(Featured photo: Kids can take a ride on the animal barrel train at Neltner’s Farm. Courtesy of Neltner’s.)
There’s nothing like warm apple cider and crisp autumn air. Make the most out of this time of year (with tips from farm experts) to create whacky corn maze excursions and so much more!
Fun on the Farm
Blooms & Berries Farm Market
9669 OH-48, Loveland
513-697-9173 | bloomsandberries.com
Daily through Oct. 31 Fall field trips, birthday parties and an all-new beer garden and new challenging five-acre corn maze for all ages, this family farm is full of festive surprises.
Hidden Valley Orchards
5474 N State Route 48, Lebanon
513-932-1869 | hiddenvalleyorchards.com
Fall Festival Weekends in October The Barnyard Play Yard with new farm friends and interactive play equipment and games always makes a day at HVO a blast! Fall festival weekends and celebration Saturdays with seasonal activities include pumpkin picking and hayrides.
Irons Fruit Farm
1640 Stubbs-Mill Road, Lebanon
513-932-2853 | ironsfruitfarm.com
Weekends in October
A corn maze, a delicious bakery and side-railed, tractor-driven wagons will make your fall one to remember. Pick the perfect pumpkin after the free wagon ride! Check the weather on their website before you go.
Niederman Family Farm
5110 Lesourdsville West Chester Road, Liberty
513-779-3228 | niedermanfamilyfarm.com
Enjoy a four-acre corn maze, hayrides, a Lil’ Sprout Route, a giant jumping pillow, tug-o-war and more! Fall Farm Tours go through Oct. 31 – meet the farm animals, explore by tractor and learn about the flowers and the bees. Skip the line by purchasing tickets through Ticketleap on their website.
Spooky Trails & Houses
Caldwell Nature Preserve
Annual Magic Forest Halloween Hikes
430 W. North Bend Road, Cincinnati
Oct. 18 & 19, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Walk through a pumpkin-lit trail and meet friendly, costumed characters. This is a non-scary holiday hike.
SPOOK-O-METER: (Low) Perfect for families and ages 3 – 10.
Halloween Walk in the Woods
Blue Ash Nature Park
4337 Cooper Road, Blue Ash
Oct. 26, 12 – 3 p.m.
Put on your best costume, and come out for an exciting trick-or-treat walk, crafts and cool magic show, too.
SPOOK-O-METER: (Low) Geared toward ages 10 and younger.
Haunted Village at Heritage Village Museum
11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville
513-563-9484 | heritagevillagecincinnati.org
Oct. 11,12, 18, 19, 25 and 26, 6 – 10 p.m.
(Enter through Sharon Centre)
Heritage Village Museum transforms into a Haunted Village! The family-friendly 19th century village (inside Sharon Woods) makes for a perfect evening. Trick or treat and meet a headless horseman, witch, fortune teller, and even a mad scientist; and take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon ride and more!
SPOOK-O-METER: (Low) Perfect for all ages.
Land of Illusion Adventure Park
8762 Thomas Road, Middletown
The variety of spooky entertainment, trails and houses will have you on your toes! Don’t forget your appetite and be sure to dig into some tasty treats and eats.
SPOOK-O-METER: (High) No specific age limit, but scary. Go at your own discretion.
Twisted Trails Haunted Attraction
5719 W State Route 73, Wilmington
513-317-0983 | twistedtrailshaunt.com
Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 26
Venture through windy trails, and the deep, spooky woods! Be prepared for a thrilling surprise throughout your adventure! Don’t miss the Birdbox Experience one night only, Thursday, Oct. 24. Proceeds benefit Matthew 25: Ministries.
SPOOK-O-METER: (Moderate) Recommended for ages 12 and younger be accompanied by an adult.
Fall Festivals & Events
Gorman Heritage 2019 Sunflower Festival
10052 Reading Road, Cincinnati
513-563-6663 | gormanfarm.org
Oct. 5 – 6, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
A beautiful sunflower maze, live music, hayrides, pumpkins, craft vendors, food trucks, corn maze, and animals encounters with the farm animals. Take advantage of the Farm Fun Education Station, and grown-ups wind down with a tasty brew at the MadTree Beer Garden.
