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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, October 8, 2012

Uncle Bill's Pumpkin Farm--Formerly Carroll's Pumpkin Farm

We took our annual trek to Grinnell to visit what is now Uncle Bill’s Pumpkin Farm, formerly, Carroll’s Pumpkin Farm, located just Southwest of Grinnell at 244 400th Avenue, Grinnell, Iowa, 50112, phone 641-236-7043.  The farm is open September 17 through October 31 for 2012.  Hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm with $6 admission for ages 3 and up.  Saturdays 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Sundays 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm with $8 admission for ages 3 and up.  If you want to do the corn maze it is $1 more per person and the corn cannon is 5 shots for a $1.  Season passes are available for $15 per person.  We paid $24 for the three of us to spend the afternoon.

Guests who are familiar with Carroll’s Pumpkin Farm will only notice subtle changes since the change in ownership/management.  There are more signs saying Uncle Bill’s Farm, but the sign on the highway still says Carroll’s Pumpkin Farm as do many of the signs around the farm.

A new addition to the farm this year is one year old Lily, a white donkey who lives in the pen with the goats.  We found Lily to be quite friendly.  In addition to the goats, there were some gray kittens that found their way into my arms. 

Grandpa’s Barn which has historically been open to guests had its doors closed and the pretend milking cow was now outside—which is where I found the kittens.

A highlight of a trip to the farm is to ride the wagon into the fields of pumpkins, see the pumpkin catapult in action, and then pick your pumpkins.  See the videos below:

After finding your just right pumpkin in the field, take it back with you to the farm where you can wash and weigh your pumpkins.  We had 35 pounds of pumpkins and paid for them in the barn where the gift shop, snack counter, and show take place.

It just so happened that there was a display of Mickey Mouse and Disney memorabilia in the store.  The boy eye-spied it and I couldn’t resist taking a picture.  Disney is everywhere!

The rest of the afternoon was spent riding the Moo-Cow train, meeting Patch (it used to be Bingo), riding trikes, swinging on the tire swing, riding in and pushing wheelbarrows, and jumping on the Big Orange Jumping Pillow.

The husband and I found a glider lawn chair built for two and took turns napping in the sun while the boy jumped and played.  The nap was my second favorite part of the afternoon.

Some changes:  The seed corn play box is now located in the same building as the indoor trike course.  The layout of the trike tunnel makes it difficult to use, as the corner is now a sharp turn and full of adults standing to watch kids playing in the seed corn.  The tunnel needs to be turned back to its original location to make the turn into the tunnel more feasible AND give adults more room to stand.  Maybe the tunnel is holding up the side wall of the seed corn play box.

Another change is that while there is still a show upstairs in the main barn, there was no schedule of events posted or given to people entering the farm.  I remember the days of getting a map and list of events.  The lady at the ticket booth told us the shows would be at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, etc.  I said, “On the half-hour.”  She said “no.”  Miscommunication I guess.  Well, actually, the first show was at 2:00 and guests were informed via loud speaker—which many missed if doing something beyond the reach of the loud speaker.  The next show was at 3:30 and again was announced via speaker.

The three pumpkins made it home just like the rest of us and are now on display on our front step.  We definitely enjoyed the crisp fall day, beautiful drive, and fun time at the pumpkin farm!

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