Pumpkins and Kids – Color Your Weekends Orange.

I think October should be officially set aside to celebrate all things orange.

Perfect Pumpkins in the Sun

Perfect pumpkins come in all sizes but the most popular color is always orange.

I do not mean orange and black or orange and green, simply orange. Why? Orange is a happy color but except for harvest time which is also pumpkin time, it is relegated to coloring sessions when crayons make magic in little hands and grass, bunnies and occasionally people turn up orange.

Pumpkin patches and corn mazes go hand in hand but I have pumpkins on my mind because the shades of orange in any pumpkin patch signify a harmonious connection with our planet. I am inspired by the countless creative ways gardens and farms embrace the season and focus on scree free fun for all ages.

Pumpkin village at Dallas Arboretum

Autumn at the Dallas Arboretum includes a world class pumpkin village, a magical pumpkin carriage, and oodles of screen free families activities.

Near to my home and at the top of my list is the Pumpkin Village at Dallas Arboretum. The colorful pumpkins, gourds and squash population number well past 50,000 and create a setting that must be seen to be believed. Each season I watch tykes and their older companions awed by the remarkably artful Pumpkin Village and Cinderella’s magical pumpkin carriage.

The annual Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire pays homage to the color orange populating the festival with thousands of lit jack-o’lanterns and those in attendance have a chance to go pumpkin bowling.

Dewberry Farm South Texas Twins and Pumpkins

The awesome pumpkin patch at Dewberry Farm has pumpkins for tykes and enough family activities to last all weekend.

One of the best agri-adventures in the country is at Dewberry Farm in South Texas where acres of pumpkins ready for picking, and pumpkin carving and corn cannons add to the fun. On Saturday nights Pumpkin Hollow is aglow with hundreds of artfully carved pumpkins.

The Great Pumpkin Farm not far from Buffalo, New York has everything pumpkin-related from pumpkin decorating, and scarecrow stuffing to pumpkin pie eating. As an added bonus they have “FSI: Farm Scene Investigation” corn maze experience with its own interactive app.

Red Arty Hubbard Pumpkins

The best pumpkin patches prove pumpkins have personalities just like people and the come in all shapes and sizes from smooth and sunny to warty and quirky.

Not far from Wichita, Kansas, Walters’ Pumpkinfest is all about seeing more orange. From the pumpkin cannon blaster and pumpkin sling shots to pumpkin salsa, pumpkin chili, pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup, the festival is really orange.

Not far from Los Angeles Underwood Family Farms showcases more than a dozen varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds during their Fall Harvest Festival plus in Hollywood style Farmer Craig’s Chicken Show features an animatronic chicken clucking to popular tunes.

Our aMAZEing Fun folder features dozens of awesome places to encounter pumpkins, cornstalks, scarecrows and screen free fun. The season is turning more orange by the minute.

Nancy Nelson-Duac

Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files

Harvest Time Agri-Adventures Offer Screen Free Fun for Everyone.

The best agri-adventures and farmstead experiences offer creative and often challenging pathways through 10-foot corn stalks, pumpkin fields ready to harvest and a menu of screen free things to do outside with kids.

Minnetonka Orchards Scarecrow

Scarecrows make perfect harvest time companions for humans of all sizes but do they keep the birds away?

In addition to first person rural life experiences like hayrides, scarecrows, pony rides, farmyard animal encounters and corn pile play boxes many locations have added extra ways to enjoy farm time with kids. The most popular activities include goat walks, pig races, pig painting, apple cannons, pumpkin bowling, and nifty barrel-train rides.

The screen free menu of choices keeps expanding. The most ambitious additions include ziplining over corn fields, orbing down hills, cranberry bog experiences, giant viewing towers, and secret earth-tunnels. Plus, many locations have created night time maze adventures adding an extra dimension to family to the agri-adventures.

Corn maze at Minnetonka Orchards

The corn maze at Minnetonka Orchards is only part of the agri-adventure which also includes apple picking, wagon rides, barnyard animal encounters, and an awesome haystack.

Our aMAZeing Fun folder features least nine dozen locations to find terrific agri-adventures, corn mazes and fall festivals from coast to coast including great spots in Canada.

One of the world’s largest corn mazes is at Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois. Their agri-adventures pedal trikes, a 50-foot high viewing tower, zip lining, and a zorbing adventure inside an 11-foot orb.

The corn maze at Dell’Osso Family Farm near Lathrop, California is large enough to be viewed by NASA from orbit. Along with the maze challenge they run a pumpkin tram, have pumpkin blasters, zip lining, and aerial ropes course, and a plank plunge.

An agri-adventure at Marni Farm near Ipswich, MA includes 10 miles of pathways and hundreds of questions to be answered plus a larger-than-life spider web challenge, apple cannons, and thousands of pumpkins.

Dewberry Farms Pumpkin Field

The awesome pumpkin field at Dewberry Farm near Houston offers so many tempting choices.

The Texas Maze at Dewberry Farm near Houston includes an awesome pumpkin field, interactive corn maze with dozens of “cornundrums” plus honey bees at work, corn cannons, singing chickens, rubber ducky races, calf roping, and ziplining.

French Prairie Gardens Fall Harvest Festival in St. Paul, OR has a “Pigtucky” Derby and an opportunity for visitors to watch the secret lives of chickens.

The season looks very promising.

Nancy Nelson-Duac

Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files


Corn mazes, apple cider, and smiles a mile wide.

This blog entry’s intro comes to us courtesy of my eldest daughter:

When I look back on my childhood, some of my most vivid memories are of attending fall festivals and events with my family. I can still remember the edge of frost in the air, the tang of the hot apple cider, and running breathlessly through a seemingly endless corn maze. There’s something magical about Fall – when the leaves change, seemingly overnight, to a symphony of fire tones, before drifting down to coat the ground like a magic carpet.

Few things capture the magic of the season like fall festivals. You can find them across the country – in numerous small towns, and family owned farms. They’re a slice of American life, truly as American as apple pie (yes, even in Canada!). No where else can you find that certain delightful combination of corn mazes, apple treats, pumpkins and Halloween festivities that you do in North America.

So this year, take your kids along and make your own wonderful fall memories.

Make it Happen: 

Because hectic schedules sustain the daily rhythm of most households mini breaks make a world of difference and we know that pint-sized fun is better than no fun at all.

Whether it’s a  day trip or a weekend escape, enjoying time together and making family memories matters. Fun, quick, and easy is the magic phrase for families. A special thanks to those who took time to “Tell Mom” labout the best corn maze or fall festival  because we have included those suggestions on the list for this year.

Check out our best-rated fall festivals and corn mazes from all over the USA here.

We are thrilled with the feedback from Canadians who love their corn mazes and pumpkin patches and took time to “Tell Mom” where to find the best. Find out what they recommended by check out the roundup here!