It’s fall, y’all! I know we’ve been excited about it on this blog for weeks, but it’s so hard NOT to be excited by fall, especially in the middle of October. The leaves are changing, the air is getting chilly, Halloween is coming up, and all our local farms and orchards are pulling out all the stops for their harvest festivals and pumpkin picking events!
I promised last week I’d let you know where to go to get your Halloween pumpkins, and I always keep my promises: I’ve done some research and have found some of the best local places to go pumpkin picking. They’re having really fun Harvest festivals right now, and are great places to bring your whole family for a fun-filled fall day. So whether you’re looking to keep it super local or don’t mind taking a journey to somewhere a little more rural, here’s a list of some local farms, orchards, and pumpkin patches of interest this month.
For a more complete list of all the autumn events and harvest festivals going on in our area this season, check out this Main Line Today article.
If you want to see last week’s post about what to DO with your pumpkin once you pick it, click here!
Head over to Linvilla Orchards in Media anytime until November 10th to get a taste of Pumpkinland, their most popular event of the year! During the festival you can see all of the fantastic scarecrows and other larger-than life displays they have available, as well as go pumpkin picking to find the perfect pumpkin or gourd for carving, painting, or displaying as is! They also have plenty of home décor and seasonal decorations in their Garden Center.
Head next door to their Farm Market to taste their fantastic apple cider donuts and pick up a jug of fresh apple cider, as well as enjoy their delicious pies, fresh produce, preserves, honey, and more. Just beyond that building is the food pavilion, where they have funnel cake, candy apples, treats for lunch, and other delicious foods. If you’re 21+, head down the steps to Ship Bottom Beer Garden to enjoy a variety of different brews. On Saturdays, DiFabio’s Market and Tap will be there serving up delicious snacks as well!
Once you’re done picking your pumpkins and having your fill of snacks, there’s still plenty to do. There’s fresh produce picking, fishing, a playground for kids, train rides, face painting, a petting zoo, a corn maze and a straw bale maze, and hayrides to enjoy. (Bonus: if you show up after 5PM you can enjoy the Witch’s Hayride, a storytelling trip just for the kiddos, or the Autumn Moon Hayride, where you can take a quiet ride through the orchard by the light of the moon, and stop off afterward to make s’mores and have delicious apple cider.) For the adventurous, there’s also Apple Blasting: you get a barrel of apples to shoot through a potato cannon at a target a hundred feet away!
Every Saturday and Sunday until October 27, head over to Highland Orchards in West Chester to enjoy their Harvest Festival Weekends, jam packed with food, fun, and family activities for all ages. Every weekend there will be pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, and art, and hayrides from noon to 5, and of course, apple and pumpkin picking, from 9am to 5pm.
Feeling hungry? The Farm Market and Bakery will be open during all operating hours. Stop in at any time to pick up any of their delicious fresh produce or baked goods, including their award winning apple cider donuts, named Best of Philly in 2018 (and, of course, fresh apple cider as well). For the grown-ups, there will be a Wine and Beer Garden open from noon to five on select dates as well, featuring beverages from Harvest Ridge Winery and Rebel Seed Cider, as well as plenty of food to choose from, from a variety of food trucks.
Additionally, some weekends feature additional events:
October 26: Pumpkin carving demonstration 12-5pm
- Watch and follow along as a pro pumpkin carver shows you how it’s done!
Novermber 2: CKC Cider Run, 9am-12pm
- Run a 5k to benefit Collegeville Kids to College, a charity that raises money to send local kids to college!
November 2: Fall Food and Craft Beer Celebration, 12pm-5pm
- Stay after the 5k to enjoy fall foods and craft beers galore!
Until the end of October you can stop by Varner Farms in Collegeville, from 9am to 7pm Monday thru Saturday, and 11pm to 5pm Sundays, for a really fun pumpkin picking experience! You’ll take an old-fashioned, horse-drawn wagon ride to their pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin right off the vine. And while you’re there, make sure to take full advantage of their extensive corn maze!
You can also visit Harvest Land, a fall wonderland open every year that many families and schools have made a yearly tradition. Visit and feed the farm animals, including the very horses that pull the wagons to the pumpkin patch! Into fall flowers? You can go to their flower field, too, and pick them yourself: $1 by the stem, $5 by the handful. And, of course, you can visit their farm market, where they have all manner of fresh grown produce and baked goods. (What kind of fall farm trip would it be without fresh apple cider and apple cider donuts?)
If you’ve got a free slate on Halloween, you should definitely head to their Free Candy Carnival, where children in costume (non-scary costumes only) will do 20 activities and receive candy after each. The event is totally free, but you do need to pre-register so that the farm will have enough candy for everyone. To do so, go here.
Shady Brook Farm
For a truly dynamic Fall Farm experience, try Shady Brook Farm in Yardley now thru October 27. It’s a bit of a drive from the Main Line, but for all the things they have to do, it’s totally worth it. For the cost of admission, they offer a dearth of activities, including giant jumping pillows, a playground, inflatable attractions, an obstacle course, go-carts, pig races, a five-acre corn maze, wagon rides to their apple orchard and pumpkin patch, apple picking, and, of course, pumpkin picking. They also have live music on weekends!
For a full list of activities included with admission, click here.
Plus, if you want even more, there are some activities available for an additional fee on weekends: pony rides, gem mining, sand art, corn cannons, paint ball, monster truck and monster hearse rides are all available for just a little extra once you are on the farm. One thing is certain: You’ll never get bored!
If you want to get your spook on while you’re there, you can: HorrorFest is also happening on weekends in October! HorrorFest features four thrilling attractions: the Hayride of Horror, Barn of Horror, Alien 3-D Encounter, and Carnage. (Note: Some of these events might be too scary for younger kids.)
Hellerick’s Family Farm
If you’re looking to add a little more adventure to your farm visit, you should check out the Fall Festival at Hellerick’s Family Farm, an adventure farm in Doylestown, happening through November 3. Admission is $8, but if you purchase online you can save $1.00 on general admission by using this code: 2019FHF
Admission to the farm includes hayrides, two corn mazes, farm animals, three 100-foot slides, a tractor tire playground, and 40+ other activities for children and adults of all ages. Some of these crazier, more adventurous activities include: Potato slingshot, goat yoga, pumpkin bowling, an Aerial Adventure Park, and an obstacle course.
That’s not all that’s available though. For a special family experience, go to one of their Evening Hayrides, Friday and Saturday from 7-10pm. During this non-scary, family-friendly event, guests will take a short hayride to the corn maze, enter, and try to find their way out using a flashlight. Afterwards, guests can hang out at one of the four large campfires and enjoy spending time with friends and family, as well as the great views from the top of the farm.
Parking is free, and you can also walk around their market to shop for produce, baked goods, gifts, and décor to take home.
To see a complete list of available activities, click here.