Old-fashioned farm fun—with a twist

Old-fashioned farm fun—with a twist

It’s fall and that means fun on the farm. Pick your own apples or pumpkins. Take a ride in a wagon. Learn how apple cider is made and enjoy some with a donut from the farm store. Pet farm animals or play in their fun play area. Or get lost in a corn maze.

Pumpkins at Afton Apple Orchard

Fall harvest festivals officially started in September and most farms are open for business on weekends through the end of October. Their hours may be the same but that’s where the similarities end. Some farms are small preferring to introduce children to the basics of farm life, like Bridgewater Produce Farm in Northfield. Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings is celebrating their Apple Fest through October 15 with music, face painting, cider pressing demos, seasonal activities and their 15 acre Cat in the Hat corn maze. It features three levels of difficulty over six miles. And, oh, yes, apples—13 varieties of apples grown on trees you can reach from the ground. Don’t forget the pumpkins in the pumpkin patch.

Then there are the farms that feature intricately designed mazes, play parks, and concessions for people of all ages. Tews Corn Maze in Winona and Shafer Corn Maze offer additional activities that appeal to children of all ages to complement their maze hunts. The farms that boast the largest mazes with separate attractions are Tweite’s Family Farm in Byron, the Twin Cities’ Harvest Festival and Maze in Brooklyn Park, and Sever’s Corn Maze in Shakopee. Tweite’s is a working farm with a 12 acre 4.1 mile maze sporting a Wild West theme this year. Tickets are required for the Fun Park and the Corn Maze, each with special activities too numerous to name. Check the website for fun that awaits.

The Twin Cities’ Harvest Festival and Maze is a working farm that sells produce to an area supermarket and stands and claims to have the largest corn maze in the state—20 acres of Minnesota Viking glory. The festival includes food vendors, live music, a bale maze, a giant corn pit, and many extras at additional cost. The fun is fabulous and the memories made are priceless. Sever’s Corn Maze is not a working farm but according to a reviewer they create the ambiance—they have the standard petting zoo and pumpkin patch along with pig races, climbing tires, giant slide, rope courses, and more within their huge and complex fun park. So many choices, so little time. The links will tell you what you need to know to make great fall memories.

CREDIT: groupon.com