If you told me a month ago that I would spend the beginning of November counting down the days until my reservation for the Waimanalo Country Farms’ Drive Thru Sunflower Event, I would have thought you were crazy. But that was before I experienced their drive-thru pumpkin event. October was a pretty busy month for me at work. When making reservations for the pumpkin patch, I honestly was most excited that the event sounded short and sweet. I just had to drive in, pick up a pumpkin, and drive out. Perfect. I didn’t expect to be so in awe of my experience at the pumpkin patch, that the first thing I did after returning home was to make reservations for their sunflower event.
What is Waimanalo Country Farms’ Drive Thru Sunflower Event?
This is Waimanalo Country Farms’ answer to the coronavirus pandemic and keeping everyone safe. I never visited the farm pre-pandemic, but I heard the events were lovely. There were tractor rides, a petting zoo, hayrides, and a kids’ play area, just to name a few. Admittedly, that does sound amazing. However, the drive-thru sunflower event that Waimanalo Country Farms came up with was pretty nice as well. Groups of 5 or less mostly stay in their car and drive around the farm on a guided tour. Then, at certain parts of the tour, guests are allowed out of their vehicles to enjoy the flowers and scenery.
How does it work?
If you’ve been to the pumpkin patch drive-thru event at Waimanalo Country Farms, the sunflower event works almost the same way, with one notable difference. The sunflower event has added a second stop where you are allowed outside of your car.
At your allotted time, you arrive at the farm and queue up to drive to the sunflower field. There are QR codes along the way that you scan with your phone. The QR codes make it possible to get a guided tour of the farm from the comfort of your car. The narrator is very clear and has some pretty interesting stories about the farm. Case in point, the sunflower field was started based on a request from the farmer’s daughter. She wanted a few sunflowers grown for her upcoming onsite nuptials.
The first stop – for photo op lovers
The first stop is just for photo-op purposes. If you aren’t into that kind of thing, the farm welcomes you to continue onward to the actual sunflower fields. Since I am the queen of photo ops, we quickly got out to pose next to the sunflower tire and a large truck.
The second stop – for photo op lovers and sunflower enthusiasts
After you finish taking photos at the first stop, head back to your car and drive to the actual sunflower field. The field also comes with its own props for photo ops as well.
There are rows upon rows of sunflowers in the field. Additionally, some of the props (for picture taking) are scattered throughout the field,. This makes it a pleasant surprise to stumble upon them as you walk along. In addition to looking out for photo-op props, I ended up being fascinated with the honey bees pollinating the flowers. That caught me by surprise because I’m typically terrified of bees. (I blame it on watching My Girl during my most impressionable years.) However, this was the first time I could watch the bees simply minding their business, flying from flower to flower.
After getting your fill of the sunflower field, return to your car and continue to follow the path and QR codes until you reach the country market, your final stop on the tour.
Pricing for the Waimanalo Country Farms Drive Thru Sunflower Event
Tickets cost $10.84 per person for anyone over 3-years-old. Since Baby L is younger than that, we only purchased a 3-person reservation even though 4 of us piled in and out of the car at the sunflower field. As previously mentioned, the drive-through event finishes at the country market. Included with your ticket is a free drink. You can choose from various lemonade options or sweet tea. Therefore, while Baby L was free, he also didn’t get a large drink at the end. (I don’t think he noticed.)
The country market (and my love for the low country boil)
Bring cash, order the low country boil, and thank me later.
Seriously though, the food is so delicious at the market! Here’s how it works: at the beginning of the tour, you receive a slip of paper with the different drink options. The paper also includes a listing of the other items that they are selling. You have the entire time you are on the tour to figure out your drink order and if you want to add on anything else to purchase. When you get to the country market, simply hand over your paper and prepare to be impressed.
I heard mention of the low country boil in an Instagram post by Honolulu Family magazine and had been drooling ever since. I planned to buy a couple of orders for lunch for the entire family. Thinking the kids wouldn’t like the dish and reminding me that we had other eating plans for the rest of the day, my husband talked me into getting only one order (for myself). However, the low country boil turned out to be so delicious that the entire family gobbled up (my) lunch within minutes. As Stephanie Tanner would say, how rude! My husband for his part, got himself out of the doghouse by surprising me with a low country boil the next day (using the corn we bought from the farm).
The real reason you should check out Waimanalo Country Farms
The best thing about Waimanalo Country Farms is that you get the impression that every single person working there is giving 150% in order to make sure you have the most enjoyable experience possible. Every part of the event is so thoughtful, from the friendly parking attendants to the free drinks. Perhaps the most thoughtful of all is how Waimanalo Country Farms has you depart. (Free) drink in hand, you scan the last QR code, which takes you to a song sung by none other than the farmer/narrator himself. Em liked it so much that we had to rewind the song and listen to it again on our drive home.
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