We drive past the gnome, or “Elf,” as my oldest son so affectionately named him, on a monthly basis when we travel upstate to my in-laws. Every time we pass Kelder’s Farm in the Hudson Valley, we say “hi” to the gnome and promise the boys that we will visit another day. Well, “another day” finally came earlier this week. After a weekend visit with my in-laws we decided it was time to visit Kelder’s Farm, take a picture with the gnome, and pick a nice pumpkin to bring home with us. The farm is about an hour and 45 minutes from Binghamton (and forty minutes from our home) so the boys were able to nap before our farm adventure. We arrived after 3:30 PM to find ample parking, no lines, and lots to do! It was only a matter of minutes before the boys spotted the animals and loved checking out the donkeys, llama, and goats.
My kids would have been content just feeding the animals all day at Kelder’s Farm
My husband and I were excited to check out the other activities on the farm, but the boys had other plans – they were content just hanging by the animals, and so it was another lesson on parental flexibility. We managed to point them in the direction of the life-size wooden train and tractor that occupied their attention for quite some time. They really enjoyed their view from the train, the hay ride pulled by the big John Deere tractor.
While the boys were playing conductor, I was anxious to go pumpkin picking! I managed to sneak away from the boys for a few minutes to check out the prices for the activities, ask some questions about picking, and enjoy some alone time to check out all the fun stuff the farm had to offer. Lukas and Ethan are too young for mini golf, but a jumping pillow is right up their alley, so we added that to the list of fun things to do next time. I was tempted to buy donuts or cider, or even a hot dog, but I knew we had a bag of fresh donuts and a giant chocolate chip cookie in the car from the Cider Mill in Endicott. What would we do with more donuts?!
The hay ride stops near the pumpkins, allowing us to get off the wagon to pick, if we want! I could not have asked for a better plan…I knew I was pushing my luck wanting the boys to go on the hay ride and pick pumpkins when all they wanted to do was play on the wooden train. Fortunately, they were excited for the hay ride…especially once they sat down right behind the tractor. They had a great view of the John Deere the entire ride. Once we arrived at the patch, we jumped off and began the hunt. Normally, it would take me a long time to find the “perfect” pumpkin, but I had little time today. Within minutes, I picked up a big pumpkin and we were back on the wagon and heading up the hill.
When we got off the hay ride, we went over to the gnome, “Elf.” Lukas was excited and wanted to climb up his giant leg, while Ethan was more impressed with the cars driving past on the road nearby. I was able to enjoy a moment with my boys, one we had wanted for a long time. I took a minute to take it all in – thankful for the opportunity to explore a new farm with my 3 favorite people in the whole world. As we got back to the car, ready for the last leg of our ride home, we shared a Kelder’s cider and the big chocolate chip cookie we had purchased earlier that day. What a perfect ending to an afternoon of fall fun!
Seeing the world’s largest gnome – check!
What to expect at Kelder’s Farm:
*100 acres of U-Pick fruit and veggies of all kinds – raspberries, grapes, apples, corn, tomatoes, assorted veggies, potatoes, lettuce, & pumpkins.
*Fall decorations available for purchase
*A host of farm activities – jumping pillow ($5.00/all-day pass), mini golf ($3.75/game), petting zoo food ($1.00, or you can find lots of food on the ground in front of the animals), corn maze ($3.50), and hayride ($3.00/person). You can purchase a package for all of the activities for $10 – ages 2 & up.
*A food truck with cider, donuts, and more!
*A 70-year-old dairy farm turned into a farm market with fresh produce, baked goods, and a ton of signature private label products such as jams, sauces, honey, syrups, and more!
*An educational experience – check out the history of the farm when you walk through the market.
*Stunning views of the farm and the Hudson Valley.
*Jackie & Chris Kelder, wonderful hosts who treat you like family when you’re there!
Kelder’s Farm is located in the beautiful Hudson Valley, at 5755 Route 209 in Kerhonkson, New York, about 10 miles from Ellenville, 20 miles from Kingston, and 90 miles from NYC.