It was a gorgeous fall day at Patterson's Fruit Farm in Chesterland. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and the sun was warm. The colors in the trees looked almost neon with bursts of orange and yellow. And the apple fritters were easily four servings a piece. If you've never been to Patterson's, it is unlike the average orchard. Yes they have enormous juicy sweet apples and perfectly pruned apple trees as far as the eye can see but there is so much more.
You begin your adventure at a small retail shop, where you jump on a large wagon pulled by a tractor and head out to "Fun Fest." Fun Fest is in the middle of the orchard, near the forest and includes a large shelter stacked high with straw bales where the kids can romp and climb. There are tunnels and slides in the bales just to make it even more fun. And there are two gigantic tire swings that can fit two small people at a time.
But that's not all! They also have a corn maze, a corn tunnel, a corn pit and a corny bunch of staff who have just as much fun as the kids. They are fabulous! There's also a sand box filled with tractors and diggers, and two areas where kids can ride on small tractors or wooden carts. There are several slides uniquely crafted out of large plastic drainage piping. They also have play equipment in the forest made from lumber from the land. A rough hewn playset has a fun rustic feel and a large slide built out of logs and plastic sheeting runs down the hill.
They have a concession stand complete with hot dogs and kettle corn and they even offer pony rides. It would be easy to spend the whole day at Patterson's and we can't wait to go back. It was an easy, affordable and totally fun day and the staff were so friendly and happy. You can tell they love what they do. We'll be looking forward to another visit!
It was another successful fall consignment sale for the Brecksville Broadview Heights Preschool Mom's Club! Plenty of early bird shoppers showed up before 8am, like they usually do, eager to get their "shop on." Overall at least 200 people shopped the sale.
New this year to the sale... perhaps you could *smell* it on your way in or out? Baked goods!! The bake sale was a success, selling about $100 worth of confectionary goodness, either made (or bought) and individually wrapped with love at the hands of our lovely members. Also new? Our awesome BBHPMC reusable shopping totes!! They're handy, and super cute! Available for sale at $2 each, we sold about 30.
And with all the items left after the sale to be donated, we were able to give free items to families, Ohio Guidestone, Dusty Reads, an Animal Shelter (blankets), Second Sole (shoe donation to Africa), local schools, the Metro foster care program and Easter Seals.
Great job to our ways and means committee, our community service committee, all our sellers and workers, and a big thank you to the community for supporting us!
With a chill in the air our fall events are off to a great start! This year’s Fall Fest was held on October 9 at Luther’s Farm Market in Richfield. There were close to 200 BBHPMC members and guests in attendance who enjoyed hayrides, a hay maze, the corn pool, a pumpkin cannon, face painting and so much more. The kids also had the opportunity to visit the petting zoo and see chickens, goats, and a turkey up close. The team at Luther’s was able to explain how they plant and grow pumpkins and corn and raise their livestock. It was a great lesson on how the food we eat gets to our table. They were also very friendly and helpful to our group, making the event easy and fun.
Each child was able to go home with a pie pumpkin to commemorate the day. Angie’s Pizza was served along with pasta, salad and wings. This year we also had a basket raffle, a ladies basket and a men's basket. It was a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends. We hope to see everyone there next year!
I had the pleasure of attending a field trip at Hillside Orchard in Hinckley Ohio with the Brecksville Broadview Heights mother’s club this October. I take quite a bit of pride in this tiny home town orchard, as it is down the street from my home for the past 13 years.
What I love most about this orchard is the family that has own and run it for over 30 years. You can tell that from the moment you arrive! Upon arrival we were ushered into their store where the children were given a lesson on how apples are “born”. The children loved the story time that was shared and the engaging lesson they were given. In addition to the quick apple lesson, we were also given a peak into the donut making process which we all swooned over!
After the time in the store, we were guided outside to meet Teacher Bear where we learned about all the different fruits and vegetables grown at Hillside. We learned the difference between different types of apples, squash, pumpkins, and gourds. The best part of this lesson was getting to sample their juicy apples, sweet cider, and delectable donuts…all grown and made right there!!! I would have to say this was the favored part of the field trip by everyone in attendance!
We ended our time at Hillside on a lovely hay ride through the orchard. I believe it was Papa Bear that guided this tour. We got to see where everything was grown and even visit the beehives they have on sight to assure all of their lovely plants were properly pollinated to keep the farm going. On this ride we learned a lot about the history of Ohio and the orchard itself, which is good for all ages.
A visit to Hillside, whether with a large group like ours or a small family, is a trip everyone should make a tradition no matter what time of year it is. However, I definitely recommend going in the fall when Hillside is in its full glory!
Last Tuesday, a group of intrepid explorers from BBHMPC headed to the Natural History Museum for a tour of the new Perkins Wildlife Center and Live Ohio Animals Program. Enjoying beautiful weather, the group first explored the Wildlife Center, observing a variety of resident animals, from coyotes and raccoons to owls and songbirds. (All the animals had been injured or were in some respect unable to survive independently in the wild.) Throughout the tour, the children were welcome to interact with the exhibits, from feeling the sharp beak on a bust of an eagle’s head to talking into a model of an owl’s ears to appreciate how it triangulates sounds to catch prey. There were also plenty of opportunities to simply run and play, crawling through tunnels and careening down slides!
After enjoying the Wildlife Center, the group convened for a personal session of the Live Ohio Animals Program. In it, the children learned key differences between mammals, birds, and reptiles in physical characteristics and how they raise their young. They also got a close up view of a rabbit and an owl and got to touch one brave turtle! Although my three year old son was one of the more rambunctious kids who had to be reminded to stay seated during the program, he apparently was paying attention. Later in the day he raved about meeting the animals and proudly announced to his father, “I touched a turtle!”
