Halloween is just around the corner and no better time to pick the perfect pumpkin and enjoy some fall family fun. There’s no shortage of opportunities across Southwest Ohio to enjoy pumpkins, hayrides and other fun, fall festivities perfect for the whole family.
Here are 10 of our favorite Halloween traditions that focus on the pumpkin and all things non-scary.
THE GREAT PUMPKIN FEST
The Great Pumpkin Fest takes place Saturdays and Sundays at Kings Island. It is included with park admission to Kings Island.
The Great Pumpkin Fest features family-friendly Halloween activities for guests of all ages including live entertainment, mazes, trick-or-treating, a kids’ costume contest, character meet-and-greets with the Peanuts gang, pony rides and a petting farm.
Address: 6300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Island, Mason
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, through Oct. 29, noon to 6 p.m.
Cost: Tickets as low as $31.99 online at www.visitkingsisland.com
Phone: (513) 754-5700
Jack-O-Lantern Junction at EnterTRAINment Junction features kid-friendly Halloween fun with an indoor, no-scare walk-through trick-or-treat maze with ghosts, skeletons, cobwebs and multiple treat stations; also, the area’s only indoor Pumpkin Patch (where kids get a free mini-pumpkin), plus Halloween crafts, a talking pumpkin, and a Halloweenville miniature animated display. Outside there is a kid-size straw maze, and Halloween themed hand-cranked train cars and electric train ride (weather permitting). All other EnterTRAINment Attractions are also open.
Address: 7379 Squire Court, West Chester
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sundays noon-6 p.m. Open through Oct. 31.
Cost: Various packages start at $9.95
Phone: (513) 898-8000
A national television crew will be on hand during the weekend to feature the event’s first Sculpting Competition, plus various aspects of Hamilton. Entertainment for the weekend includes the award-winning pumpkin and watermelon weigh-off. Operation Pumpkin currently holds the world record for watermelon, weighing in at 350.5 lbs., and the state pumpkin record, weighing in at 2,008 lbs. Additional entertainment includes the Naked Karate Girls on Friday night, DV8 on Saturday night and The Amy Sailor Band on Sunday afternoon. Cute factor highlights include the Lil’ Miss Punkin contest and the crowd favorite Pet Parade. Arts and crafts vendors and Food Truck Alley will be lining High Street and surrounding the Butler County Courthouse, along with a Wine Garden in Pocket Park featuring West Central Wine.
Address: Downtown Hamilton
Hours: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13-14 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public.
YOUNG’S JERSEY DAIRY
Young’s may be famous for its ice cream, but it’s also a top destination for fall family fun. You could easily spend all day at Young’s. Meet some friendly farm animals at their petting zoo, get lost in their corn maze, play miniature golf or test your strength at the driving range. They have not one but two full-service restaurants, so you could theoretically enjoy lunch and dinner. You don’t have to be interested in pick-your-own pumpkins to enjoy a wagon ride around the farm.
Address: 6880 Springfield Xenia Road, Yellow Springs.
Hours: Open 11 a.m. -6 p.m. daily.
Cost: Pick your own pumpkin with wagon ride to patch: $8.50 per pumpkin or 3 for $24. Cowvin’s Corny Maze is $6.50 a person age 5 and older. Children age 11 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. The price includes a wagon ride to and from the maze.
More info: https://youngsdairy.com
NIEDERMAN FAMILY FARM
Niederman Family Farm has a big change this season. The location of the corn maze is now on the farm’s beautiful “back 40.” This picturesque area of the farm will give you a beautiful view of woods and Gregory Creek.
The fall festival wristband is a one-price admission for everything, except for pumpkins and food. Included in the admission is the corn maze, the kiddie corn maze, a hayride, a barrel train, climbing hills, a pipe swing, a climbing web, 9 square in the air, volleyball, tether ball, pumpkin school, giant swing, giant rocker, educational areas, and more.
Address: Niederman Family Farm has a new parking lot entrance, 5110 Lesourdsville West Chester Rd, Liberty Twp.
Hours: Open through Oct. 29. Wednesday and Thursday 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Friday 6-10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday 1-6 p.m.
Cost: Gate admission is $12 per person age 2 and over.
Phone: (513) 779-3228
Website: More information and discounted admission tickets at www.niedermanfamilyfarm.com
Facebook:Niederman Family Farm
Burwinkel Farms features three traditional mazes (2 separate corn mazes and 1 skid maze) that will leave you turning around at dead end after dead end. For an added challenge, find the four scavenger hunt items within each maze. Burwinkel Farms activities also include a hayride through the sunflower field with a mission to find nine themed scarecrows along the way. The hayride will take you to a “pick your own” pumpkin patch and a blooming sunflower field to hike through to get a pumpkin and sunflower for free.
Visit the goats, follow the Halloween Scavenger hunt, and play in the corn pool. While you’re there, grab some homegrown apples and apple cider. Light snacks, including homemade caramel apples, and drinks are available for sale.
Address: 4359 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton
Hours: Open Daily 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Most activities available during business hours. Hayrides run 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday. Runs through Sunday, Oct. 29.
Cost: Weekends $7 per person (includes a pie pumpkin and a sunflower, when in bloom), weekdays $4 for activities, under 2-years-old are free.
Phone: (513) 738-1145
BROWN’S FAMILY FARM MARKET
Brown’s Family Farm Market offers affordable fun for everyone at their Fall Family Fun Weekends. Most activities around the farm are free, including their corn maze, farm animal displays, play village, New Crazy Maze, New Tractor Play areas, New Corn Crib play area and more. They also offer free parking and a picnic area, which can be reserved for parties and group meetings. The highlight of the visit is always the hayride and picking a pumpkin. Hayrides are $4 a person for ages 3 and up. Pumpkins are paid for separately in the store, where you can also find local apples, cider, Amish baked goods, fresh produce, and tons of fall treats.
Address: 11620 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, OH 45013
Hours: Through Oct. 31. Fall Family Fun Weekends are Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Hayrides are offered from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only. The store is open every day from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Cost: Many of the attractions are free; hayrides are $4. Items are available for purchase.
Phone: (513) 738-0404
IRONS FRUIT FARM
Take a hayride to pick your own pumpkins and while you’re there, test your wits in the corn maze. While you’re there, grab some apples and some treats from the bakery: Apple fritters, pies, cinnamon-cider donuts, cookies and more.
Address: 1640 Stubbs Mill Road, Lebanon.
Hours: Pick your own pumpkins on weekends through October: Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The corn maze is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Cost: The wagon ride is free; you just pay for the pumpkin by-the-pound. The corn maze is $5 for ages 5-12 and $7 for ages 13 and up.
Social media info: Facebook
Location: 2393 State Route 202, Troy.
Hours: Pumpkin picking on October weekends between 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fulton’s Farm market is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Cost: $7 for hayride, choice of pumpkin and access to the activity area, which includes slides that end in a big pile of straw, in addition to a kid-friendly corn maze, and farm animals including pigs, chickens goats and sheep.
Social media info: Facebook
BRUMBAUGH FRUIT AND FUN FARM
Brumbaugh Fruit and Fun Farm has over 24 different activities, including two corn mazes, a wagon ride, a pumpkin patch, a kiddie swing zipline, a bumpy tunnel slide, play areas and more.
Address: 6420 Arcanum-Hollansburg Road, Arcanum.
Hours: Open weekends through Oct. 31. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 7 p.m.
Cost: $8 admission to the entire farm
Social media info: Facebook
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.