit some of the wonderful farms in our area. So when we heard that Hill Ridge Farms in Youngsville had pony rides as part of their fall festival, our 4 year-old was hooked and once we took a look at all there was to do here, we were too.
Hill Ridge Farms is an educational and fun filled farm located approx. 10-15 miles north of Raleigh / Wake Forest in Youngsville, NC. Hill Ridge felt more like an amusement park than a farm when we first entered. I saw no grassy fields, animals or growing vegetation, just a ton to see and do for kids of all ages. The activities were laid out in rows so you could easily go from one to the other. Our only question was what to do first? We of course let our kids (a 4 year-old and 16 month-old) decide where to go, what were we thinking? We “ran” from one of the two bouncy houses to the hay jump (basically a ton of hay that you run and jump in,) to play in a giant sandbox, zoom down the giant slide, feed the animals in the corral, take the pony ride and check out the rabbits living in “Bunnyville” before finally taking the train ride. Phew! Are you as exhausted reading this as I was doing it?!
The train ride was pretty cool, it takes you on two loops around the farm which is very picturesque and there are lots of old farm machines to view. Unfortunately we were pretty disappointed in the pony ride since it was a carousel style instead of an actual pony ride around a stable but all the kids seemed to enjoy it, including mine.
We ran out of time but there were also some really nice educational exhibits with old kitchen and farm equipment, amusement games, a “corn playhouse” (like the hay jump but with corn), play sets, gemstone panning and a live DJ. We also missed taking the hay r
ide which looked really fun and it’s when you get to pick your own pumpkin. If you miss this activity amongst the craziness be sure to pick a pumpkin from the small pumpkin cart as you exit the farm on your way to the parking lot. Sadly these pumpkins were pretty beat up but my kids didn’t seem to mind.
The price of admission was a bit steep and added up quickly. General admission is $10 / person which includes a pumpkin and hayride but you pay extra per person for the pony ride ($4 on weekends only), the gemstone panning ($6) and the train ride ($2.50). They also offer a “superpass” for $20 which includes the regular admission deal + the gem stone panning and unlimited hayrides.
They had some fun food options for snacking like lemonade, kettle corn and funnell cake and they offer lunch at Chuckwagon Grill (Friday – Sunday) which sells hot dogs, hamburgers and fries. You are welcome to bring your own food and eat at their covered picnic tables. We opted to eat on the way home si
nce there were plenty of options on Highway 1 and Capital Boulevard. There is also a general store which sells items like mums, homemade fudge (yum), apple butter and old-fashioned educational toys. Parking was easy and organized and not too far from the entrance and the bathrooms were clean and near the entrance.
Hill Ridge also offers school field trip and group events (think kids birthday parties) that can be catered or spiced up with things like a bonfire or karaoke, how fun! They also have an event center available for rental year-round. Call or visit their website for more information. The fall festival ends this weekend (Nov 14th – sorry!) and the farm has no more big festivals in the winter months. They reopen for a new season of fun events in March and are open year round for event rentals and birthday parties.
Hill Ridge Farms
703 Tarboro Road
Youngsville, NC 27596