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Pumpkin patches (still) make for great fall fun

Addy Porter, business manager

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For many families across the United States, as soon as the leaves start changing colors and the crisp autumn air blows through the windows, pumpkin patches come to mind.

Pumpkin patches across the United States usually open around the last week of September, and stay open through the end of October. From hay rack rides, to picking a pumpkin from the designated patch, pumpkin patches are becoming more and more popular every fall.

“I like to go to the corn mazes,” sophomore Malik Ngugi said. “I also like going to the playgrounds [at the pumpkin patch] and picking the coolest pumpkin there .”

Pumpkin patches may seem like a place that only young children would enjoy, but people of all ages can find something to fit their preferences.

“[My favorite thing is] the rides on the wagon,” freshman Jackson Burrus said. “It’s fun to see all the pumpkins while going on a wagon ride too.”

Pumpkin patches started over 3,000 years ago as a way for people to purchase pumpkins for  the Celtic celebration of Samhain, a festival that started over 3,000 years ago. Glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones and also to act as protection against malevolent spirits.

Halloween did not really catch on in the United States until the late 1800’s, but ever since then, it has been celebrated in many ways, including by going to pumpkin patches.

Wichita has many pumpkin patches across the city that are entertaining for all ages. After going to many different ones, here is what I think of a few of the pumpkin patches on the East side of Wichita.

 

East side pumpkin patches breakdown


Walter’s:

Address: 10001 US-77, Burns, KS 66840

Cost: Mon – Fri: $10, Sat – Sun: $13

Most popular activities: Corn Maze and hayride to pumpkin patch

Hours: Mon – Sat: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sundays: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed Walter’s. There was a lot to do, and the pumpkin patch was beautiful. The hayride to the pumpkin patch was one of the highlights. Their staff is also very friendly. The only downsides were the admission price, and it was pretty busy.


Applejack:

Address: 10007 SW Indianola Rd, Augusta, KS 67010

Cost: $9 per person (2 and under are FREE)

Most popular activities: Pumpkin Patch, Zip line, and Hamster wheels

Hours: Tues – Fri: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (closed Mondays) Sat – Sun: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Rating: 5/5

I loved Applejack pumpkin patch. There was a lot to do, and it was not as expensive as other pumpkin patches. There is a military discount. There were many different attractions, and my siblings and I all had fun. It was a little packed, but that was not problem at all. However, I have driven by the pumpkin patch many times and the parking lot has been full, so I would suggest going on a weekday. We didn’t have to wait in line for very long.

 


Marietta Farm’s:

Address:  1600 E US-54 HWY, Andover, KS 67002

Cost: Mon – Fri: $5, Sat – Sun: $7 (2 and under are FREE)

Most popular activities: Inflatable Bouncers and Corn Cannons

Hours: Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. –  6 p.m., Sat – Sun: 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Rating: 3/5

I enjoyed Marietta Farm’s more than I had expected to. The cost on a weekday is pretty reasonable, but it is not quite the same experience as going to a pumpkin patch like Applejack or Walter’s. It was not busy at all when we went, and the staff was very kind. You do have to pay for both admission and tickets to do many of the main attractions. There were also many activities to do, but it was pretty small and is basically in a gravel parking lot. Overall though, I enjoyed it.

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Pumpkin patches (still) make for great fall fun