, ,

How can I begin to explain how fun and seamless this event was? The Riley’s Farm created an evening that was unique, special, and something we’ll always remember. I can’t think of the last time I’ve laughed so hard…oh wait, maybe I can, but that’s besides the point.

My Mom and I discovered Riley’s Farm on our trip to the Lavender Festival. We looked them up on the internet and saw they were going to have a reenactment of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in October. We were intrigued, and made arrangements for the family to go, not really knowing what to expect.

On the day of the event, we spent the day in Oak Glen’s Apple Valley. We timed it right and arrived at Riley’s Farm around 6:00. Here’s the main part of the farm, but our event took place in the old Packing Shed.

Beautiful, right?

As we arrived, families were taking tractor rides around the farm. These were included in the price of the ticket.

The packing shed was pretty, complete with string lights and colonial touches everywhere. I didn’t have my camera equipment with me, so I did the best to take photos with what I had. All of the employees were dressed in colonial garb. I talked with one of the employees for a while, and she confirmed there are weddings in the packing shed all the time. Oh, how I’d love to photograph a wedding there!

The inside, from the outside.

Little T was mesmerized by the band. They sounded just like “O Brother Where Art Thou”. They even played “Constant Sorrow”.

The host of the evening was Katrina’s father from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.  In this picture, he is making an announcement about a couple who’d been engaged earlier in their pumpkin patch. Aw, mush.

After getting settled in at our table, we took a tractor ride around the farm.

This was the outside of the packing shed at night:

All of the characters from Sleepy Hollow were walking about, mingling and interacting with the guests. They were enjoying the party with us, after all. 😉

We ate our dinner as the beginning of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was performed onstage. They did the show up to the point of the party scene, because that’s when the story changed from the past to the present. Dinner was a huge serving of baked potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans, salad, fresh bread, and steak or chicken for the non-veg’s. We had BBQ’d veggie skewers instead of meat. We had more than enough and they took special care to make sure they had our food right.

Vegan side note* The web said they served dinner, so we called ahead and asked if they had vegan and vegetarian options. They didn’t, but said they could make a special meal for us. w00t.*

Once they got to the party scene, they had everyone step outside while the tables and chairs in the room were cleared. I was pretty impressed with how fast all of this happened. I dabbled in Crowd Control at Disneyland, and know this is no easy task. Once the tables were cleared and everyone came back in, the real fun began.

*the rest of these pictures were taken with my mom’s camera, and by my mother and I, because I’d put mine away after realizing I hadn’t brought my gear* Bummer.

The night started out with a chain dance. Everyone in the room linked hands as they were led in circles around and outside the farm. They were given the instructions to not let go. The characters from the play taught us the dances and were great at getting the room involved. We laughed so hard and had a great time. I think Big T may have been the belle of the ball, heh heh. I had to sit out after the first few dances because Little T fell asleep, but I laughed and watched instead.

Here’s Big T and my nephew doing a dance that got progressively faster.

They had pumpkin seed spitting contests (two groups, 16 and under and 17 and over). One little girl was distraught over having to spit out her pumpkin seed, what a sweet little lady. My nephew, on the other hand, thought this was the coolest thing he’d ever been given permission to do.

While this was all going on, I was working on the pumpkin carving contest. We had 20 minutes to carve. I could tell a lot of families come every year because they had some hard core equipment to add to their pumpkins. I wanted to feel fancy too, so I carved a mustache in our pumpkin.

I’m not going to lie, competitive eating kind of grosses me out, but I still had fun watching Big T and my nephew compete in the pie eating contest. Pie Eating was split into two groups, 16 and under and 17 and older.

In addition to the pictures above, they had apple bobbing, apple pie for dessert, and lots more. The night moved seamlessly and fast, with dances between the events. You could tell they’d really thought everything out because these people knew how to keep the night rolling!

After the party, we all walked outside to see Ichabob Crane say goodbye to Katrina and stroll down the dirt path for the famous Sleepy Hollow scene. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and couldn’t believe when they actually had a headless horseman chase Ichabob around with a pumpkin that was on fire. My seven year old nephew talked about this non-stop on the way home.

To make a long story short, if you’re looking for something family-friendly that will make your holidays extra special, this is the place to be. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is over, but I noticed they have Thanksgiving dinners and a Christmas feasts during November and December. I haven’t been to either of these, but if it’s anything like the event we were at, I’m sure it will be amazing. Just to warn you, the Sleepy Hollow tickets sold out fast and I’m guessing the other events are the same.