It's that time of the year again! There's a chill in the air and everywhere you go, there seems to be an aroma of pumpkin spice. Perhaps growing up, you considered going to the local pumpkin patch and taking a spin on the hayride to have the quintessential fall experience. Sure, you're older now, but who says you can't still carve a pumpkin or get lost in a corn maze? We've discovered the coolest pumpkin patches where college students can do just that.
1. Cottonwood Farm (Boulder, Colorado)
Located 4.7 miles from The University of Colorado Boulder
Cottonwood is THE pumpkin patch for the history major in your life. In addition to the traditional corn maze, pumpkin patch and hayride, the farm also offers a display of an old-fashioned steam engine and other farm machinery from the early 1900s! Be sure to stop by on a weekend when they steam up the engine and you can see it in action! Admission is free, with the only additional charge being $3 for a spin on the farm's hayride on Saturdays and Sundays.
2. Wilson's Orchard (Iowa City, IA)
Located: 7.3 miles from The University of Iowa
If apples are more of your thing, you would enjoy Wilson's Orchard, which specializes in the fruit, in addition to pumpkins. From fresh baked turnovers to apple chips, there are certainly no shortage of apple products to taste, give as gifts or hoard for yourself in your dorm room! Be sure to try their famous apple cider and once you're of legal drinking age, look for their hard cider at local restaurants and retailers in the Iowa City area. If you're interested in taking a tractor ride through an alligator creek, for every $5 ticket you purchase, you will be reimbursed by that amount in apples!
3. Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch (Champaign, IL)
Located: 4.9 miles from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Students who are kids at heart will feel right at home at this charming pumpkin patch, which has a Wizard of Oz theme. In addition to the cowardly lion's share of pies, cobblers and other baked goods, Curtis is home to many unique activities such as an obstacle course, petting zoo, corn and rope mazes, mini golf and tractor rides, all of which are $5 and under. For the more sophisticated visitor, the orchard offers live entertainment and horse-drawn carriage rides, as well as canvas & corks classes – wine-and-painting type classes (sans the wine) – that run throughout the fall season, complete with apple cider to sip.
4. Mike's Maze (Sunderland, MA)
Located: 7 miles from The University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Greetings earthlings! If you couldn't tell by the name, the biggest of draw of Mike's Maze is of course, the giant themed eight-acre corn maze! The theme for 2017? Aliens! After you've managed to escape the maze, try your hand at the potato blasters or pedal carts. Look out for the special events Mike's offers throughout the fall season such as Chilifest, Dog Walker's Weekend and for the 21 and over crowd: the beer tasting maze!
Located: 17.2 miles from The University of Nebraska- Lincoln
At Roca Berry Farm, you can get the best of both worlds. During the daytime hours, experience exciting activities such as an 80-foot slide, hayrides, a prairie dog show and a zip line, as well as all the funnel cake, kettle corn and hot dogs you care to enjoy. However, when the sun goes down, you can conquer the Haunted Hayride, Psycho Path, Haunted Manor and House of Illusion if you dare! Admission is $23 for all four experiences. If you still want to experience the farm at night but being scared out of your mind isn't your thing, consider getting a group of friends together and make a reservation for a private campfire!
Located: 12.6 miles from Syracuse University
Abbott Farms offers all the classic pumpkin patch activities including wagon rides, a petting zoo and a monster of a corn maze that you can explore by flashlight on Friday and Saturday nights during the fall. In addition, you can tour the cider press and have the chance to watch cider be made. The farm recommends calling ahead to see if they are pressing on the day of your visit. Abbott is also home to a country store offering baked goods, homemade fudge, country-style gifts, ice cream, free-range beef products and of course, the famous apple cider.
7. Exploration Acres (Lafayette, IN)
Located: 13.5 miles from Purdue University
Before you pick the perfect pumpkin at Exploration Acres, you have to put yourself to the test at the main attraction: the 18-acre corn maze! The largest corn maze in Northwest Indiana and boasting over nine miles of paths, this autumnal labyrinth is truly a beast. The maze even offers a rewards program where you visit checkpoints along the way within the maze to receive coupons to over 20 local businesses such as Subway, Pizza Hut, University Bookstore and more, making it perfect for the college student on a budget.
8. Washington Farms (Athens-Watkinsville, GA)
Located: 16 miles from University of Georgia
Come down to Washington Farms to get lost in a corn maze, cheer on the pig races, try your hand at the pumpkin slingshot or challenge your buddies to a good old-fashioned game of corn hole or tetherball. If you're looking for the perfect personality pic for your Instagram, you're in luck! Washington is home to a sunflower field where you can roam and even pick some flowers yourself from September through November.
Whether you're all about the pumpkins, the apple cider, the corn maze or the Instagram aesthetic, there is the perfect pumpkin patch out there for you! Happy picking!
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