After the program concluded, the children were free to tour the museum. We took advantage of the opportunity, checking out the child-centered Discovery Center, which offers opportunities for interactive educational play and reading. Even my one year old enjoyed the occasion to crawl and explore! We then toured the dinosaur and indoor wildlife exhibits and rounded out the day by meeting a friendly (de-scented) skunk. By then, both kids were tired and even my three year old succumbed to a nap on the trip home. Overall, it was a fantastic visit, and we were thrilled that BBHMPC introduced us to the preschool-oriented fun offered by the Natural History Museum. We will return soon!
My daughter has been obsessed with Peppa Pig and her whole family, particularly George the little brother. So when I saw the club offer tickets to The Big Splash live show at Playhouse Square, I bought them right away. We had an amazing evening as a family!
We enjoyed how the cartoon was adapted as live puppets on the stage. My daughter was really interested because she usually sees the cartoon on a screen, and seeing the characters alive brought so much joy and happiness in her eyes. I love those moments as a mom!
Peppa and her pals were pretty big puppets with floppy arms and movable mouths. They stood on bases with wheels so the miked performers behind could push them around a colorful set. Mummy and Daddy Pig were played by actors holding oversized piggy heads. The animals were joined by a human friend, the pigtailed Daisy who sang and led the show. Mr Potato was really fun and the kids were singing along with the characters.
The parking was very easy to find, we parked in the garage across the street from the theater for only $5. Our tickets were at will call and there was no line, just showed my ID and within minutes we were seated at the mezzanine, right in the middle. The seats were prefect and all the other registrants from BBHPMC were seated by us. And my daughter was very excited to see her grandma who was ushering that night and who is part of the Red Coat team!
The show began on time and was structured to run 35 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission, and then another 35 minutes of show. It was the perfect length for young kids. The children had booster seats, but were singing and dancing and really involved in the show. They were encouraged to stand and clap hands, jump in puddles, help George to find his dinosaur etc.
My kids had a blast and it was a really successful evening. Leaving the theater was really easy and smooth. I didn't realize we could also valet our car, but maybe next time. My girls fell asleep right away in the car and I transitioned them very easily into their beds. I am sure they dreamed about Peppa and her yellow boots and all the fun songs. I really love our club, for organizing such diverse field trips and awesome nights out like this.
On Wednesday, Sept 21st, we visited our friends at the Brecksville Fire Station. We were greeted by a fire fighter dressed in his gear, he shook the kids' hands and then unmasked himself so they realized he was a good guy underneath. Then we got to take a tour of the station. We saw a fire truck and the kids got to take turns sitting inside the cabin! They also got to check out the old fashioned truck. We learned about the different parts of equipment and how to spray water if there was a fire they needed to put out. The children also learned that if they have pets inside their home, to ask for help instead of running back in to retrieve them.
We also got to sit inside an ambulance and they explained to the kids what they do if someone gets hurt. The kids got to take turns sitting in the driver's seat of the ambulance as well. During our visit we were able to listen to a call come in and we watched the paramedics leave in the ambulance with their lights on. The kids thought that was pretty cool! The fire station took several serious calls while we were there and were able to handle everything with a calm, professional demeanor and go right back to teaching the children.
Lastly we got to take a tour of the firefighters' quarters. We saw where they sleep when they are on duty during the night. We also saw where they relax in the evening hours and where they make dinner and work out. It was a very fun visit and the Brecksville fire and rescue team is a valuable resource to our community, as are all the service people who work each day to keep us safe.
Amy Garey & Tina Mihalek
To learn more about the Brecksville Fire Department click below.
It has been nothing short of an honor to be among a select group of women who in almost 80 years have led this organization so successfully. But I am proud to be the new president of the BBHPMC and have not let any grass grow under my feet. We have taken the best practices of the hundreds of women who came before us, the members and boards, and we're building new and exciting stepping stones for our journey. One of those is the website you see before you. We hope you like it!
We've also made an effort to change up our general meetings to add new and different activities for our members to engage in. My goal for meetings this year was to provide some interactive fun, and enriching content. So some of our meetings will be social and fun and others will be more of an opportunity for members to gain something through a learning experience. We have lots of great ideas!
This year we've also made a goal to increase our sponsorships as well as increase our community engagement. As a long-standing pillar of the community, I want everyone to know who we are and what we do. So we've built a communications and marketing team to help us build relationships in the community and to tell our story. This blog is one of those new steps. We hope you'll find it informative and entertaining! And on our Partners page, you will see all of the businesses and organizations who we have been building relationships with. We are so excited to be able to support each other!
Last year, our president Joanie MacRaild and her board did a phenomenal job at increasing membership and increasing our social activities for the moms. We now have monthly Mom's Nights Out, a Book Club, and a very social, active, bunch of women. This year we are following in their shoes to continue offering lots of fun time for our mommies.
Also last year our field trips team did an amazing job providing a wide variety of fun and affordable field trips for our members. And this year they have continued their enthusiastic efforts. We are already having a blast getting out and about.
And last year's community service team did an outstanding job keeping our members engaged in a project each month to give back. This year, we will be carrying that forward and already have lots of opportunities planned to help our community.
We are a busy group. But more to the point, we are a smart, skilled, talented and energetic group of women, full of ideas and goals, and the passion to make the most of this organization every single day. And I hope that our members feel more fulfilled because of it. I know I certainly do.
So, I want to thank everyone who has put their heart and soul into this organization to give it life and longevity. Thank you for taking such good care of it so that it was here for me when I came to the community. And thank you to everyone who is continuing to breathe life into it and to keep it strong a vital. We are the story of the BBHPMC and I hope that there will be many more chapters to come.
|Brecksville-Broadview Heights Preschool Mothers' Club||
Write What You know. ~ mark twain