The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Health & Family

September 29, 2011

Local farms offer pumpkin patches, mazes and hayrides

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — For Pittsburg mom Stella Hastings, being at a pumpkin patch or corn maze with her family on an autumn day is about as iconic rural America as one can get.

“It’s an opportunity in our community to be out with other families with young children, for season-appropriate activities that they love,” said Hastings, who with her husband, Todd, enjoys taking Aiden, 8, and Daniel, 6. “We’re out there seeing other people interact with their children in the hay bales or on the hay rides. It’s also a fantastic picture opportunity. Some of the best pictures of our kids come from the pumpkin patch.”

For those who want to follow suit, put on your favorite blue jeans, grab a camera and head to one of these area patches for fun.

Hickory Creek Farms

McCune, Kan. — Hickory Creek farms has been in Steve and Ruth Zimmerman’s family for five generations, and recently was recognized by Farm Bureau as a Century Farm.

The barn was built by Great Uncle Leonard in 1932 from the lumber out of an old livery stable in McCune, and is listed in the Kansas registry for historic barns.

Visitors may pick their own pumpkins from an 8-acre pumpkin patch or choose from the display.

On Family Fun Days on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1 to 6 p.m. through October, activities include a corn maze, a critter coral, 30-minute hay wagon rides through the timber, a tractor-pulled barrel train, “punkin chunkin” trebuchet, farm demonstrations, a corn bin and a live duck race. Children 9 and younger may play on the Pumpkin Playground.

Admission: Ages 2 and younger are free; all others $7.

To get there: 426 S. 30th St., McCune, Kan. From 400 and Highway 126 Junction: 5 miles north on Highway 126, 1 mile west on 550th Ave., 4 miles north on 40th St., 1 mile west on 590th Ave., 1⁄4 mile south on 30th St.

Details: 620-632-4294.

Wood Farms

Chicopee, Kan. — Wood Farms will kick off its month-long season this Saturday and will be open weekends through Oct. 31. Hours of operation are Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m., with the farm closing at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Field trips for school children are available other days by appointment.

It’s a family affair for the Woods, including Laura and Rich and their sons Brody and Bryce, who have owned and operated the Wood Farms Pumpkin Patch south of Chicopee, Kan., for several years.

Activities include a corn bin, hayrack rides through the nearby woods, a corn maze, a hay bale maze, inflatables, a tractor-pulled barrel train, a critter coral, and select-your-own pumpkins. A variety of mums and other fall décor, as well as concessions, are for sale.

Admission: Kids 2 to 12, $5; all others are free.

To get there: 1122 S. 200th St., Pittsburg, Kan. From Highway 69, west on E. 520th Ave. for almost 2 miles, left on S. 200th St.

Details: 620-249-5223.

Fredrickson Farms

Carl Junction, Mo. — An in-town taste of country can be had at Fredrickson Farms, a 45-acre homestead owned by Tami and Steve Fredrickson. It’s been used for farming for more than 100 years, and opened about 15 years ago to visitors.

Through October, it’s open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, with weekdays dedicated to tours for school children and weekends dedicated to families and individuals.

Hayrides are $1 per person, and pumpkins are available priced per pound.

To get there: 303 N. Grimes St., Carl Junction. From Highway 171, turn into Carl Junction on Pennell, west on Pennell to North Grimes Street, north on Grimes Street. The farm is located between the skating rink and the cemetery.

Details: 417-649-6141.

Pathways Corn Maze

Oronogo, Mo. — Pathways does not have pumpkins this year, but it will open tomorrow for its seasonal corn maze and remain open through Oct. 30. At 18 acres, the maze is one of the largest in the Four-State Area and each year features a new design.

Also available are hayrides, a corn bin, and a small maze built of hay bales for young visitors.

Larger groups and youth organizations may make reservations for Wednesday and Sunday nights, day cares and preschools may schedule field trips for Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and the public may visit on Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 1 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

After dark, visitors should bring flashlights or may buy them on site, in addition to hot dogs and s’more kits to fix over a bonfire.

Admission: 12 and older, $7 for corn maze; hayrides $1 per person.

To get there: 23895 Highway 96, Oronogo, Mo. From Highway 43, east about a mile on Highway 96.

Details: 417-529-8508.

Frontenac Pumpkin Patch

Frontenac, Kan. — It’s more of an urban setting at the new Frontenac Pumpkin Patch, with pumpkins, corn stalks, outdoor décor and straw bales for sale behind the Methodist Church across the street from Frank Layden Elementary School. Proceeds are for a community Christian youth center planned to be built on that site.

Starting Oct. 3, the “patch” welcomes schools and day cares for special activities on weekdays at $3.50 per child, including corn pit fun, a small pumpkin to take home, games and crafts, a pumpkin slingshot, a maze and face painting.

The patch will be open to families on Saturdays through Oct. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., with cow and goat bingo, an air slide, games, maze, face painting, pumpkin slingshot, pumpkin decorating, a corn pit and scarecrow making.

Concessions including Chicago dogs and Frito pies will be available.

Admission: Free on weekends; items available for purchase.

To get there: From Highway 69, north on McKay Street into Frontenac to intersection of McKay and Cayuga. North on Cayuga 1 block. From Highway 43, west on Highway 160 into Frontenac, north on Cayuga 1 mile.

Details: 620-231-7798.

Maize Time Cornfield Maze

GRANBY, Mo. — Thirteen is a lucky number around Halloween time. A cornfield maze in Granby will celebrate its 13th year this year.

Though there is no pumpkin patch, pumpkins are part of the features available at Maize Time. Other features include mazes for kids and adults, goat mountain, bunnyville, fishing fun, hayrides, picnic areas, wiener roasts, fall décor and more.

The maze will be open Friday, Saturdays and Sundays until Nov. 6.

Admission: $6, $4 for kids 6 to 11, $2 for kids 3 to 5.

To get there: The maze is located south of East Newton High School (located on State Highway 86) on Raccoon Road, between Neosho and Stark City.

Details: 417-472-6199, 417-592-7738.

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