Anna G. Larson, Published September 28 2013
Feels like fall: Local attractions have activities for all ages
The simple sequence means autumn to Jim Carpenter and his family. The lakes-area resident heads to Lake Ida Apple Farm each fall to make quarts of fresh apple cider to drink all winter long.
The two-to-three-hour annual process produces cider with incomparable taste, he says.
“It’s got body, viscosity,” he explains. “The flavor is deeper, mellower and sweeter.”
Carpenter’s children, grandchildren and 88-year-old father-in-law help make the cider. It reminds Carpenter of making cider as a child with his neighbors.
“It is a little bit of a personal, historical reminder or revisit,” he says.
Creating autumn memories is also what keeps Derik Kraft and his family operating the Dakota Carriage Co. Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze each fall.
“It’s family fun. It’s not just coming out to pick out a pumpkin. Families get to actually have family time,” he says. “It’s so cool to watch parents actually get down and play with their kids.”
The family business started because his wife’s grandpa wanted something for his horses to do after tractors took over farm operations. Hay rides led to carriage rides, and now the family hosts autumn activities every year just north of Fargo.
“It’s not scary, and you can make a day out of it, bring lunch and just enjoy yourself,” Kraft says.
The fall experience spot goes through 5,000 to 6,000 pumpkins each season, all locally grown.
Where else can people get a taste of fall or a pre-Halloween spook? We rounded up a list of attractions within an hour of the FM-area that range from family fun to scary screams.
Dakota Carriage Co. Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze
7414 40th Ave. N., Fargo, (701) 347-4069, www.dakotacarriagecompany.com
What: Pumpkin patch, corn maze (one for adults, one for kids), petting zoo, barrel train rides, giant backyard games, horse-drawn carriage rides
Hours: 3 to 6 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 27
The pumpkin patch and corn maze will also be open from 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18.
Cost: Friday admission is $5, and Saturday and Sunday admission is $6. Children under age 1 get in free. Pumpkins cost $2 to $6.
2902 25th St. S., Fargo, (701) 499-7788, www.fargoparks.com/facilities-detail/rheault-farm
What: The Fall Festival includes a pumpkin patch, arts and crafts, face painting, straw bale maze, horse-drawn rides and more.
Hours: noon to 5 p.m. today
Cost: Free admission to the park; wristbands for rides and games are $5.50.
Rudy Spooks Corn Maze
16149 54th St. S.E., Kindred, N.D., (701) 428-9188, www.rudyspooks.com/cornmaze
What: An 18-acre corn maze, barrel train rides and pumpkins available for purchase
Hours: noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31
Cost: Admission is $10 for ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 5 to 12. Children 4 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.
Yunker Farm Party in the Pumpkin Patch and Not-So-Scary Haunted House
1201 28th Ave. N., Fargo, (701) 232-6102, www.childrensmuseum-yunker.org
What: Party in the Pumpkin Patch includes train rides, mini golf, pumpkins and carousel rides.
The Not-So-Scary Haunted House is a kid-friendly Halloween experience.
Hours: The Party in the Pumpkin Patch is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; the Not-So-Scary Haunted House is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 31.
Cost: $5 per person for non-members; members of the children’s museum get in free.
Haunted Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch
12747 3rd St. S., Moorhead, (218) 585-4529, www.hauntedcornmaze.com
What: A haunted corn maze, an unhaunted corn maze, pumpkin patch, games and hay rides
Hours: The unhaunted corn maze and pumpkin patch is open from 1 to 5 p.m. every Saturday through Nov. 2.
The Haunted Corn Maze is open from 7 p.m. to midnight (must arrive by 11 p.m.) Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 2, plus the last three Thursdays in October.
Cost: Admission to the Unhaunted Corn Maze is $12 for adults and $10 for 4- to 12-year-olds.
Haunted Corn Maze admission is $15 per person. College students and people with a military ID get in for $12.
The first 100 people each Friday receive free admission to the Haunted Corn Maze.
Pumpkin patch admission is $8 per person. Children under age 2 are admitted free. Pumpkin prices vary by size.
Buffalo River State Park Pumpkin Patch
14447 Highway 10, Glyndon, Minn., (218) 498-2684, www.buffaloriverpumpkinpatch.com
What: Pumpkin patch, games, petting zoo and horse-drawn rides
Hours: 3 to 6 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18
Cost: $4 per person, children ages 1 and under are admitted free. Each attraction also has a fee.
Lake Ida Apple Farm
11545 W. Lake Ida Lane, (218) 532-3025, www.lakeidaapplefarm.com
What: 8-acre pesticide-free apple orchard where people can pick apples and make cider
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday
Cost: Free admission to the orchard; $5 to make a half-gallon of apple cider; apples vary in cost per pound.
Maple Hills Orchard
29355 130th St., Frazee, Minn., (218) 844-5445, www.maplehillsorchard.com
What: Pick and decorate pumpkins, play yard games, pick raspberries, take a tractor ride through the apple orchard, purchase apples
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 27.
Tours are available by appointment on Thursdays.
1947 130th Ave., Moorhead, (218) 585-4539, www.hauntedfarm.com
What: A 45-minute guided tour through 15 haunted buildings and the woods.
Hours: 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday Oct. 4 through Nov. 2
Cost: $15 per person; $20 for VIP no-wait admission
158 80th St. S., Glyndon, Minn., (218) 233-3025, www.lovetoscream.com
Note: If you wish to bring children, tell the staff when you purchase tickets. The guide will wear a white cloak to signal to actors to tone down the scary surprises.
What: A 35- to 50-minute tour of haunted attractions that include a corn maze, woods, a cave, graveyard and barn maze.
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 4 through 27; 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27.
Cost: $18 for adults and $12 for children ages 10 and under.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525