By Michelle Schmidt
But if you’re not ready to build and stock a barn with the stuff for your children’s amusement, check out the Harvest Fair at Wilson Banner Ranch, which runs Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13 and 19-20 .
The event is divided into two parts: one free, the other has an admission fee. The artisan fair and stage events are what visitors can access free of charge. The fair showcases locally made, locally owned, locally grown goods from pastries to tamales to produce.
Next to the vendors is a stage where live music by local artists will be playing, including Forgotten Freight, a bluegrass/country gospel band out of Moscow, along with Diamond Joe and Soulstice.
“A lot of kids here don’t get to hear music at their level, so this is a great opportunity for them,” said Keri Wilson, of Wilson Banner Ranch.
There are things to eat, things to hear and things to do. Visitors can also head out to the pumpkin patch in search of the great pumpkin, compete in the “stringed apple bob” at noon or a pie eating contest just before the event closes. There will also be juggling lessons for kids and mural artists.
But the artisan fair is not where the hay is. The hay is across the bridge where, for a fee, individuals or families (which the farm defines as two responsible adults and up to three children) can spend the day in it. The hay jump, hay pyramid, straw fort and obstacle course are pretty much nothing but hay.
If itchy skin and running noses aren’t you thing, though, there’s a grain play bit, horse wagon rides, giant maze and farm animal petting zoo, where kids not only get to touch animals up close, but will learn about their role on the farm.
“Our hope is to engage kids, to get them outdoors and get them moving,” said Wilson, adding this isn’t an observational venue, but a tactile and interactive one.
There are also events across the bridge scheduled throughout the day: a treasure hunt, rooster run and greased pig competition for both older and younger kids.
Activities with additional cost include horse trail rides ($3/child, $5/adult) and Old Fashioned Hand-dipped Caramel Apple Creations ($2.50/each). An educational farm tour at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. is available each day for $5/each; preregistration on Facebook is required.
Visitors are asked to wear close-toed shoes, bring a wagon for carting pumpkins (or kids) and leave the pets at home.
If you go: Wilson Banner Ranch Harvest Fair
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Oct. 19 and 20
Where: Wilson Banner Ranch at 16397 U.S. Highway 12 west of Clarkston
Cost: Stage events and Artisan Fair, free; Bridge Pass to additional activities $8/individual or $25/family.