A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Our Annual Hayride–A Fall Family Tradition

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 22, 2012

 “Our Annual Hayride–A Fall Family Tradition”

“A Writer’s Playground” promotes kid-friendly family fun.  Today, I’d like to share a story with you.  It’s the story of our annual hayride.

Six years ago or so, our son decided to take his family to a commercial hayride.  The outing didn’t go well due to faulty farm equipment.  Everyone left disappointed.  Our son left determined to find quality family-friendly fun.  Next, he approached us about having a hayride on the family “farm.”  Our son owns a tractor, which he inherited from his grandfather.  We have a trailer.  Our son and his wife have two young sons.  Toss in a little hay and poof–instant hayride.  That first year, our hayride was pretty much that simple.  We invited a few guests, set out some decorations (not scary) and a table with hot chocolate and snacks.  Thus, the tradition began.  The next year, more family members, co-workers, their children, and friends were invited.  Additional decorations were added.  Today, we’re up to 50-60 in attendance each year.

There’s no admission charge, although this year, my husband did try to collect hands.  Uugh! 

Admission–One Hand. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

Most everyone brings treats to share, not hands.  Many come decked out in Halloween costumes.  Everyone takes a hayride, or two, or more.  Some help drive the tractor, under expert supervision of course.  Youngsters play kickball, roll down the hill, or jump out at the trailer as it passes.  One year, there were horse rides.  This year, there was a trailer pulled by a four wheeler.  It’s a day everyone looks forward to. 

Little Scarecrow–Hayride. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

Spiders Join In. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

Hayride on the Go. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

What traditions does your family have that will always be special to you?  Please write a comment and let others hear your creative ideas.  You may persuade someone to try something  new and increase their family traditions.  Have fun making wonderful memories! 

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

20 Responses to “Our Annual Hayride–A Fall Family Tradition”

  1. Joan Y. Edwards said

    Dear Linda,
    What fun! Thanks for sharing the pictures and the wonderful experience you had with your hayride tradition. Do something to celebrate you and your great ideas today.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Thanks for visiting, Joan. I know you and your family have created some very special traditions, especially centered around holidays and vacations. We celebrated so hard yesterday that I decided to write about it today. Thanks for saying that the hayride is a great idea. It has definitely blossomed. I am glad it brings joy to so many.

  3. We didn’t have a hay ride each year, but for 30 years my mother put on an Easter Egg hunt in her back yard. It started when we first moved to our house, with my brother Bill and I in attendance, plus the other kids in the neighborhood. Each family was responsible for bringing 6 boiled and decorated eggs per child the night before and then they were hidden by adults and kids too old to search, but not old enough to be bored by the whole thing. For about 10 years my mother would demand we find all the eggs, but of course we always seemed to miss one or two. Our Cocker Spaniel, Beau, would find the missed ones in August, roll in them, and proudly present himself to the back door covered in eye-watering, stinky slime. Getting that out of his curly black coat took a lot of shampoo.
    Mother liked to decorate the eggs with fanciful paintings and she always had a golden egg. The prize was nothing special, but the thrill of finding the golden egg was the highlight of the lucky kid’s year. One year, a kid hid the egg up in the maple tree and nobody found it.
    Mother held that event until the year before she died. And the whole neighborhood brought new generations of egg-hunting children as the years went by.

  4. HI Sarah,
    What a terrific tradition. My grandmother used to put on a fantastic egg hunt too. It was the only time of year I saw some of my cousins. I love that your mom got to know more than one generation per household in some cases. Wow! I doubt that would have happened without the egg hunt to connect them. How amazing that this tradition lasted thirty years. I don’t think we’ll beat that record! Good for your mom and for all the neigborhood for participating. I really loved this story. Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to seeing you the next time you’re visiting in the neighborhood!

  5. That looks like fun Linda. I’m sure the kids look forward to it. I used to take my kids on hay rides when they were young. Halloween was always a fun time for us.

    • Susan,
      I only remember going on a hayride once in my childhood, but it was great. We roasted marshmallows afterwards. Fun stuff! I’m glad this post brought back pleasant memories. Whether it was once or multiple times, a fun experience is one we remember! Thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll come again soon!

  6. What a lovely tradition! We have several… one of which happens on Thanksgiving. Our son Bert fries the turkey southern-style (Uncle Bert is a vegetarian), Younger son Mark bicycles every year from Raleigh to Hillsborough and arrives just in time for dinner! Another is the apple pie I bake for most family gathering and which is always lamented because it disappears as quickly as it lands on the table. Hmm. I wonder why our traditions center around food???:)

    • Maureen,
      What a fun response! A vegetarian deep-fat frying a turkey? What a twist! Does your younger son ride his bike home or does he get a lift after filling up on a Thanksgiving feast? He deserves a whole apple pie to himself after all that exercise. 😉 You’ll have to triple your recipe. It’s obviously a favorite. As for why most celebrations include food, I guess because most of us LOVE to eat. We also love to share with the ones we love.

  7. joyacey said

    I love this idea. thank you for sharing your family and the photos with us. aren’t our children often so clever. I’m glad your son started this family tradition. Our family has lots of things that we do in conjunction with Christmas. I’m going to ask my kids what they remember about family traditions from their childhood. Youmay have got me going here. Thanks for the fun post.

  8. I’ve heard that families who have traditions are less likely to experience divorce. So Linda, I applaud you all for making your family strong and extending that strength to other families at the same time.
    Our family has an annual beach weekend together and we participate in a huge post Christmas family reunion with hubby’s extended family. Chuck and I have the grandchildren over regularly for overnights and we always go for walks and tractor rides in the “back forty”. And of course we have some traditional meals everyone loves.

    • Joyce,
      I never heard that about less divorce occurs if there are family traditions. It does seem sensible though. I love the idea of tractor rides with the grandchildren in the “back forty.” A beach weekend with family sounds delightful too. I’ve considered that one, but we haven’t added it. Maybe one day! Thanks for stopping by and sharing about some of your family’s traditions. I really enjoyed hearing about them.

  9. happyinhim said

    I enjoyed reading about your family hayrides. We used to have family hayrides too. My Dad ( Grandpa) collects tractors and would pull Grandma and all of us daughters and husbands as well as all the grandchildren on his wagon covered with hay. It would usually happen right over Christmas or New Year’s and we would sing Christmas Carol’s as we rode along in a glittering snowy night out in the country. Sad to say but the grandkids are all getting older now and the hayrides are a memory of the past now. But it is a tradition they will always remember.

    • Dear Happyinhim,
      Thanks so much for commenting. I enjoyed hearing about your hayride experiences. A hayride on a snowy night must have been delightful. About the closest to that in my area is seeing cotton balls on fields of white. Aren’t our favorite memories precious? I hope you’ll come back and vist “A Writer’s Playground” again soon. Please bring a friend.

  10. Gretchen said

    Hi Linda, I’m taking my granddaughters on a hayride tomorrow evening. Can’t wait. I wonder if I’m more excited than the kids.

  11. Hi Gretchen,
    I imagine you might be more excited because you get to enjoy it with them, plus all your memories of past experiences are surfacing. Have a great time. Thanks for visiting. I look forward to hearing all about it!

  12. Roxie said

    delightful fun! and the admission price, small compared to the scares!!! hehehe, what a wonderful post Linda 😉

  13. I’ll tell him, Roxie. Thanks again for visiting.

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