After 4 years of blogging (and 5 fall seasons!) we’ve noticed that people take their pumpkin picking pretty seriously around these parts. Sure, you can pull up to your favorite farm stand and pick out a Jack-O-Lantern-worthy gourd, but then you’d be missing out on half the fun. When you’ve got kids in tow, no pumpkin purchase is complete without a good ol’ fashioned wagon ride! And today I’m going to tell you about our latest pumpkin-picking adventure out at Burke Ridge Farms in Ellington, CT.
Last summer, on the recommendation of a reader, I ventured out to Burke Ridge Farms with my crew to check out their ice cream stand and petting zoo (you can read that post here). And when I heard that they also had some fun activities for fall, I couldn’t wait to return to check out those festivities as well!
Since I’ve already written about this destination before, I won’t go into all the nitty gritty details as you can find those here. Instead, I’m just going to show you some quick pics of our latest adventure.
First of all, the hayrides run on weekends only in October until Halloween (the last day this season is Saturday, October 31st). They run from about 10:30am to 5:00pm. The cost to ride is $6/adults (age 13 and up), $4/kids 4-12 & FREE for kids 3 and under. You can purchase your admission in the store prior to boarding the wagon. Cash is their much-preferred method of payment for this.
The tractor-pulled wagon (check out those wheels on the tractor!) will pull up in front of the store, so you can wait there for the next ride. There is no real schedule for the rides– they just come and go. The ride takes about 30 minutes including a stop at the pumpkin patch. And just a little word of warning: it’s a bumpy, BUMPY ride!!!
The hayride goes back out into the farm where you can see the gorgeous views of fall at its finest, and then stops at the pumpkin patch before returning to the store/parking area. For this venue, the price of the hayride does not include the pumpkin. However, the nice thing about this hayride experience is that you can actually pick out a good size carving pumpkin. Typically I’ve found that with hayrides where the pumpkin is included in the price, they tend to offer only smaller sugar pumpkins which are adorable and beloved by kids, but often aren’t so good for making into your family’s Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. So here at Burke Ridge Farms you can really get yourself a pumpkin!
Back at the farm store we paid for our pumpkins.
The kids also spent some time
making friends with perusing the ghoulish decorating accessories 🙂
Out back, there is also a giant hay bale maze! I’ve never seen anything quite like this before:
The pricing for admission to the maze is the same as for the hayride (you pay for the activities separately). We did not have time to explore the maze that day because the little guy needed to get home for a nap, but I’m sure the kids would have loved running around in there!
Instead, we headed over to grab ourselves a scoop of ice cream (naptime was not going to preempt that activity!). It’s worth pausing for a moment to note that the ice cream window has some new fall hours:
Their seasonal ice cream flavors are apple pie and pumpkin. Yumm. I couldn’t resist trying the pumpkin. It was delicious.
This place also wins the prize for the largest “kiddie” size ever. My pumpkin cone was a “kiddie” size and so were these two mountainous cups that my boys devoured!
After we finished the ice cream, we headed over to the barn for a visit with the friendly animals at the petting zoo.
That is some pig!
If you’ve read my original post, you know that there are food dispensers nearby so you can even feed the animals (and the fish in the pond too). Bring your quarters!
Before we headed home, I couldn’t resist picking out some cute gourds for a festive centerpiece on my dining room table. At two for $1 they were a bargain!
So if you are planning on snagging that perfect pumpkin this weekend–or even if you’re just looking for a fun fall-themed outing with the family to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and spectacular views–head out to Burke Ridge Farms in Ellington for their seasonal offerings. It’s a great way to spend a quintessentially New England autumn day!
Or, you can check out one of the other fall-themed wagon rides we’ve discovered over the years! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Brown’s Harvest: Located in Windsor. Hayrides are available weekends only with admission through the end of October.
- Easy Pickins Orchard: Located in Enfield. FREE wagon rides on Sunday afternoons at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm in October. Apple picking available every day except Tuesdays and scarecrow making available on the weekends. Cash or check only for this location!
- Karabin Farms: Located in Southington. Wagon rides offered Friday to Monday each week. Wagon rides are $1 per person for ages 4 and up but the ride is FREE if you are picking apples or pumpkins.
- Flamig Farm: Located in Simsbury. Scenic daytime hayrides are offered weekends in October from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. The cost is $5 per person and under age 2 is free.
- Foster Family Farm: Located in South Windsor. Hayrides are available daily in October and included with the price of admission.
- Lyman Orchards: Located in Middlefield. Horse-drawn wagon rides are available for a fee on weekends in October.
- March Farm: Located in Bethlehem, CT. Hilltop hayrides are open Saturdays &Sundays until the end of October. Cost is $2 per person for unlimited rides through the hill top orchard.
- Pickin’ Patch: Located in Avon. FREE hayrides are available to the pumpkin picking patch each weekend through October 25th from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
- Riverview/Robb’s Farm: Located in South Glastonbury. Hayrides are offered each weekend through the first weekend in November. Price is $6 per person and includes a sugar pumpkin. Under 5 rides for free.
- Scotts Yankee Farmer: Located in East Lyme. Wagon rides are available each weekend through the end of October. Price is $2 per person.
- Hurst Farm: Located in Andover. Hayrides weekends in October from 1pm-3pm. Price is around $7.50/person (2014 pricing) and the ride lasts about 45 minutes and includes a small pumpkin. (Under 2 is free but no pumpkin.)
And once you’ve got that perfect pumpkin, you can check out some of our ideas for kid-friendly pumpkin decorating!
Happy Fall Everyone!
Don’t forget to check their Facebook page for any pertinent updates before you go!
See my original post for more details.
Hours & Pricing (for 2015):
Ice Cream Window Fall Hours:
Monday & Tuesday: 3:00pm-8:30pm
Wednesday through Sunday: 9:00am-8:30pm
Hayrides weekends in October through Halloween (Saturday, 10/31) from 10:30am to 5:00pm.
Cost is $6/adult (13+), $4/per child(4-12) and under 3 is FREE; pumpkins not included in hayride pricing. Pumpkins are $.69/pound for carving pumpkins and $2.99/each for sugar pumpkins.
Hay Bale Maze is the same pricing as the hayride (not included in the price of the hayride).
Cash preferred. Credit cards are accepted in the store only.
Petting zoo is FREE (but bring quarters for the animal food).
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!
Interested in advertising opportunities with Out and About Mom? Get more info here.
Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?
Check back every week as we dish up more Momsense for getting out and about with your little ones. Don’t have time to check back in? Let us send you an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox by signing up here. Also, you can like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.