Nestled between beautiful rolling Kentucky hills lays a very special and quaint farm, Neltner’s. Over six generations they have grown their family name into a business that offers not only a large variety of fresh produce but a fantastic Fall Festival as well. They pride their festival on their historic roots and stay true to the beautiful simplicity of what fall fun should be all about. Two families from our team had the pleasure of first hand experiencing their 2017 festival line up during their opening weekend. Here’s what you need to know…
It is beautiful. Pulling into the field by the rustic produce barn, we were able to get a glimpse at the hundreds of different gourds calling our name. Internally I instantly started craving their apple cider. It is the only cider I have found that is preservative free and tastes like a crisp bite into a perfectly ripe apple. This cider is a staple in my fridge through the fall months and my counter normally has a constant supply of their small pumpkins as well.
Their produce and food are yummy. I found when my children were just beginning to eat solids, they loved the rich earthy flavor of Neltner’s small pie pumpkins pureed. Now as they have grown I use their pumpkins in baking holiday pies, muffins, and bread. Seriously, their produce is some of the most flavorful I have found in the greater Cincinnati area and it’s worth the thirty-minute drive in itself. Coupling this wholesome nutrition with the abundant amount of activities they have makes this festival a win in our books.
There’s lots to do! There are pony rides, a tractor and barrel train ride, hay rides in a handcrafted wagon, a pretty complex corn maze, petting zoo, musical entertainment, crafts tent, freshly prepared delicious food on site, and a train exhibit that was originally in the white house garden when Clinton was in office. Our two families had to split up to cover all of the fun and it still took us about four hours. This can defiantly be an all-day experience for family members of all ages. We had our children ranging from 1 month- six years old with us. So needless to say we tested all of the mommy-functions of the farm.
They love kids. You can tell in all of the details that they created this festival with a family first mentality. Hand sanitizer lined every picnic table and was even the barn where you feed the animals! They have a very clean and real (not port-o-potty!) bathroom with a sink and changing table for your little one. This helped us out immensely because we have a son in diapers and a daughter who is potty training. Their staff is incredibly social with the children and observant.
They care. There were a lot of nerves as I let my two-year-old son ride the barrel train. He had never ridden anything like this before and the ride goes pretty far out in the field and weaves it’s way back. I saw the staff member look back and check on all of the children multiple times while driving. At one point he even brought the train back because a little one was starting to cry. He didn’t end the ride for the others, but yet made sure everyone was safe and content before taking off again. Each staff member had this sense of security about them, which made my mama-heart so happy!
You will feel like family. It felt as if we were all part of this long legacy of Neltner’s enjoying just another family event together. It’s this presence of home that you can’t pick up just anywhere. In fact, we were honored enough to get to meet Rick Neltner and his family. They are a very sweet couple with two beautiful kids. While visiting we’d see them venturing around the farm holding hands or helping out. Rick even told us that his mother was up in the produce barn helping out and his brother was out in the field conducting the hay rides. Even the crafters and small businesses in the craft tent make you feel the essence of this heartfelt charm.
It’s unique. Taste the wines of Campspring’s Stonebrook winery, get the kid’s face painted, enjoy some fresh-churned Amish ice cream, or maybe pick up some handcrafted decor for your home. Each vendor under the large white tent provides specialty items that showcase the talents of these northern Kentucky natives. On average there are seven to fourteen vendors that come out to the festival each weekend and their products are incredibly affordable and unique. In a way, you could say that about this entire festival. With tickets only $5 per person and children under two getting in free, it makes for an incredibly affordable day. One of our families fed four members for $19.00 and everyone got a decent amount of good food and drinks with their meals. Their pony rides and barrel train rides are only $3 per ride. Hayrides and musical entertainment are completely free.
It sounds great too! Each weekend they have a different artist playing per day from 1:30-4:30PM right between the food and animal barn. They do have a detailed list of musicians on their website if you are wanting to plan your trip specifically around the bands. Our kids were very tired when we were leaving but mustered up some good dance moves to the music when they heard the live guitar. I have to say, they kept us entertained completely from the moment we stepped foot on the farm until laying our tuckered kids down in the car seat to venture home.
I strongly suggest you take some time this fall to visit this lovely farm – but hurry! They only have the festival until October 29th. That’s only four more weekends to have the opportunity to have this exquisite experience and stock up on their apple cider. I know I’ll be returning with my family again soon and hope to see yours taking in this picturesque scene. There is nothing quite like the beautiful Neltner’s farm.
WEEKENDS: 10AM- 6PM | Admission is $5 per person 3 and up. (2 and under are FREE!)
WEEKDAYS: 9AM – 6PM | Admission is FREE, but only the farm shop, pumpkin patch, corn maze & barrel train rides ($3), & petting zoo are open.
Hope to see you soon at Neltner’s Farm!