October, 2011 Archives

Swinging from the Treetops and Picking Pumpkins

Pumpkin Picking

Challenge – make a weekend adventure something your family will talk about for days, but it has to be safe, fun and affordable. The answer combines two vastly different activities that actually go great together – ziplining and pumpkin picking!

The crisp, sweet smell of Fall is in the air in Kamloops, and if you’re a parent, like me you’re always looking for fun ways to entertain your kids and family, but at a price that’s somewhat affordable. When we heard about the Treetop Flyers and Pete Murray’s Corn Farm AgriAdventure, we were hooked. For $40, you get two zip line rides on the new Flying Fox with the Treetop Flyers and a tractor hay ride which includes an opportunity to feed some pretty feisty sheep and pick a pumpkin to take home with you. (for those of you who have kids too young to zip line, you can pay $5 and you still get to watch the fun at the zip line, but get the Pete Murray Corn Farm experience complete with pumpkin!)

We headed out on a blue sky Fall day for a quick 35 minute drive from Kamloops to Chase along the Trans Canada Highway heading east. The fall foliage is exploding in the valleys as you drive following the South Thompson River, spotting osprey and eagles fishing in the river.

Callum with the cutuest little pumpkin he could find!

Before we knew it, we were at Pete Murray’s Corn Farm located on a huge piece of property on the river. The corn farm is famous for its sweet and delicious corn, but I wasn’t aware that the pumpkin patch was so extensive. We had a great time talking with Pete Murray about the farm and the adventures of being a farmer as the kids wandered around checking out the chickens, farm dogs and a snuggly cat that wasn’t shy about looking for some attention. The families then were each given an ear of corn and hopped on a flat bed with hay-seating towed by a tractor to head up to see the sheep. These sheep, though friendly, are feisty things. As soon as you put your ear of corn through the fence, you better hold on because if you didn’t, it was gone! My boys thought that was the greatest thing they’ve experienced and we all shared quite the laughs at these sheep. The only other thing funnier than that was the tired working sheep dog laying on his back, paws up, soaking in the sun and trying to get a nap amongst the flurry of activity.

We then went back on the tractor-towed flat bed andheaded out to the field of pumpkins. There were so many pumpkins in so many different shapes and sizes and everyone got to pick their favourite. My 5 year old Calum found a darling little pumpkin (which he snuggled in the truck all the way home) and my 8 year old Maclean found the largest one he could somewhat carry, betting that this would be chock full of seeds to roast at home.  The feeling on the farm was one of warmth and fun and we enjoyed every minute. Then, on to the zip line!

 

Mac loving his first ever zip!!The guys at Treetop Flyers are some of the nicest people I’ve met. Our guides were Matt and Daniel, two spirited guys who had a real focus on safety, but also in having a great time. They completely put my 8 year old at ease, who was a little apprehensive at first. (note to parents: your kids need to be at least 60lbs to ride the zip line – so best to weigh them at home before you get there so there are no unpleasant surprise with not being able to ride).They took Maclean and my husband Jeff over to the tower where they climbed the “bouncy” wooden ladder to the top, ready to zip. I don’t know what they said to Maclean, but as soon as he launched, he rode hands off most of the way with a smile as wide as his face. When he got to the bottom, the first words he said were, “can I do that again?”. The second zip line he had was even more adventurous, hanging somewhat upside down, again having the time of his life. We’re looking forward to spring of 2012 when the two new zip lines through Chase Canyon Falls is complete. And our son Calum, who is 58 lbs (we had weighed him at home first to confirm this), is looking forward to the fun next year.

The AgriAdventure tour runs until October 30, so make plans to do this soon. It’s well worth it!

Cheers,



 

“Halloween Town” – a Disney Movie or Kamloops, BC?

[caption id="attachment_128" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Let Loose as a Pirate"][/caption]

Today I was reminded of a 1998 Disney Movie that some of you may remember called ‘Halloweentown’. It came out a little bit past my prime cartoon-watching-years but from what I have heard it was a great movie. If asked most people would say that if they had the chance they would live in Halloweentown. Well, Kamloops may not be an immortal town filled with trolls, witches and comedic skeletons but I think we could easily earn the title as ‘Halloweentown’ just based on all of the fun Halloween/fall based activities we have going on this month!

Personally, I’m not very big on Halloween. I leave my costume to the last minute every year… I’m the person running to Value Village on the night of a Halloween party to try and throw some kind of costume together usually resulting in general characters such as ‘nerd’, ‘hobo’, ‘cat-lady’ and the like. Every year I show up at these parties looking at everyone’s extravagant costumes they made themselves thinking “next year, I am definitely planning ahead for this”… and here we are – October 3rd and I still hadn’t given much thought to Halloween until Let Loose Lisa and I went down to Pandora’s Box and filmed our video dressed as our cartoon characters (check the video here). The selection they have available is just insane and the rental prizes are very reasonable. I kind of feel like I’d be cop-ing out to rent a costume as opposed to making one but let’s face it – I probably wouldn’t get around to making one even if I went with that option anyways.

 

[caption id="attachment_129" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Tasting Flight at Noble Pig"][/caption]

Every year the Kamloops Heritage Railway puts on a Ghost Train. It’s an hour long trip that includes fortune tellers, ghost stories, headless horseman and lots more. This trip is actually so popular that it had to be expanded to 3 weekends this year to accommodate everyone! I did this trip last year and it was ghoulish… (in all honesty, it was awesome) I would recommend dressing warmly though and using discretion for younger children. Boo at the Zoo is another fantastic Halloween experience for families with haunted houses, mazes, trick or treating, and fireworks. Remember to dress up for this as there is a prize for the best dressed!

If you’re looking for a family outing that will be sure to create lasting memories… head out to Chase for the afternoon. Treetop Flyers Zipline and Pete Murray’s Corn Farm have an incredible special on their agri-package for the whole month of October. For $40 – have 2 rides on the zipline and a tour of Pete Murray’s farm including tractor rides, sheep feeding and pumpkin picking.

For us big kids there is lots to do as well! Kamloops Convention Centre is hosting their annual ‘Mash Bash’. SIPS Martinis and Tapas is hosting a Halloween Party. Also, a must-do is heading down to the Noble Pig Brewhouse at the end of the month to try their Pumpkin Ale Beer (soooo good btw.) There are usually several other pubs & bars in town hosting some kind of costume party and we’ll be adding them to our website as we find out about them!

If you’re from out of town – we invite you to come to Kamloops and experience our version of ‘Halloweentown’… we have even more activities and ideas listed for you here.

 

[caption id="attachment_130" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Fragle Rock Costumes (well, the heads anyways!)"][/caption]

Happy Halloween!