Top fall destinations for corn mazes, other farm activities in southwest Ohio

The Niederman Family Farm corn maze for 2017 looks challenging.
Caption
The Niederman Family Farm corn maze for 2017 looks challenging.

The usual corn mazes and other family-friendly activities are available at local farms again this year.

Here’s a list of local fall destinations where you can enjoy the country and breathe some fresh air under the sun.

Niederman Family Farm

Arguably the most prominent public farm in Butler County due to its Christmas Nativity displays among other things, the Niederman farm also offers a variety of everyday fall activities and special events. A fall visit includes a themed mini-corn maze (Niederman’s 20-year anniversary is the 2021 theme), farm animals, hayrides play areas, a jumping pillow, and a pumpkin patch. Special events include birthday party tables, bonfires, paintball, and a Sunflower Spectacular. The Niedermans are located at 5110 Lesourdsville-West Chester Road, Liberty Twp. Hours are 10 a.m-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, and 1-6 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31. The farm is closed Mondays and Tuesday-Wednesday hours are TBA. Admission is $13. For more information, call 513-779-3228 or visit www.niedermanfamilyfarm.com.

Burwinkel Farms

This third-generation, family-operated farm mainly deals in fresh, affordable produce. But they also offer a variety of fall, family-oriented activities, including a corn maze, skid maze, a crawl-through straw tunnel, a corn pool, weekend hayrides through a sunflower field and pumpkin patch, and a Halloween scavenger hunt. They’ll also be selling over 20 varieties of locally grown apples, gourds, Indian corn, and apple cider. Burwinkel Farms is located at 4359 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton. They’re open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Oct. 31. For more information, including costs, call 513-738-1145 or visit www.burwinkelfarms.com.

Young’s Jersey Dairy

This Yellow Springs farm known for its homemade ice cream features Cowvin’s Corny Maze Playland (named for the baby cow of the family). You can also find a pick-your-own-pumpkin-patch, miniature golf, batting cages, a driving range, and a kiddie slide and corral. There will also be haunted wagon rides when the season comes. Special events include the 25th Annual Wool Gathering on Sept. 18, featuring sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, Angora rabbits and other wool-bearing animals. There will also be special deals throughout to commemorate the farm’s 152nd anniversary. Young’s is located at 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road, Yellow Springs. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday, and 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 31. Activity wristbands are $17.95-$24.95. For more information, call 937-325-0569 or visit www.youngsdairy.com.

Blooms and Berries

This Loveland farm and market has been around for 80 years. It features a pumpkin patch and hayrides, farm animals, duck races, a pumpkin bounce pad, bee train rides, and a sunflower field. The five-acre corn maze is FC Cincinnati-themed. Locate the various game stations to see who wins the tournament. Special events include Pups, Pints & Pumpkins on Sept. 24, and Sips & Sunflowers, a date night-themed event where you sip local wine and craft beer on Sept. 30. Blooms & Berries is also known for their cider and caramel apples, beer garden, and discount specials such as ½ off Toddler Tuesdays and ½ Off Grandparents Thursdays. Blooms & Berries is located at 9669 S. St. Rt. 48, Loveland. They’re open daily from 9:30 a.m.- 7 p.m. Admission is $10.95-$14.95, and children 2 and younger are admitted free. For more information, call 513-697-9173 or visit www.bloomsandberries.com.

Brown’s Family Farm Market

This Hamilton farm is bringing back its fall fun weekends. These include the barrel train, hayrides, food trucks, farm animals, play areas, a corn maze, and lots of pumpkins. Brown’s is known for their homegrown sweet corn, apple cider, apple butter, and locally grown apples. The Big White Barn will be open and the market sells Indian corn, squash, gourds, mums, and pumpkins. Brown’s is located at 11620 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton. The store and play areas are open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Barrel Train and hayrides operate 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays through Oct. 31. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 513-738-0404 or visit www.brownsfarmmarket.com.

Iron’s Fruit Farm

This fourth-generation family farm located in Lebanon features a 12-acre corn maze. There are also hayrides for pumpkins. Both the corn maze and hayrides are ideal for 15 or more people, so school field trip outings are encouraged. There are also farm animals, apple cider, cinnamon-cider donuts, and a bakery and market selling homemade apple butter and jellies, candies, ice cream, apple fritters, pies, turnovers, dumplings, and more. (Iron’s is located at1640 Stubbs Mills Road, Lebanon. Farm fun hours are 9 a.m-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, and10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31. Reservations are required for the corn maze and hayride for pumpkins. For more information, call 513-932-2853 or visit www.ironfruitfarm.com.

Shaw’s Farm

This Milford farm is best known for its annual Pumpkin Times weekends. Use your GPS and game card to negotiate the 15-acre corn maze, find all the destination spots, and come out with a Halloween-themed pumpkin. There are horse and tractor-drawn hayrides that will take you on a scenic ride over the farm’s 160 acres. The two interactive playgrounds have themes from popular cartoons, fairy tales, and Disney movies. Other activities are pedal kart races and live music. Shaw’s is located at 1737 Ohio 131, Milford. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends through Oct. 31. Admission to the farm (the store and market) is free. For Pumpkin Times prices, call 513-575-2022 or visit www.shawmarket.com.

Tom’s Maze and Pumpkin Farm

Tom’s is celebrating its 24th birthday. Their award-winning, eight-acre maze has a cookie-cutter theme this year. To escape the maze, you have to solve the puzzle. Activities include a giant boardwalk, a sunflower field, and over 50 varieties of pumpkin and squash. Special activities are human foosball, the No Left Turn Maze, and the Tom’s Punkin’ Chunkin’ Cannon, a 25-foot cannon mounted on a vintage Ford Firetruck that shoots pumpkins a quarter of a mile. Campfire area reservations are also available. Tom’s is located at 4881 Germantown-Liberty Road, Germantown. Hours are noon-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, and noon-6 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays through Oct. 30. Admission is $10 for all visitors age 5 and up. For more information, call 937-866-2777 or visit www.tomsmaze.com.

Gorman Heritage Farm

This farm offers 122 acres of varied fields and exotic farm animals. In addition to sheep, goats, mules, and chickens, there is a zebu cow, mini horses and a mini donkey. Its biggest attraction is the Oct. 2-3 Sunflower Festival, with live music, hayrides, food trucks, a corn maze, a beer garden, and cut-your-own sunflowers for $1. There are a variety of gardens, including a children’s garden, market garden, and woodland garden. You can take a hiking trail through the hillside or see historic structures like the Bank Barn. One special family activity is their Ringo (named for their Haflinger pony) scavenger hunt, where you find and check off certain farm structures until you have a “Ringo!” Other special events include Meditation on the Farm, a medicinal plant hike, pasta cooking in the garden, goat milk soap making, and more. Gorman is located at 10052 Reading Road, Evendale. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Preregistration for special events is required. Admission to the Sunflower Festival is $5-$10. For more information, including other costs, call 513-563-6663 or visit www.gormanfarm.org.