Harvest Farm’s 10th Fall Festival | TheFencePost.com

Harvest Farm’s 10th Fall Festival

Story by Ella Marie Hayes | Saratoga, Wyo.
Photos Courtesy of Noel V. Hayes, Jr.

Autumn not only brings brisker temperatures and changing colors, but leads to different activities including Farm Festivals which provide a great opportunity for families to enjoy the outdoors together and get a taste of farm life. The Fall Festival Harvest Farm at Wellington, Colo., is one such festival that should not be missed.

This year the Harvest Farm is featuring the 10th Anniversary of their Fall Festival and Corn Maze beginning with the Grand Opening October 5-7 at a discounted price for adults. Celebrate the 10 years of fun with a special $10 admission.

The Fall Festival will also run the following weekends through October 28, but admission for Adults, 13 and up, will be $15. Younsters, age 4-12, $10; Children under 3, Free; Seniors, $10. Times for the season are: Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, Noon to 7 p.m. (Check the website for details about group rates and "all access passes.")

The many popular attractions include the Petting Zoo where children can meet the friendly farm animals in a safe environment and feed them, too. Several other favorites featuring farm animals are Bunnington — a miniaturized town named after the town of Wellington serving as a home for 20-plus rabbits; Animal Main Street — an Old West replica that is home for other Harvest Farm animals; and Goat City — where goats entertain as they climb and play.

When youngsters are ready for a little more action they can practice their mountaineering on a Kid's Climbing Wall in the safety of the Kid's Area, enjoy the playground, explore the Mini Corn Maze, and use their imagination in the Corn Box Wagons while their parents watch them. Children can also race their friends around hay bales on John Deere trikes on the Tricycle Track, or take a ride on the Barrel Train following a twisting path through the farm property.

Activities for all ages include Pig Races — a farm-style version of Dog Races; Pumpkin Blasters and Corn cannons where pumpkins or ears-of-corn can be launched at targets, Hay Bale Maze/Jumps for climbing and jumping, and the Pumpkin Smash — combining baseball skills and trying to hit small pumpkins with a baseball bat. Families can also have a free photo made on the 9-foot tall Rocking Chair.

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Perhaps the most popular adventure that many visitors look forward to each year is the 10-acre Corn Maze where they can get lost in a new original design. To see the 2012 Corn Maze design honoring the anniversary celebration go to the website at http://www.HarvestFarm.net/Fall_Festival.

Full service concession areas are available for snacks — whether a cup of hot chocolate, candy, popcorn or even full meals. Honey produced by the farm's honey bee hives is also available.

Fall Decorations including pumpkins, gourds, decorative corn, corn stalks hay bales and more may be purchased. Families can pick their own pumpkin in the field or from the display.

Visitors of all ages can also take a free tour of the 209-acre working farm in a large wagon pulled by a farm tractor and learn about all the activities that the men in the program experience.

A special emphasis of the 10th Anniversary will be explaining the major mission of the Denver Rescue Mission's ministry at Harvest Farm as a rehabilitation center where the residents find educational, spiritual and emotional support. Up to 72 men participate in the Harvest Farm program to gain skills in working with the public in addition to providing food for residents, staff, and community guests and food programs for the needy. The men not only learn agricultural skills, but can participate in classroom and computer training.

Harvest Farm not only provides fun and exposure to farm-life for visitors during the Fall Festival, but also sponsors educational programs for youth groups, individual volunteers, and students at other periods during the year.

A favorite field trip for local area children in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming is a visit to the Pizza Farm for a one-of-a-kind education opportunity. The tours teach children about the crops and animals needed to make a pizza, giving them a chance to actually participate and interact with the animals as they do "chores," and have fun while learning about the source of each pizza ingredient on its separate wedge of the round "pizza." The adventure includes a wagon ride around the farm. Check the web site for more information.

For additional admission charges, driving directions, and information about the Harvest Farm's Fall Festival or their other year round programs go online to http://www.HarvestFarm.net. Readers can also learn how they can help with the needs of the Denver Rescue Mission's ministry on the web site. ❖