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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brown's Berry Patch

This past Saturday, we were looking for something different to do with the kids and decided to try Brown's Berry Patch.  It's a bit of a drive to Waterport, but it was peak week for strawberries, plus we have heard some great things about the farm. I must say, we had a berry good time. (Yep, I went there.)

First we walked into the Marketplace. You could definitely spend some time - and some money - in there. They have unique mustards, jams, salsas, and even Bloody Mary mix. Most of it is even made with fruit from their farm. Fresh-picked fruit can be purchased inside, if you're not planning on picking your own. And who can resist an ice cream sundae made with freshly baked waffle cones and fresh-picked berries?!?!? Although, they had me at ice cream.

Inside, we purchased tickets for the Barnyard Adventure. We actually purchased the Combo Passes so we could visit Barnyard Adventure and take a ride on the Barnyard Express (it's only a dollar more). Next you have to bring your receipt to the barnyard behind the Marketplace and get your bracelets. Then the fun begins.

After saying hello to some friendly farm animals, our boys headed straight for the giant sandbox. There are plenty of trucks and digging toys, a tunnel to climb through, and a real boat that kids can sit in and  pretend to drive.
We skipped the playground and play house, and went straight for the duck races. They also have boat races, and plenty of spots to take fun photos, too.
After riding around on the tricycle track, we tried out the rope maze. It's harder than it looks, but it's easy to get out if needed.
Next stop: the jumping pillow! Just be sure your kids are wearing socks. No shoes are allowed, and the jumping pillow can get pretty hot in the sun.
The day isn't complete without checking out Goat Mountain and the giant slide. Look up and you'll see goats walking around above the barn and silo, along various walkways. On the other side of the silo, kids can climb up to the top of the tower and zip down the giant slide.
Inside the silo, run around, listen to your echo, and crawl through a tunnel. Adults, relax on a hay bale while the kids go crazy.
Be sure to bring some quarters; you'll want to feed the goats. Buy some animal food from the dispenser, drop it in the can and watch a goat pull the rope with his teeth until the can is at the top, where he can enjoy a well-deserved treat. Impressive trick!
Pedal cars, swings, a misting tent, and the Red Barn Twister are lots of fun. The twister is an oversized tunnel that spins. Kids can climb in while others turn it, and giggles will be unstoppable.
The Barnyard Express is a fun way to take a seat, take a break, and see the whole farm. Each animal car has a horn and bells to keep kids busy while they ride.
Finally! Time to pick some strawberries. We bought two four-quart baskets in the Marketplace, and we filled one with beautiful red berries.
 Then we walked over to the cherry orchard to fill our second basket with delicious, plump cherries.
We had a great day, and I'm already planning another trip when the blueberries are ripe in July. Between June and October, there are about a dozen different fruit and berry varieties that are available. Check their web site for updated picking conditions.

If you're planning a trip, Brown's Berry Patch is located at 14264 Roosevelt Highway (Route 18) in Waterport, NY. You can purchase a meal or snack in the Marketplace, or at the outdoor Farm Grill (weekends only). There is both indoor and outdoor seating available. There were posted signs near all outdoor tables indicating that coolers are not allowed. Restrooms are located in the Marketplace.

We ended our visit right around dinner time and found a decent, low-key restaurant about five minutes away: Black North Inn. It was relatively kid-friendly. The staff was friendly, there is a kids' menu, and if you can get a table facing the water, the boats outside may be enough to occupy the kids while the adults have a real conversation. At least for a few minutes. (Non-kid-friendly note: there is no changing table in the restroom). We ordered the Chevre-Portobello Pizza, and I was sad the next day when the leftovers were gone. It was that good. Garlic, spinach, portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, and mozzarella; could there be a more delicious combination for a pizza? Probably not.

On the next sunny day when you are looking for something new to do, I highly recommend Brown's Berry Patch. Be sure to Post a Comment and let us know about your visit! And as always, thanks for reading.

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