The end of summer time in Portland, Oregon means different things to different people. For some, it begins a time of cold weather, sweaters, apple cider and copious amounts of rain (with an eye towards the Spring, of course, when that rain translates into brilliant greenery and some of the prettiest flowers imaginable). For others, like me, it means nature’s splendor in the form of colorful leaves, it means football and beers and, of course, the pumpkin patch.
I love the pumpkin patch and usually we go to one of two: Bauman Farms or Fir Point,. Sometimes, like this year, we go to both. You can’t really lose with either one. Last year though, we skipped Fir Point in favor of Bauman Farms. This year, the kiddos insisted we go back to Fir Point. Since the kids rule the roost, that’s what we did.
Fir Point is a family run business located near the Aurora Airport in Aurora, Oregon, just fifteen minutes South of Portland, Oregon. While the Farm operates and is opened to the public year round, October is really the best time to stop by. Each weekend in October, activities include: Charlotte´s Web Corn Maze, Super Huge Dark Hay Maze, Giant slides, bounce houses, hay rides, tire swings, a nut house, nature trail park, petting zoo, fresh apple cider and, of course, pumpkin patch.
The kids are nearly out the car and running for the food court before we get fully parked.
“Donuts!” they are yelling in unison. My wife and I look at each other and smile a little. Most of the time, donuts means lots of empty calories, trans fats, sugar and other products not good for children’s brains, bodies or teeth. But, the donuts of Fir Point are boiled using apple cider. The taste difference is noticeable and quite delicious. Maybe it’s something Voodoo Doughnuts should thing about doing?
After eating we make our way around the thirty-five acre grounds. We pose for pictures in front of wooden cardboard cutouts. The kids laugh when I am the farm girl instead of the manly farmer, then we bounce to the bounce house. We walk the grounds, goats walk overhead in an enclosure that would be the envy of any cloven hoofed creature. We stop and feed them, using pulleys to raise some of the buckets surrounding the “enclosure”. The kids: both human and animal, are equally delighted. Then, the human kids discover a house full of nuts, an homage to the many squirrels foraging through the area.
When our little gams need a break, we hop on the hay ride and take a tour of the grounds. This is where my daughter spots a pony and insists that she go for a pony ride. She’s hard to resist, so we don’t and she does. Finally, we cap it all off by scaring ourselves witless in the gigantic dark maze. Don’t tell anyone, but I was much more scared than the children could ever be.
After all this, we have worked up an appetite. With Fir Point being a farm, all the food is fresh and delicious. Whatever we eat here, we eat in confidence and with great local pride. The missus and I split a fresh roasted turkey, while each of the kids enjoyed a nice bowl of chili.
We have so much fun that we almost forget the pumpkin. The day is a rousing success and the kids go home tired and satisfied. Memories are formed and everyone got some exercise while enjoying the rural farmlands surrounding Portland, Oregon.