Fall Festival

On a recent trip to Trader Joe's Freida discovered the pumpkin display and was infatuated with the vibrant colors, shapes, and the different textures. I had been wanting to take her to a pumpkin patch, but wasn't really keen on the obvious atmosphere at those October patches. After seeing how interesting she found the pumpkins, I did some online research and discovered a myriad of "pumpkin patch" spots that were much more "fall festival" than halloween. We trekked out into the hills of Irvine Park Railroad, and had a lovely day of fall festivities! Might as well take advantage of the seasonal events in your neighborhood; there is so much for the children to explore! Freida enjoyed an old fashion train ride through the forest brush, a petting zoo with baby animals (she saw her first peacock!), a walk through a straw maze, lunch on the duck pond, her first free-style pony ride, and plenty of pumpkin exploration! Sometimes it's worth looking around a little to find something a bit more neutral this time of year, rather than skipping it altogether...

The next morning I let Freida mess around with the inside of the pumpkins. She helped me scoop out all those seeds, and I gave her a bowl of them with pumpkin flesh still attached as a tactile activity (she didn't like the feeling much). I roasted the pumpkin in chunks (with olive oil, salt, and pepper) and we had it with dinner that night. The pumpkin seeds make such a great snack (and are loaded with magnesium, iron, and omega -3) - this easy recipe rocks!!

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