The Northern Shenandoah Valley is full of family fun this fall with numerous pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fall decorations for sale and other events happening throughout the region.
In Shenandoah County, Sycamore Banks Farm at 448 Whitehall Lane in Mount Jackson is open Friday through Sunday for pumpkin picking and horse-drawn hayrides through the patch. Cost is $10 for a pumpkin of your choice. Customers can also pay $40 to fill up a wagon or choose pumpkins that are individually priced. The patch is open 2 p.m. to dark on Friday, 9 a.m. to dark on Saturday and 2 p.m. to dark on Sunday.
Farm owner Cheyenne Rhodes started growing pumpkins a few years ago with her husband and would haul them to produce auctions. They decided that was a little hectic for them. So, they decided to open the patch.
“We love it. We’ve been on the farm for six years, so we’re really still quite new. We still have people come in who have lived in Mount Jackson their entire life and didn’t even know we were back here,” Rhodes said. “We both came from farms, so farming is in our blood and we wanted to continue that. As most people in agriculture know, it’s a pretty difficult industry to get into and to have a sustained income in. So the big thing for young farmers is to diversify and find as many different ventures that we can. … We have a lot of things going on, but the pumpkin patch was a way for us to get people to the farm and let them see a working farm.”
The farm will also host a few events this fall. From 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, the farm will host its first farm-to-table dinner, Sycamore Banks Supper & Spirits. The farm is also hosting Pumpkin Patch Date Day from 2-5 p.m. Oct. 17. The event is $85 per ticket and includes a 15-minute photo session with Ashley Robinson Photography, a horse-drawn hayride, a pumpkin of your choice, two sets of cookies from Chickadee Sweets and two coffees from Woodstock Cafe in a souvenir mug.
Donna Koon, who owns The Pumpkin Patch at Edge-Wood Dairy located across from the water treatment plant on Berryville Pike near the Frederick-Clarke county line, said she started the 10-acre pumpkin patch “many years ago” when her son was in FFA and wanted to grow pumpkins.
It has since grown into a family pumpkin patch that features traditional pumpkins, white ghost pumpkins, goose bump pumpkins, mellow yellow pumpkins and pumpkins for cooking. On site is also a scavenger hunt maze and a pumpkin slingshot. Homemade baked goods including pumpkin rolls and pumpkin bundt cake, as well as apples and arts and crafts, are also available.
“I like getting to see my customers coming back and watching their children grow here,” Koon said. “I think they come back because everything is local, and we grow most of everything except my mums. We’ve grown every year, with the maze, the play area and now the slingshot.”
The pumpkin slingshot, a unique offering at The Pumpkin Patch, allows children — and adults — to place a small-to-medium-sized pumpkin into a slingshot and then shoot it at hay bales.
The Pumpkin Patch, which helps to support Edge-Wood Dairy, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the week and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. They will also be hosting a children’s costume contest at 2 p.m., on Sat., Oct. 31 for ages 3-6 and 7-12. Prizes will be given to winners and runner-ups.
Elsewhere in Clarke County, folks have the option to check out Wayside Farm Fun at 5273 Harry Byrd Highway near Berryville to explore a 10-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch and watch pig races. The farm is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Monday.
In Frederick County, West Oaks Farm Market at 4305 Middle Road near Winchester continues to have its corn maze, which boasts more than 3 miles of paths. A pumpkin patch as well as apple picking and hay rides are just a few of their other offerings. Live music also continues throughout the fall. Hours at West Oaks for the corn maze and patches range from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and run from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The Pumpkin Patch at Hill High Farm at 933 Barley Lane in Winchester is also open on the weekends, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 28.
During the daytime hours, folks can enjoy a hayride out to the pumpkin patch, where they can pick their own pumpkin. A significantly large corn maze is also available for daytime strollers. And when you’re done with that, the “Packing Shed” store is open.
If you’re looking for a nighttime adventure, Haunted Nightmares at Hill High Farm could be right up your alley.
A 5,000 square-foot walk through haunted house with live actors and five different 10-minute escape rooms are available for nighttime fun. The corn maze is also open at night, and moonlit hayrides are available.
Nighttime events are open from 7-10 p.m. Friday, until 10 p.m. on Saturday and until 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Valley Star Farm at 1104 Springfield Road in Luray, will offer free admission to its pumpkin patch this year while encouraging folks to donate to Choices of Page County, Life Center of Page County and Angel Flight Mid Atlantic.
Though activities in the farm’s Playland have been cut back, the corn maze and pumpkin patch are sure to provide fun. The maze, which changes yearly, also offers a challenge of finding six different farm animal boards along the way.
If you’re not looking for corn mazes or hayrides, plenty of area farmers markets across the region will also have pumpkins for sale this fall.
For more information on any of the above-mentioned farms, visit their Facebook pages or websites.