Hop on the hay wagon and get yourself down to one of Rhode Island’s farms for some good, old fashioned fun (and some delicious fall treats).
It must be something in the water… or maybe it’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Frerichs Farm in Warren is widely known for its enormous pumpkins. So widely known, in fact, that Frerichs’ giant gourds have made the national news. Every Columbus Day weekend, the farm hosts the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers’ Annual Weigh-Off, happening this year on October 8. The event attracts more than 3,500 attendees to witness the weighing of the gigantic pumpkins, which can weigh in at over 1,000lbs. The 2015 winner, Ron Wallace from Greene, RI, grew a whopping 2,230lb pumpkin.
The Pumpkin Palooza at Frerichs Farm, happening on weekends September 10-October 22, offers lots more fun for kids and grownups: pumpkin painting, pumpkin carriage rides, a play-scale Western town, make-your-own scarecrows, a ride-on dragon and witch broom, and a Charlie Brown pumpkin patch. Frerichs is also hosting a Good Old Days party on September 25, which is a day of good old fashioned bluegrass music, children’s games, a beer tent and a clam bake, with proceeds going to the Autism Project’s East Bay Support Center. 43 Kinnicutt Avenue, Warren. 401-245-8245, FrerichsFarm.com
Picking pumpkins is one thing, but shooting a corn cannon? That’s on a whole other level. Clark Farms in South Kingstown has fun for days at their Fall Festival, happening weekends in September and October. Think a giant straw maze, hay rides, go-karts, a petting zoo, an old west ghost town, mining for treasure and a 30-foot mountain slide. Read on to find out about more fun, whether on the farm or elsewhere. 711 Kingstown Road, Wakefield. 401-783-8844, ClarkFarms.com
Take a step back in time at Festival Farm, which promises family fun “like it used to be.” Kids can take a pony ride or a hayride pulled by an antique tractor. The petting zoo lets you get up close and personal with alpacas, sheep, pygmy goats, an emu and pheasants. Sip hot cider while you pick out your fall pumpkins and gourds. 2 Canonchet Road, Hope Valley. 401-742-5575, FestivalFarmRI.com
Weekends starting September 17 and running through October 30, the fun doesn’t end at Confreda Farm’s Fall Fest. Think hayrides, kiddie rides, farm activities and a corn MAiZE the size of seven (you heard us – seven) football fields. There’s a food court offering fall and Halloween treats, and a Pumpkin Smash on October 30. 2150 Scituate Avenue, Hope. 401-827-5000, ConfredasFallFest.com
The Farmer’s Daughter, a farm stand and garden center, hosts a Harvest Festival every weekend from September 24-October 30. Fun activities include: scavenger hunts, pony rides, pumpkin slingshots and bowling, a corn maze, a barrel train ride and antique tractors, scarecrow making, costume contests, face painting and furry friends. 716 Mooresfield Road, South Kingstown. 401-792-1340, TheFarmersDaughterRI.com
Have fun getting lost at Dame Farm’s A-Maize-ing corn maze. It takes an hour to solve the four-acre maze, with stations hidden inside that add to the challenge. Weekends in the fall, there’s also a food truck serving up delicious treats like chowder and fried Oreos. 91-B Brown Avenue, Johnston. 401-949-3657, DameFarmAndOrchards.com
Learn where your food comes from with Rhody Fresh and Cabot Creamery. On October 9, the local dairy collaborative is hosting a farm tour at Emma Acres in Exeter, with free Rhody Fresh milk, apple cider and Cabot cheese samples, plus hayrides for the kids. 143 Ten Rod Road, Exeter. RhodyFresh.com
Get a taste of the fall at Steere Orchard’s Apple Fest: A Fall Harvest Celebration. On October 15 and 16, the party will feature live music by the Applehead String Band, free samples of baked goods and apples, and pies and apple and pumpkin treats for purchase. A farmer’s market and free hayrides, along with the pick-your-own apples that the orchard regularly offers, round out the festivities. 150 Austin Avenue, Greenville. 401-949-1456, SteereOrchard.com
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