Good for: Everyone
Price: Entrance is free, $3 for most attractions ($10 for hay maze)
Features: Pumpkins, hay maze, corn field, hay rides
Every year, one of our friends plans an autumn outing to Arata’s Pumpkin Farm. We go for one purpose and one purpose only – the hay maze. This thing is massive (covers about 2 acres) and is challenging for everyone, even adults. In fact, I think it’s more daunting for adults as we try to systematically figure things out. Kids randomly find their way in and out as they explore the twists and turns, finding trap doors and dead ends. This 7′ to 8′ tall labyrinth, made of only hay bales, has a new layout each year. Even if you finish the maze pretty quickly the first time, going in again ALWAYS takes longer so you might want to pack a snack and flashlight just in case.
In 2010, we went after dark on a rainy evening. With flashlights in hand, we all trudged through the mud as we took turns slipping and catching each other. I also forgot to take some allergy pills and all the hay was killing my sinuses. That was NOT a fun experience. So, we skipped a year and tried again when this trip was planned.
The farm no longer stays open after sunset. It was so much better in the daytime and on dry soil. MUCH better. We had such a great time that we took the kids in again before it closed. It’s such a crack up to see those with no direction leading and then others taking over only to get lost as well. Just a note – you may want to go in with at least one other person as it can get frustrating to do the maze all by yourself.
Aside from the maze, there are also hay rides, corn fields, a play area, pumpkins (obviously, it is a pumpkin farm), and more. My daughter and one of her friends were having a little too much fun breaking off husks of corn and shucking them. After littering the ground with corn husks, I made them clean it up and you can tell how enthusiastic they were about that…
Arata’s Pumpkin Farm offers a fun outing for a variety of ages. You can easily fill spend several hours here, with the maze itself needing at least 1-2 hours. Entrance is free but each ‘attraction’ costs $3 to $5, with the exception of the hay maze which is $9 for adults and $8 for children. Credit cards are accepted (which is good since we always forget to carry cash on us). You can also buy pumpkins and other items but I’m not sure of the prices. If you get munchy, there is a small snack shop. I also noticed that many families brought their dogs along.
So pick a day to head toward the coast and start your annual outing to this fall-time destination. Maybe we’ll be lost in the maze together next year!