It is funny how things just kind of happen. My good friend and former neighbor have been craft beer buffs for years. When he used to live next door, we spent many a days and nights sampling our fare share and concocting grandiose ideas of things that we needed to do. You know what I'm talking about, ideas like heli-skiing for our 40th birthdays and family vacations to places like The Resort at Paws Up (both of which never happened). However many there were that never came to be is innumerable but there was one crafty idea that did.
A Fall Tradition Was Born From Craft Beer
One day, after having recently read an article on farm breweries, I came across Screamin' Hill Brewery in Cream Ridge, NJ. Situated on the farm that their family has owned and operated since 1860 they have reinvented themselves in many ways over the past six generations, most recently as a brewery. Having been growin beer in the garden state for four years, they also happen to have one of the most amazing fall festival experiences a family can find. Brilliant, we thought. Craft beer, pumpkin picking, corn mazes and hay rides are things that the entire family can enjoy. Thus our annual tradition was born.
From Fall Activities to a Fall Festival
Now in our fourth year of visiting, this year's visit was elevated to new heights with the addition of their fall festival series. In the past we would pack some snacks and a lunch, set up shop near the brewery for a bite and some beers then head out and take part in the multitude of activities that included the hay ride, pumpkin picking, climbing on the features in the barnyard and a series of mazes that we may or may not have gotten lost in.
Photo Credit: Picture sourced from Screamin Hill Farm Brewery Instagram
Forever pushing the boundaries, last year Bullock Farms and Screamin' Hill hosted their first ever fall festival in addition to the other normal fall activities on weekends. Let's just say that it went well. So well that they expanded it to four set dates this year, the last of which is this Saturday, October 27. Don't get me wrong, there are no shortage of pumpkin picking style festivals in New Jersey and many of these are significantly closer to where I live. However, I hate them and refuse to go. They are overcrowded, overpriced and overall lacking in fun. They also don't have a brewery on site serving very tasty craft beers.
How Screamin' Hill is Doing Their Fall Festival Right
Bullock Farms and Screamin' Hill are doing their fall festival right. At $15 a person, you are getting a ton of value for the price of admission because the majority of the activities are included. Paint your face, pet the animals, climb on the hay towers, get lost in one of their mazes; it doesn't matter it's all fun and free for the taking. The parents...well we grabbed some beers from the brewery, food from the food trucks on site for the day and enjoyed, arguably the best part, the live music. The kids even got in on the action, dancing to the music on their frequent check in breaks with the fam. Then in between sets, we'd hop on that hay ride and head out to the pumpkin patch to hand pick our pumpkins for for the season.
I'm not really sure that it gets much better than this. Visiting Screamin' Hill Brewery and it's farm is truly a ton of family fun. It's an event that is not to be missed and with one more chance to go this Saturday, I suggest you jump on that opportunity.