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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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If it's not tradition in your family to head to a traditional pumpkin patch, I highly recommend it.

I've always been a "city kid." I was born in Milwaukee and grew up in Wauwatosa, two generations removed from the family farm my paternal grandmother grew up on in Kewaskum. Once in a while it's good to take the kid out of the city, and here in Wisconsin you sure don't have to go far.

Our oldest is only 3 years old, but a visit to the farm to select pumpkins is fast becoming a tradition. There's something so genuine Wisconsin about the whole experience. On the drive to the country (whichever direction you go) the colors are explosive. The sky is blue beneath low hanging clouds. The air is cool. The sun is warm. The cider is hot.

We visited a place outside Cedarburg this year. It's called Retzlaff's Pumpkins on Pioneer. It had all the essentials... hayride, hot beverages, pick-your-own gourd in the patch, some animals and stuff, spooky walk through barn... oh, and pony ride.  

We actually went to one near Beaver Dam last year. We would have gone back if we actually lived anywhere near Beaver Dam! I've also visited the Family Farm out in Grafton. That place is nice too. It's got everything as well.  Anyway, I've included a link to the Milwaukee Moms website, that has a great list of all the farms in the area.

Seen left is young Max with my sister-in law and my nephew. Funny, Nick is like 12 and he still wants to go. It's actually something kids of different ages can enjoy for various reasons. Our kids are all still pretty little, but for you parents looking to connect across years of separation, I'm telling you... good times on the farm. I don't even like animals!



Ella takes the location of the perfect pumpkin fairly seriously. Needless to say, she initially selected one that was a little large to lug around. She picked a smaller pumpkin and we carted that back on the hayride. The others we picked from those already harvested. I recommend that.  

At 14 months, the twins don't really know what's going on. They do know they're outside, and stuff is moving around... so they're pretty cool with that.

Just my personal tips. You'll spend more time there than you budgeted. We were there for more than two hours and could have stayed longer.

You'll spend more money than you thought you would. 50 lbs of pumpkins cost us 18 bucks. We paid a couple bucks for the spooky barn. Pony ride, and kids toys were extra too, so bring your wallet. It's not outrageous or anything, but it's not all free either.

Dress warmer than you think you should. It's a lot easier to take layers off.

Find your inner Badger! Like I said, I'm a city kid, but we in Wisconsin are all connected to the farm. It's all the fun of country living, and then back home to the suburbs.

I'd love to post your pumpkin patch stories. Email me:



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Milwaukee, WI

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