MetroParks’ The Howl
VOA Park, 7850 Voice of America Park Drive, West Chester
513-867-5835 | yourmetroparks.net
Oct. 19, 12 – 3 p.m.
Bark your calendars! Get ready for a “Pupper” Costume Parade, a dog and kid-friendly, trick-or-treat trail, a ruffin’ obstacle course, fun vendors, a 2.4 mile Doggy Dash around the lake and tons more! No dog? No problem! Rescue centers will have adoptable dogs you can borrow!
Washington Park Fall Fest Weekend
1230 Elm St. Cincinnati | bit.ly/2m7USia
Oct. 26 – 27, 12 – 6 p.m.
All ages will get into the fall spirit with a rockin’ entertainment lineup, local vendors selling crafts and homemade items, baked goods, plenty of kids’ activities and more!
Fun Fall Farms
1835 Sherman Mount Zion Road, Dry Ridge
859-905-9656 | countrypumpkinsky.com
Daily through Oct. 31 (rides and u-pick pumpkins available Fridays after 5 p.m. and weekends)
Make memories in the country with classic fall activities including a corn maze, hayrides, visits with farm animals, barrel train rides and lots of pumpkins. Kids can play in corn boxes and climb hay pyramids, and everyone can launch a pumpkin with the Chunkin’ Pumpkin Launcher!
4175 Burlington Pike, Burlington
859-689-2682 | kinmanfarm.com
Daily through Oct. 28, Fall Festival occurs
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Beyond the lovely farm store filled with fall decor, and barnyard with friendly farm critters, is the Farm Festival where families hitch a hayride to a behind-the scenes tour where the land, crops and fall fun just keep going! Includes the Great Pumpkin Express ride, corn maze, carnival tent, live bands, concessions and bonfire. New this year is Lazer Tag and a game area with a tricycle ride for littles.
Sugar Ridge Family Farms
12273 Green Road, Walton
859-743-8974 | sugarridgefamilyfarm.com
Through Oct. 27, Saturday and Sundays only
The Fall Fest features a petting zoo, hay and trolley rides, kiddie corral with games, playground, cornhole and more, plus their unique Corn Cannon, bouncy houses and perfect photo opportunities with real farm equipment. New for 2019 is the nature trail.
Spooky Trails & Houses
Halloween Happenings at Middleton-Mills Park
3415 Mills Road, Covington
859-525-7529 | bit.ly/KCParksandRec
Haunted Trail (Oct. 18, 7 – 10 p.m.) This quarter-mile trail will be haunted by ghosts, goblins, witches and other frightful creatures and tasty samples of Bat’s Blood (punch) from the Ghostesses. SPOOK-O-METER: (Moderate) Recommended for ages 6 and older.
Kid’s Fun Day Character Trail (Oct. 19, 1 – 4 p.m.) Meet some friendly characters and eat sweet treats; there will be fun Halloween-themed games, too! SPOOK O-METER: (Low) Perfect for all ages.
101 Riverboat Row, Newport
859-740-2293 | ussnightmare.com
Wednesdays – Sundays through Nov. 2
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Navigating through this haunted boat will be anything but a dream! This terrifying tour lasts over half an hour, making it one of the area’s longest haunted tours.
SPOOK-O-METER: (High) Check website for specific age recommendations depending on the tour and experience.
Fall Festivals & Events
Jane’s Saddlebag Halloween FallFest
13989 Ryle Road, Union
859-384-6617 | janessaddlebag.com
Oct. 12 & 13
Explore the haunted kid’s village, go on a hayride, meet the petting zoo animals and of course enjoy some candy, too.
Mermaids & Pirates at Newport Aquarium
1 Aquarium Way, Newport
800-406-3474 | newportaquarium.com
Through Oct. 14
Grab a sparkly, scaly tale or swashbuckling costume! Mini-mermaids and pint-sized pirates will adore meeting real underwater mermaids and pirates who are parading throughout the Aquarium. Learn about ocean conservation at Mermaid Cove or becoming mesmerized as the mermaid swims at Coral Reef.
