Category Archives: Local Travel

Fall in Phoenix? It Must Be Time for the Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are exploring pumpkin patches, family farms, and more Fall fun! Our stop is the Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party!

Fall in Phoenix? Visit Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili PartyIt’s fall and in many areas, that brings images of beautiful leaves changing colors and picking apples. In our Arizona desert, though, many of our trees stay green all year and apple orchards are rare. What we do have, though, is an amazing Pumpkin & Chili Party at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, Arizona.

My family has made a visit to the Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party an annual tradition. It wouldn’t be fall without a pumpkin and why get one from a store when you can pick one straight from the patch? Schnepf Farms has two patches to choose from, one with larger pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns and a smaller one for pies or decoration.

Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the chili. It is great and served with cornbread, corn on the cob, and a brownie. If chili isn’t your thing, they also offer grilled chicken breasts, hot dogs, burgers, corn dogs, pulled pork, brats, succotash, and more. You won’t go hungry!! My son’s favorite treat is the glowing cotton candy. Who knew that serving cotton candy on a glow stick would make the whole thing glow? It’s really fun.

Fall in Phoenix? Visit Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili PartyBut that’s not all. Schnepf Farms is huge!! We spend much of our time at the amusement park area. There are rides for smaller children like spinning airplanes and lady bugs and honeybees. Older children and adults enjoy the small roller coaster and swings. The tunnel slide built into a small hill is fun and my son really loves the country road rally where one drives a pedal-powered car around a track. This year, they’ve also added a zip line.

Fall in Phoenix? Visit Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili PartyWhat’s a farm without animals? Schnepf Farms has a petting zoo. Get up close and personal with goats, a cow, a horse, and more. There are small machines where food is dispensed (bring quarters) so that guests can feed the animals. For even more fun, kids can enjoy a pony ride, but for me, the best animal attraction is Hillbilly Bob’s Pig Races. Watching those little pigs race around the track is so amusing. They have different colored bandanas so you can cheer your favorite on.

If you’re in for a challenge, try the 10 acre corn maze. I will admit I’ve gotten lost in there once. For less of a challenge, there’s also a smaller corn maze, only 4 acres. Each year, the corn maze is a different design. This year, it’s a picture of Mark Schnepf, one of the owners, which I think is sweet. Past corn maze celebrities have included Oprah Winfrey, Larry Fitzgerald, and Muhammad Ali.

But that’s still not all. There’s a train ride (which is kid-friendly during the day and haunted for older kids and adults after dark), hay rides, jumping pillows (think bounce house without the sides), miniature golf, a rock climbing wall, Lil Farmers Play Yard, Extreme Canine Dog Show, a farmhouse museum, shops (try some of the canned goodies like bread n’ butter pickles, they also sell pie), crafts, bonfires for marshmallow roasting (can be rented for a private party which includes marshmallows, roasting sticks, and picnic tables), and on Friday and Saturday evenings, fireworks.

Fall in Phoenix? Visit Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili PartySchnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party runs Thursdays through Sundays October 1 – October 30. Hours are Thursdays 10am – 9pm, Fridays & Saturdays 10am – 10pm, and Sundays 10am – 9pm. Tickets are $18 plus tax at the gate. Discounted tickets can be purchased for $15.00 each at any Fry’s location. SRP also has a coupon for buy one, get one free that is valid on Thursdays.

The admission price includes nearly everything including all the shows, the amusement park rides, the petting zoo, and the museum. There is a small fee for the train rides and pony rides. Food, of course, is also extra. For example, the chili meal is $12; hot dogs are $3. Pumpkins are priced by size.

Want to know more? Check out Schnepf Farms’ short 1-minute video.  It’s made me excited to go again this year!!! I can’t wait!


For more Fall fun,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure | Fall Fun

Glamping – When You’re Not Quite Ready to Make the Rustic Leap

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Black Loop. Today we are sharing some ways for your family to participate in the Great American Campout.

Glamping - When Youre Not Quite Ready to Make the Rustic LeapIn honor of the Great American Campout on June 25, I had to write something about camping. I used to love to go camping in my early adult years. I was even a counselor at a camp one summer. For personal trips, we camped in a tent with our sleeping bags on a tarp, no cots or air mattresses. We cooked over an open fire. That made the food taste so good, and heated our water for washing dishes over the same fire. It was so great to be able to connect with nature. Plus, back then, it was about the only way I could afford to travel!

Now that I’m older, sleeping on the ground or even a cot or air mattress no longer holds much appeal, but I do still love being in nature and the taste of food cooked over a campfire. That’s where glamping comes in! Continue reading

Keeping Kids Entertained on Summer Road Trips while Giving Technology a Break

How to Keep Kids Entertained on the Road WITHOUT TechnologyIt’s summer and for many that means family road trip! I decided to search the internet for ways to entertain my son on the road and nearly everything was technology related. There were mentions of Nintendo DS, iPads and tablets, and even lists of the top 10 apps. I love technology as much as the next person, but on long road trips, we have a couple of issues. First and foremost is that my son gets car sick so if he spends a long time looking at a screen, he will get nauseated. Second, while many can be plugged into the vehicle’s DC outlet, gadgets can and do die. Third, sometimes we just need a technology break. With that in mind, I asked around and found some new technology-free ways to entertain kids (and adults) on road trips as well as remembered a few from my own childhood when technology wasn’t an option. Continue reading

Finding My Child’s Inner Star with Camp Broadway

Camp Broadway LogoLike all moms, I try to find ways to keep my son thinking and having fun over the summer that do not involve video games or a computer. Last year, I was researching day camps and found one called Camp Broadway, which, coming from a fine arts and theater background myself, looked interesting to me. I asked if he’d like to do it and he said he would. He had so much fun last year that he asked me to sign him up again this year. Continue reading

Want to Learn to Fly? Indoor Skydiving is a Must!

Ifly1If you’re looking for a fun family adventure, then I highly recommend iFly Indoor Skydiving. On a recent trip to Orlando, I was looking for something different to do and a friend suggested that she and I go do that.

Before booking, we checked out any restrictions and there are a few, but they can accommodate most people. They can take children as young and three and the only restrictions I saw for adults were a weight limit of 230 pounds for those under 6 feet tall and 250 pounds for those over 6 feet. There was also an issue if a flyer ever had a dislocated shoulder, back or neck problems, heart problems, or is pregnant. Since none of those applied, we booked our flight. Continue reading