Five pumpkin patches to visit in central Iowa
Pumpkin patches and orchards are no longer only about picking up some fall fruits and vegetables. Now you can find all sorts of family-friendly activities ranging from rubber duck races to giant jumping pillows.
A simple Google search for Iowa orchards and pumpkin patches will provide a plethora of information but here is a handy chart and a breakdown showing you what five central Iowa businesses have to offer.
2721 Highway 34, Osceola
The Harvest Barn is a two-story barn filled with things to buy including candles, fudge, cheeses, Iowa Wines, beef, pork, gift baskets and holiday decorations. This is the 15th year there has been a pumpkin patch. Owners Amy and Jason Boyer say that it has been evolving through the years to become what it is today. Outdoor activities are open now through November 1st
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Mondays
Admission: Weekdays $5, 1/2 price for seniors over 65 and kids under 2; Weekends $6, 1/2 price for seniors over 65 and kids under 2; season passes are available
Activities include: Sack slide, tire climb, 6-acre corn maze, double zip line races, barnyard with animals, Glo golf, corn bin, giant hay caterpillar, duck races, feed bunk sand trough, explore the hay fort tunnel and hay barn, family dodge ball, wagon rides (Saturday & Sunday afternoons only), pre-picked and pick your own pumpkins are available.
1102 244th Street, Jefferson
Deal's Orchard has been in business since 1917. The current owners are Jerald and Cindy Deal and this year they have built a new covered seating area to use while you enjoy their concessions. On Oct. 10 and 11 they have a Fall Festival with even more activities for families. Open now through Oct. 31 (possibly longer depending on weather). Check their website for updates.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: For Apple Acres, $6 per child, $4 per adult, 2 and under are free. Add $2 for corn maze admission. Season passes available. For corn maze only, $5 per person, 2 and under are free.
Activities include: Jumping pillow, Wiggle Cars, corn box, pedal tractors, rubber duck races, two 80-foot giant slides, hamster roll (a giant tube kids can get inside and roll across a track), 16-foot spider web, free weekend hay rides. U-pick apples and pre-picked apples, pumpkins, squash, gourds and more are available for purchase.
The Pumpkin Ranch
2425 Hiatt Apple Trail, Winterset
The Pumpkin Ranch is in its sixth year of business and this year they have expanded their gift shop to include more local vendors, home decor, specialty items and food. There are often special events on the weekends in addition to the regular attractions. Open now through Oct. 25.
Hours: Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Admission: Friday $6.50 per person, 2 and under are free. Saturday and Sunday $8.50 per person, 2 and under are free.
Activities include: Nine-acre corn maze, jump pillow, zip lines, two 30-foot slides, Toddler Town (playground, playhouse, jump house, straw bale and giant tire climbs), hay rack rides to the patch to pick your own pumpkins, gourds and squash. If there are only adults in your group, you can check out the gift shop and buy pumpkins without paying the regular admission price.
Uncle Bill's Farm
244 400th Avenue, Grinnell
Uncle Bill's Farm has been in business for more than 20 years. Bill Owen has been at the helm since 2012. On the weekends check out the magic shows. Uncle Bill's Feedbag Restaurant has fresh pumpkin pies daily and new this year: jambalaya. Open now through Oct. 30.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Monday-Friday $7 ages 3 and up, Saturday-Sunday $10 ages 3 and up
Activities include: Wagon rides to the 10-acre pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkins, Maizie the Milk Cow (a fiberglass cow for kids to "milk"), Uncle Bill's Train Depot, corn bin, farm animal haven, cornfield maze, big orange jump pillow, treehouse and playhouse, Kid Kow train, observation bee hives. Buy pumpkins without paying admission on weekdays only.
Center Grove Orchard
32835 610th Ave, Cambridge
New this year at Center Grove Orchard is a train that will run along a 4,400-foot track. They hope to have it open by the first week or two in October. Along with the regular activities at the orchard there are also themed weekends with extra events and entertainment. A schedule can be found at the orchard's website. The farmyard is open now through Nov. 1.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission: Monday-Friday $8.95 per person, 2 and under are free. Saturday-Sunday $10.95 per person, 2 and under are free. Season passes are available.
Activities include: Pedal carts, hop-along horses, spiderweb for climbing, hayrides, two jumping pillows, corn pool, corn maze, hay maze, rubber duck races, Three Little Pigs houses, farm animals, farm train for kids (weekends only), 140-foot-long super slide, one-room school house, Molly Moo (a life-size fiberglass milking cow). Pick your own apples and pumpkins are available.