Sunrock Farms Pumpkin Patch Tours
103 Gibson Lane, Wilder
859-781-5502 | sunrockfarm.org
(Reservations required, call for availability)
During this two-hour tour, families can milk a goat, gather eggs, meet farm animals and take a hayride to find the perfect pumpkin!
Find the Perfect PUMPKIN
Get carvin’ with the perfect pumpkin!
IT’S ALL IN THE STEM! Pam Shaw, “Pumpkin Pam,” co-owner at Shaw Farms, says paying attention to the stem tells a lot about the pumpkin’s health. “One that has a nice hard stem and a nice dark orange color!” she suggests.
ROUNDER THE BETTER. A bigger, rounder pumpkin can make a great start to your masterpiece. “The round ones make for nice, plump faces,” says Shaw.
AVOID HOLES AND BRUISES. For a longer life, find one without any holes, cuts or soft spots.
CHOOSE AN UGLY ONE. Warty,or odd-shaped pumpkins make the spookiest Halloween decor! “There’s a lot of different colored pumpkins, those make well for very, scary faces,” says Shaw.
Conquer a CORN MAZE
Know what you’re getting into before you go for an “a-mazin’” experience!
MAKE IT A TEAM EFFORT! Stick together, and work together!
FOLLOW YOUR … KIDS! If all else fails, follow the kids! Kids love playing the leader.
MAKE YOUR OWN MAP. Know the corn maze before you go, and map out your escape.
HYDRATE! ”Make sure you take plenty of water with you and allow plenty of time,” Shaw suggests. Prepare for the weather and dress accordingly.
FOLLOW THE WALL. “If you always touch the wall, you’ll eventually find your way out,” says Karen Burwinkel, market manager and third generation farmer at Burwinkel Farms.“It It might take forever, but you’ll get there.”
FARM FUN ROUNDUP
(A special advertising section)
BURGER FARM AND GARDEN
7849 Main St. (Route 32), Newton
Burger Farms & Garden hosts one of the largest fall festivals in Cincinnati each Saturday and Sunday, with hayrides, pumpkins, apple cider, rides, games, food, music, farm animals and more. Our festival is the perfect place to spend the day enjoying family-fun activities where kids and adults can run, jump, climb and play. Enjoy 30 different attractions and numerous picture opportunities designed for the whole family.
4359 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton
Celebrate more than 100 years with Burwinkel. Explore the corn maze, skid maze, Halloween scavenger hunt, crawl thru straw tunnel, corn pool and a weekend hayride to the delightful pumpkin patch and sunflower fields. Open daily through October, weekend hayrides to the pumpkin patch and sunflower field (when in bloom).
6922 Four Mile Road, Melbourne
Go on a horse-drawn wagon ride, enjoy weekend craft vendors, live music, petting zoo, pony rides, barrel train rides and an amazing farm shop. The unique model train display — with tons of festive and spooky details — captures everyone’s attention! There’s the fan-favorite corn maze, and a NEW Toddler Corn Maze, too! Weekdays feature limited activities including the farm shop, pumpkin patch, corn maze, barrel train rides and petting zoo; weekend Fall Fest occurs Saturdays and Sundays, and includes all the weekday fun plus special activities. Open through Oct. 27.
1737 Ohio 131, Milford
Grab your flashlight and head to Shaw Farms for their new Flashlight Corn Maze! Enjoy the scenic 160-acre farmland all weeklong, and let the kids run wild in one of the two interactive playgrounds. Fall Festival weekends include bluegrass music, face painting, a kid-friendly 12-acre corn maze and more! Open daily through October (Fall Festival is weekends only).
STATION ROAD FARM
6749 Station Road, West Chester
A lovely barnyard full of fall mums, apples, cider, winter squash, pumpkins and more, plus the kids love the old 1990 playground barnyard and farm animals. Go on a hayride and pick from a variety of pumpkins, too! Open through October.