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Exploring Messick's Farm

Mar 22, 2023 07:22PM ● By Matthew Jones

Last week my 5-year-old son Benny asked me, “When can we go back to the place with the big slides? The one where you ride on a carpet?” It took some questioning to get him to elaborate, but I eventually figured out what he was talking about: Messick’s Farm! I’d gone there with the family a while ago, but now that he mentioned it I thought it would be a great time to go back. Since our Saturday mornings are currently free, I decided to take Benny and his 2-year-old sister Lily out to the farm. That would give my wife some quiet time to sleep in and not be dive-bombed by any diaper-clad butts.

We got there and went inside the market to pay for the playground. It's an adorable little market with stuff like fresh produce, wine, candy, nuts and a ton of other stuff. It turned out all the playground activities were free except for the giant bounce pillow, which is $5 per kid over 2. And we weren't not going to jump on that big beautiful thing. Just $5 for several hours of fun? Yes, please! And they had so much fun stuff for the kids to do! There were a handful of playground structures, some giant slides, the aforementioned bounce pillow, a zipline and a half dozen other play areas.

The kids made a beeline to the bounce pillow, naturally. I joined them. Just try to keep me off! We jumped for a little, then the kids scattered to the various playground stations scattered across the field behind the market building. They climbed and jumped and slid. They played in the big pit of gravel with trucks and buckets and ride-on shovel scoops. We made our way eventually to the giant tube slides, which Benny remembered so well. Just like he remembered, there were burlap sacks for you to ride on. We went down one time all at once, and immediately soaked all our butts in the puddles at the bottom from the rain the day before. Totally worth it.

For lunch, we went back inside to the deli counter inside the market. I got a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw that wound up being pretty good. Benny opted for a hot dog and fries—the dog was girthy and the fries were plentiful. Lily insisted on a yogurt that we all agreed she wouldn't eat. She wound up mostly eating my friend's quesadilla, but hey, she ate something. We sat outside at one of the half dozen or so picnic tables, in the pleasant sunny chill of the early spring afternoon.

After lunch, I let them run around a bit more and take one more jump on the bounce pillow. Neither would leave willingly, so I had to throw Lily over my shoulder and strap her into the car. Then I went back for Benny and both kids' discarded jackets, shoes and socks. Yes, of course they took all of their stuff off in the last few minutes as we were trying to leave. Anyways, Lily took a decent nap on the way back to Fredericksburg while I played several rounds of 20 questions with Benny. I call that a nice ending to a successful outing.

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