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  • Writer's picturePeter

Oak View Farm Fest - Raleigh, NC

It was starting to feel like we would never make it to fall here in the Triangle, with one day last week reaching 100 degrees! In October! But thankfully, just in time for the Oak View Farm Fest, the weather cooled down and we had a beautiful, overcast day with temperatures in the 60s. Fall is definitely on the way.

Here are a few quick facts about the Oak View Farm Fest:

Location: Historic Oak View Park, 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610.

A little bit about the park: From the pamphlet handed out at the event, "Founded in 1829, Oak View was a middle-class farm that expanded to encompass more than 900 acres. Today, the 27-acre site includes historic farm buildings and grounds that offer a glimpse into the successful farmstead and the different families who lived and worked there over the years."

A little bit about the event: From the WakeGov website, "Take a step back in time and celebrate farm life! Previously known as Heritage Day, Oak View Farm Fest has everything you would expect at an old-timey county fair."

Cost: FREE!

Activities and features: Farm animals and barn activities, face painting, blacksmith, woodturner, falconer, antique farm equipment and cars, carriage and horse rides, carnival games, historic and agricultural exhibitions, crafts, cane pole fishing, opportunities to explore and learn about the historic buildings on the grounds, photo challenge with prizes, live music, and food vendors.

Food options: Two options - one hot dog cart, the other was a food truck serving up similar fare like cheeseburgers.

Parking: Available at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension - you could then walk or take a hayride shuttle to the park.

Overall experience: Farm Fest was a great event that we will hopefully have time for again next year. Everything about the event was easy and fun. There was plenty of parking available at the NC Cooperative Extension and the event had a hayride shuttle that dropped visitors off at the park. We did not have to wait long for it both when we were coming and going from the event.

We were dropped off right by a welcome table that had maps and information about all the activities at the event, as well as information about the Farm Photo Challenge. The photo challenge was very easy and fun to do - kids had to take photos doing 5 different things at the event, such as taking a photo by an animal, playing a historic game like ring toss on the lawn, and posing with your favorite activity at the event. Signs were up all across the event, too, to direct people to where they could take their photos for the challenge.

One of the best parts about this event was that it wasn't empty, but it wasn't packed either. Lines were not long for things like the free carriage or pony rides. You could easily make your way through the barn and take photos with the farm animals.

Overall, we probably spent about 2 hours exploring everything the event had to offer - visiting the animals in the barn, checking out the historic buildings at the park and learning about them, meeting local quilters and genealogists at the historic main house, sitting in old rocking chairs, running around and playing badminton in the big fields (including a huge pecan grove), listening to the old time live music, and seeing a variety of booths they had with blacksmiths, woodturners, birding information, and books. We even saw someone make a fire just rubbing sticks and wood. Peter isn't really old enough for the free face painting yet, and the ponies needed a break when we went to get in line for a ride, but we still enjoyed everything else we got to do.

The only thing that could have been improved is a bit better food selection. It truly was not a big deal, but we have so many great food trucks in the area, it seemed like there could have been some other options, especially considering it was an all-day event from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

On our way out, we stopped at the information desk to show our pictures for the photo challenge and Peter got to pick a small stuffed animal prize - he chose a pig, which he now absolutely loves.

Closing thought: This was a great event for kids of all ages and we would highly recommend checking it out next year.

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