Monday, October 24, 2011

Montz Pumpkin Farm & Hayride Review

I've visited the Montz Pumpkin Farm & Hayride every year (except last year when pg) for the past 10 years. It's a lot of fun, educational, & a good value for the money!

The very first time I visited Montz Pumpkin Farm was when my oldest daughter was 3 years old. I was a newly divorced mom at the time, & for a few years it was a tradition for us to go alone - just the 2 of us. It was our special time. A few years later I met my (now) husband. Yesterday was the start of a new tradition as a family of 4. My 13 year old is at that age where she's starting to think it isn't so cool to hang out with parents, but she enjoys some of the things we do. The Montz Pumpkin Farm is one of the things that she truly looked forward to!

You arrive at the farm & pick a parking spot in their front yard. There's a large covered area that you purchase your tickets at. It's $6 per person for a hayride (minus the hay) & a pumpkin. Kids under 1 are free. You might be thinking "why drive out to the country & pay $6 to get a pumpkin when I can buy a large one for $3.99 at Rouse's?" Well....that's true, but you don't get the experience, the beauty, & the fun of the hayride when you buy from the grocery.

The view from the shaded area where you buy tickets.

In years past they would allow me to ride with my oldest daughter for free as long as we only got one pumpkin. I'm not sure if that's still the case or not, but I'm inclined to say they've changed the policy because they give you actual tickets now that are collected as you board. Even still, it's well worth the money! It was $18 yesterday for the 4 of us to ride the hayride & get 3 pumpkins (since my baby is only 8 months).

There's a large flatbed pulled by a tractor, with screened sides to hold you in, & a handrail in the center to hold onto if you aren't lucky enough to get a spot at the edge. The Farmer allows plenty of time for boarding, then stands up on the rail to make an announcement about what to expect. He explains how difficult it is to grow pumpkin here in LA due to all of the rain, that he grows gourds also, & this year he planted flowers to try to help soak up all of the excess moisture due to Tropical storm Lee. He also had to lay extra pumpkins in the field that he bought from other farmers to make up for the loss in his crop, so that the children wouldn't be disappointed at Halloween.

The tractor, flatbed, & small trailor that the people & pumpkins ride in.

There's a long & bumpy ride out to the field - about a mile. It's very enjoyable, but makes most adults a little nervous since the screening that holds you in is pretty low down. Only once over the years that I've been there has there ever been any hay on the hayride, but that doesn't take away from the fun factor. Yesterday I claimed a corner & sat on the floor with my 8 month old because hubby & I were afraid we'd drop her. She had LOTS of fun!

Baby girl enjoying the hayride.

They drop you off at the field & give you plenty of time to walk around & find your pumpkin & take pictures. After you're all done, you bring your pumpkin to a small trailor attached to the back of the flatbed, & wipe the sand off your pumpkin with a rag provided by the farmer, & write your name on the bottom of the pumpkin with a marker provided by the farmer. Once evryone is boarded, he drives you the mile or so back to the farm, he throws the pumpkins in a huge vat of water, & you splash through the water to find your pumpkin & scrub it clean. The pumpkins float, & it's usually so hot here that it's pleasant getting your hands wet.

 The beautiful view when we arrived at the field.

 My oldest daughter trying to find the perfect pumpkin.

 There were butterflies everywhere!

 Pumpkins & flowers

My little pumpkin sitting on a pumpkin.

 "How's this one look?"

 Pumpkins folating in the water.

My oldest scrubbing her pumpkin clean.

They have large Igloo containers of iced water scattered about the farm for the guests, but in addition to that they sell refreshments at the ticket area - sodas for $1 a can, chips & candy (various prices), & they even sell T-shirts, beaded bracelets & homemade hairbows.

Montz Pumpkin Farm & Hayride17834 River Road
Montz, Saint Charles County, LA

All in all I'd say to allow yourself about 2 hours of time for this. It's not a bad drive from the New Orleans area. It takes about 45 minates to get there via Airline Highway depending on traffic.  You will cross the Spillway staying in the left lane, & turn left as soon as you're across. You'll see a sign on the side of the road indicating that you need to turn there for Montz, but it's easy to miss. You'll follow the road to River Road, & eventually you'll see a fire department on the right. Montz Pumpkin Farm is right after that. There's a sign for parking, so you can't miss it.

Have FUN!!!

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