It’s hard to believe summer is nearly over. Kids are back in school; mornings and evenings are getting cooler; and soon the leaves will turn beautiful shades of yellows and reds. Though Iowa is known for its Indian summers, it’s just a matter of time before pumpkin spice takes over our air freshners and coffees.
The autumnal equinox officially arrives Saturday, Sept. 22 according to the Farmer’s Almanac. It is the astronomical start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere; days become shorter and we will soon have to “fall back” and change the clocks to reflect an hour earlier. (Daylights Savings happens Sunday, Nov.4.)
Fall in Iowa means football games, romps in the corn mazes, scenic road trips, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, hayrack rides, and bonfires.
Just because the weather is turning cooler is no reason to stop having fun. Here are a few apple orchards and farms in our area offering fun activities this fall:
5801 N 10th Street, Marion, Iowa 52302
Located just north of Marion, Allen’s is a family-run orchard that hosts field trips, weddings, bonfires and much more. Allen’s offers over 40 varieties of delicious apples that are available in various parts of the year.
Visit on Saturday and Sunday during Open Season and pick your own apples. Allen’s also has fresh grown produce, unique gifts, and scrumptious treats like donuts, turnovers, cookies, pies and caramel apples.
Allen’s is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information, visit their website at www.allensorchard.com.
Bart’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch
7307 Alburnett Rd, Marion, Iowa 52302
Bart’s opens Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9 am. Pony rides will be held from noon to 4 pm and are $7 each. There are other activities for the kids to do including hayrack rides, small pedal tractors and a small corn maze. Schedule a field trip or display delivery by calling 319-373-2633. More information can be found on their Facebook page.
The Big Apple Orchard
1115 Hwy 30 W, Mt. Vernon, Iowa 52314
The Big Apple Orchard is a family run apple orchard in Mount Vernon. The Big Apple Orchard has approximately 2,000 apple trees and 22 varieties of apples.
Located two miles west of Mount Vernon, right along Highway 30. Look for the yellow house and Statue of Liberty barn on the north side of the road, where the four lane changes to a two lane (when heading east).
The Big Apple Orchard is now open. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Fridays, 3-6 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am-6 pm, and closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.
More information can be found at bigappleorchard.com.
Bass Family Farms
840 Bass Lane, Mt Vernon, Iowa 52314
Featuring pesticide and herbicide-free veggies, sweet corn, pumpkins, gourds, jams, jellies, sauces, dips, soaps, popcorn, free range eggs, locally raised beef products, Edgewood Locker meat, coffee, wines from across the world, and specialty chocolates.
Bass Family Farms also offer hay-rides, educational tours, and corporate or group outings, as well as private parties. Contact us at (319) 895-6480 for information, or visit their website at bassfarms.org.
245 Hwy. 1 South, Mt Vernon, Iowa 52314
Kroul Farms offers Indian corn, gourds and squash, straw bales, corn-shucks, and specialty pumpkins, and are available for fall decorating projects and events.
This Halloween, pull your wagon through the spooky graveyard and past the haunted old car. See how tall you are this year on the big "how tall this fall" sign and take your picture as Frankenstein. The 3-acre corn maze is quite a challenge, so a smaller version is made out of round bales for the little ones.
Visit their website at kroulfarms.com for more information.
3260 69th St, Atkins, Iowa 52206
Bloomsbury Farm offers a huge pumpkin patch, as well as a variety of other activities, including 2 corn mazes, hayrack rides, jumping pillow, zip line, petting zoo, gift shop, and much more. The cost is $8.95 per person Mon. through Fri., and $12.50 per person on the weekends. Kids 2 and under are free.
Bloomsbury Farms also offers Scream Acres, featuring the haunted cornfield. Details can be found at www.bloomsburyfarm.com. Bloomsbury Acres pumpkin patch is open until Oct. 31.
Colony Pumpkin Patch
2780 Front St NE, North Liberty, Iowa 52317
Colony Pumpkin Patch has over 15 acres of carving and decorative pumpkins, a variety of squash and gourds, and a 5-acre corn maze and fall festival Oct. 6 that continues to expand every year.
Colony Pumpkin Patch is open Sept. 15 to Oct. 28, Monday through Friday 4 pm – 6 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.
The Flashlight Maze is available Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28 to Oct. 27, from 7-10 pm. (Last ticket sold at 9:30 pm)
For more information, visit colonypumpkinpatch.com.
4823 Dingleberry Road NE, Iowa City, Iowa 52240
Wilson’s is a U-Pick apple orchard located just North of Iowa City with family activities happening all season. Wilson’s Orchard has 120 different varieties of apple trees and offers pumpkins, as well.
Trailer Rides cost $5 per person (4 years old and up), and are completely redeemable in apples. So, if you buy two trailer ride tickets for $10, you can receive the same amount back in apples.
Wilson’s Orchard is open daily through October 10 am to 6 pm. Visit their website for details at willsonsorchard.com or on their Facebook page.