Before you take your kids to one of numerous family-friendly fall activities this weekend, you should properly prepare yourself. For starters (as I learned two weekends ago), you do not want to take your child to the most popular pumpkin patch in town. Every family within a fifty mile radius woke up with the same exact idea and is heading there too.

I suggest you find the less popular option down the road. It’s usually closer to where you’d have to park for the popular place, anyway. It won’t have pony rides or a bouncy¬†castle, but¬†trust me, your¬†kids will be way¬†more excited about actually picking apples if they don’t think it’s just a bouncy castle pre-game.

Even if you do find that hidden gem, you’ve still got to be on parental alert. For instance, there are few things scarier than your toddler’s head disappearing into a corn field.

Here’s a breakdown of what you should expect in pie chart form.

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UPDATE: I don’t want anyone to cancel their plans due to this post!¬†I still think going to your local pumpkin patch or apple orchard is a worthwhile family activity with the potential for lots of fun. It’s just that, like everything else were kids are involved, it is also WORK.

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