Crunchy leaves, sweater weather, Halloween. Fall is here, and it's time to start the search for your very own Great Pumpkin. Happy picking! – Chelsea Karnash
501 S. Reading Ave.
Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Known for their awesome gift baskets and large retail farm market, family-owned Frecon Farms offers pumpkin-picking every Saturday and Sunday in October.
And if you're looking for something to do down on the farm aside from picking, go on Oct. 12 for the 7th annual PICKFEST, which includes live bluegrass, local food and drinks, a wine garden and — best of all — Frecon's homemade hard cider! Visit the website for more info.
Active Acres Farm
881 Highland Rd.
Sat & Sun, Sept. 28-29 and throughout Oct., 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Active Acres is a fall paradise. For just $10, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin (it's just $5 for any size!), then get lost in the corn maze, or let the kids take a pony ride. There's also a gem dig, a moon bounce and a corn cannon.
After dark, the fun truly begins. Active Acres has a Haunted Hayride, the Field of Fright and a 17-room Haunted House in the Hollow, complete with a cemetery and walk through crypt.
More into fall fun than fright? This farm offers decidedly not scary after-dark bonfires and live entertainment, too. Check the website for a schedule.
Hellerick's Family Farm
5500 Easton Rd.
Daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Family-owned for four generations, Hellerick's Family Farm offers more than sixty varieties of pick-your-own pumpkins, squash and gourds, plus tons of recipes on their website for turning them into food (if that's your thing). In late September and October, the farm's Pumpkin Festival makes it a popular spot for families looking for old school fun—think hayrides, pumpkin rolling, rubber ducky races, a potato slingshot and a 5-acre corn maze. This year, Hellerick's has also added nighttime Harvest Moon Hayrides on Fridays and Saturdays, complete with a flashlight trek through the corn maze and a classic campfire.
Shady Brook Farm
931 Stony Hill Rd.
Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sun., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Shady Brook Farm is one of the area's original one-stop Halloween spots. From pumpkin-picking and hayrides to monster truck rides and corn cannons, they have it all. PumpkinFest runs from mid-September through October, and for the second year, PumpkinFest After Dark will also offer extended hours. Billed as "not too scary," the After Dark activities are similar to the daytime offerings and include inflatable amusements, the Barn of Horror, Jr. and Alien Encounter 3-D. Check the website for After Dark dates and times.
1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Rd.
West Chester, PA
Mon – Sat, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Three words: Apple. Cider. Donuts.
If I need say more, Highland Orchards also offers Fall Harvest Weekends, when visitors can take the shuttle to the pumpkin patch for pick-your-own, meander through the corn maze or build a scarecrow. There's even a KIDKORRAL for the little ones. And did I mention those apple cider donuts?
137 W. Knowlton Rd.
Mon. - Fri., 12:30 - 4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Perhaps the Philly area's most popular pick-your-own farm, Linvilla is a 300-acre complex dedicated not only to agriculture, but also to education and entertainment. In the fall, PumpkinLand is front and center on the farm, with larger-than-life scarecrows, more than 100 tons of pumpkins on display, hayrides, corn mazes, a costume parade, jack-o-lantern displays…the list just goes on and on. Check the website for a full list of activities and events.
Country Barn Farm Market
211 S. Donerville Rd.
Sept. 14 through Oct. 27; Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Farmer Jim's Country Barn offers up the requisite corn maze, hayrides and 10 acres of pumpkin-picking, but they also have a petting zoo, a giant slide, mini wagon rides and a ton of other old-school activities easily associated with Lancaster County. And at night, it's BYO flashlight for some after-dark corn maze exploring!
Sahl's Father Son Farm
422 W. Pestalozzi St.
At Sahl's Father Son Farm, you can pick pumpkins, take a ride on the pumpkin train, explore the corn and rope mazes, watch the pig races and put your skills to the test on the hay jump. Plus, the corn maze is always a fun design; this year, it's the Battleship NJ!
Indian Acres Tree Farm
111 Tuckerton Rd.
Daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Aside from pumpkin picking, Indian Acres has a plethora of fall activities happening throughout September and October. There are hayrides, wagonrides, live music, a giant pillow bounce, zip-lines, rock climbing, pony rides and a whole slew of seriously scary after-dark attractions, like the "Krazy Klown Karnival" and "Gigantic Cornfield of Terror." However, "Trail of Gore"? I'll pass.
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