As we usher in the autumn season, many begin to pick out pumpkins, bake sweet apple pies, and set out seasonal bouquets featuring sunflowers and mums. But have you ever wondered how these fantastic fall features came to be? Fall farms are a fabulous way to spend some quality time with family while learning about these autumn amenities.
If you are hoping to spend fall on the farm, we explore the top agricultural sites to visit this season and give you some expert tips to ensure your trip is a success!
Fantastic Fall Farms to Visit Throughout the Autumn Months
Fall farms are fun spots to spend a day with family and friends. They offer beautiful backdrops, freshly picked products, and even opportunities to learn. Here are some of the top fall farms to add to your bucket list this season!
Fall truly isn't complete without a visit to the pumpkin patch! This is such a fun activity for kids and adults alike, and it allows families to immerse themselves in home of these glorious gourds. It also provides parents with an opportunity to teach their kids about this unique plant. From Cinderellas and Prizewinners to Porcelain Dolls and Knuckleheads, there are so many things that you may not know about the orange ornaments that grace our porches each year.
Pumpkin patches are pretty easy to find in the fall months, but if you live in a less agriculturally inclined region, you can still see some gourd-geous pumpkin displays that feature this fabulous fall fruit! For example, the Dallas Arboretum puts together a pumpkin village fit for a jack-o'-lantern king that is worth traveling to see!
Another favorite fall fruit is apples, making orchards an outstanding place to visit. They also give you the chance to stock up on this pantry staple. Best of all, you will know exactly when your fruit was picked. Why does this matter? Those supermarket apples can sit on store shelves for up to a year! We don't know about you, but we apple-solutely want our fruit to be fresh!
Is there anything that says September more that a bunch of giant, glowing sunflowers? These bright blossoms are a breathtaking sight in stores, so imagine how glorious they are in nature! Growing up to 15 feet in height, sunflower farms give visitors a sun-tacular spot for early fall photos! Better yet, you can pay to pick them and take them home to spruce up your fall spreads.
Nature's pollinators love sunflowers. This means that those folks who are a little fearful of these buzzing bumbles as well as those who are allergic to their sting might want to stay away. This is especially the case during the hottest portions of the day (10AM - 4PM). Later in the evening is normally best for avoiding the bees.
Corn mazes are more common than you would think! States like California, Illinois, Idaho, and Texas have fields and fields fully dedicated to folks getting lost! Each of these fall farms features a fun design when seen from an aerial view, as well as clues and trivia to help wanderers find their way. These establishments also typically have pumpkin patches, fair food, fun carnival style games, petting zoos, and more.
Bug spray is a must when it comes to visiting any type of farm. Make sure to wear thick pants like jeans and loose fitting tops that mosquitos can't bite through and apply bug spray before you arrive. It's also important to note that fall colors like orange and red attract mosquitoes, so try to stray away from these seasonal shades.
Pecan pie is another prime player in holiday meals, but did you know that these nuts are harvested in the fall months? Pecan farms give individuals and families the chance to pick their own nuts, try unique products, and go on guided tours to learn more about this healthy snack.
Working farms are wonderful places to learn about what goes into making your food. Since dairy farms run 365 days a year, these are fantastic spots to swing by on a cool autumn day. This can allow you and your family to see the animals and farmers at work, get a sneak peek inside parts of the dairy plant, and even try some freshly made ice cream!
When visiting a working farm, it's important to remember that operations are still going on. Kids are welcome, but they need to stay under close supervision.
Honey Bee Hives
Honey is typically harvested in the summer months, but many beekeepers continue to give guests the chance to see their bees at work and educate them on the world's most important pollinators. These visits are another immersive experience that many times involves getting into full beekeeping gear and going to see the hives up close and personal. You can also enjoy fresh honey flights and other fun activities at the apiaries.
Unlike other farms that are open regularly for the season, bee hive tours have a limited number of spots and many have age restrictions for safety purposes. Make sure to call ahead to book your tour before showing up.
How Do I Find Fall Farms Near Me?
There are farms in every single state in America, but not all allow visitors. The easiest way to figure out if there are farms that offer tours and visits in your region is the Google "fall farms near me" and then either check out their websites or give them a call! You may be surprised at the number of farmers that don't publicize tours, but give locals a chance to check out their operations for free to those who ask.
Another spot to find fall farms is your local farmer's market! Many farmers have booths that you can visit each week. If there is a product that interests you, ask them if they offer tours or farm visits. It never hurts to ask.
Fall on the Farm: Top Tips to Ensure a Terrific Time
For those city folk who have never stepped foot on a farm before, there are a few key details to remember when planning your trip into rural America:
- Expect to get dirty! So bring a change of clothes.
- Wear good walking shoes.
- Sunscreen and bug spray are a must.
- Bring lots of water to stay hydrated.
- If the farm allows, bring food along for a picnic lunch.
- Call ahead to find out about payment options. Some farms take credit cards while others still stick with cash for transactions.
- Check the forecast before you leave your house.
- Hot, rainy, stormy, and windy conditions can all make for an uncomfortable experience.
- If it has rained in the past few days, the farm grounds will likely be muddy, but there is also a chance that your car could get stuck.
- Leave your pets at home. Most fall farms do not welcome our furry friends, and for good reason.
- Bring a cooler with ice if you plan to purchase perishables and bring them home.
- Pay attention to the rules that fall farms have in place — they are there for your safety.
- Pack a first aid kit before you go.
- Folks with allergies and asthma will want to have antihistamines, inhalers, and EpiPens on hand, just in case of an emergency.
- Even with good footwear, trips and falls happen on the farm. Bandaids, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer are all great to have with you.
- Call ahead to schedule a tour. Many fall farms cap the number of guests who can be on the grounds. This can ensure that you get to enjoy the whole experience.
Fall Farms Bring Bushels of Fun
Fall farms are something that every family should take the time to enjoy. These places are rooted in tradition and good, wholesome fun. This makes them the perfect spot for family and friends to gather and enjoy some seasonal festivities in a truly unique way.