Local Pumpkin Patches and Apple Orchards Erupt with Fall Activities and Offerings This Season

Plenty of local farms burst with fresh produce this time of year, as temperatures begin to drop and trees flaunt shades of orange and red. Gather up the family for a mini road trip to one of these nearby spots.

Country Sun Farm in Lake Elmo features several activities for the whole family. “People should come out in the fall, because we offer a total family experience,” says Keith Bergmann. “There is something for everyone to do.” With hayrides, a petting zoo, an indoor corn pit, a gem mining area and a silly string zone, where kids can revel in spraying each other with silly string, the farm offers tons of activities alongside a wide selection of pumpkins and fall decorations.

Out in Hastings, Afton Apple Orchard offers a variety of pumpkins and all things apple, including 14 varieties of fresh apples, frozen unbaked pies and homemade jams. Explore a 15-acre corn maze with a “Bee Amazing” theme and bounce around on an inflatable jump pad. You can also pick berries during the summer months. “We never take for granted that our customers make a choice to come visit us,” the orchard’s assistant manager, Sarah Parkos, says. “They could go to the grocery store to buy their produce, but instead, choose to come out to our farm for the experience.”

Those looking to celebrate fall with hand-picked, bi-color, triple sweet, non-GMO corn need look no further than Schiltgen Farms in Afton. The farm, started over 60 years ago, boasts more than 40 different varieties of pumpkins and more than eight types of squash. They sell straw and corn shocks for decoration and split firewood bundles to fuel cozy bonfires. “We always look forward to seeing our returning customers and meeting new customers,” Amy and Brian Schiltgen say. “We are honored to be a part of many family memories and traditions.”