By: Lauren Gullett
We recently learned about the vast array of local Pumpkin Patches and Corn Maze Festivals from a post on Fill Your Plate. Having met in the mountains of northeast Tennessee, my husband and I have experienced the leaves changing colors, cooler temperatures, and a fall much different from what we have in the valley. So, we talked about it and decided to take our family on a day trip out of the still near triple digit temperatures in the suburbs and up to cooler temperatures for a taste of fall.
We pulled out the long sleeve shirts, put on jeans, and had to hunt down some jackets before we loaded the kids in the van and headed north to Mortimer Family Farms in Dewey, Arizona, just outside of Prescott.
When we drove into the parking lot, we were greeted by uniformed officers directing traffic, one sitting on his horse. We parked the car and before I could even finish unloading, the kids ran off to play in the nearby peek-thru sign surrounded by hay bales and pumpkins. After a few laughs and snapping a couple family pictures, they were off again to feed the sheep in the little nearby pen some hay. All of this fun and we weren’t yet even to the main event!
We waited for only a couple of moments for our transportation down to the event… a real-life hayride on a trailer pulled by a giant tractor! We climbed on and were taken down the dirt road a bit to the main entrance. Of course seeing the kids playing by the sign on the hay bales garnished with scarecrows, and pumpkins, it was another photo op for the mom.
Our first stop was to buy some tickets for the day. With music playing from the main stage where groups performed various acts from singing to dancing, we headed off to the games and rides. The kids loved being pulled around by a giant John Deer green tractor in the barrel ride. We adored the driver, wearing his blue faded overalls and blowing his wooden train whistle as he drove! The kids had so much fun on the barrel ride, they wanted to do it twice!
They had a blast jumping, climbing, jousting, racing, and sliding on all the bouncers. Our 7 year old attempted the climbing wall while our 5 year old made it all the way to the top of the 20 foot climbing tower where each level of crisscrossed rope was separated by about 3 feet of space! She loved the slide down from the top! Visitors had the opportunity to ride ponies or even ride a calf! Options for fun abounded with opportunities to purchase face painting, kettle corn, cotton candy, handcrafted items, a haunted house, lots of food and drinks…and more I’m sure I’m forgetting!
Then, we headed off to face the challenge of the corn maze. It has three different sections in the giant maze of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney “Duking it Out” with their gloves on in honor of the 2012 Presidential Election. We loved the signs at each of the three entrances to the three sections: You Probably Won’t Get Lost, You Might Get Lost, You’re Gonna Get Lost. Our family navigated the bottom section pretty easily and they were true to their word; we didn’t get lost. The middle section was a bit more challenging as we made our way through the tall corn, but we didn’t get lost.
Though we live with farms nearby us in the valley, it was a great opportunity to be able to stop and point out the corn still on the stalks to the kids, showing them up close how it grows on the plant and have them recognize what they’ve only seen bought from the store. As parents, we enjoyed the opportunity for our “city kids” to learn a bit more about where the food they eat comes from. We then made our way towards the exit of that section, heading back across the chins of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama (shhh, don’t give away the secret!).
We walked across the dirt road, waiting as people taking rides on horses went past, and walked through the huge field of pumpkins. There were lots of willing helpers, including kids offering to load families’ prized finds from the pumpkin patch into their wheelbarrows and cart them to the checkout stand for tips. Of course, the pumpkin patch was another “photo op” for the mom!
After a full morning of fun, we loaded the family back on the trailer for our tractor ride back up to the main parking area. Our final stop was walking through the nursery of plants and trees as well as taking in all of the delicious options of locally made food in the General Store.
We had a great visit to Mortimer Family Farms! Everyone was so friendly and helpful, so hospitable, and our family had an amazing time! The city kids learned a bit about what it’s like in the country and we ALL loved the chance to experience a little taste of fall.
- Get Lost! The Mortimer’s Corn Maze Opens October 5th! (fillyourplate.org)
- Arizona Fall, Corn Maze, and Halloween Festivals 2012 (fillyourplate.org)