DARKE COUNTY — Although COVID-19 has created a few disruptions to daily routines and school schedules, Darke County families are determined to enjoy the autumn season while staying safe.
Among the many treasured fall family fun traditions celebrated throughout October, nothing quite compares to taking an annual pilgrimage to the local pumpkin patch, picking apples at an orchard, or strolling through a corn maze. As Halloween approaches, many youngsters, parents and grandparents look forward to a few more days of crisp fall weather at the park, or jumping into the growing piles of crackling leaves before the blustery winter winds soon arrive. Fall family fun awaits just a short half-hour drive within (and just beyond) the county line for those who wish to blaze new trails.
The Brumbaugh Fruit Farm, located at 6420 Arcanum-Hollansburg Road in Arcanum, is a Darke County family favorite venue for making memories during the fall. Owner Winston Brumbaugh and son-in-law, Shane Bietry, invite all to visit the “Fun Farm,” consisting of 25 family-friendly attractions, two five-acre corn mazes, petting zoo, a pumpkin patch, as well as a Bakery and Farm Market (open year round) with delicious fresh produce and savory baked goods. Cost is $10 for ages 4 to 64, through Oct. 31. Family Fun Farm weekend hours are Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, from 12 to 7 p.m. For more info, visit www.brumbaughfruitfarm.com.
Another local fall favorite is the Aultman Farm, located at 7033 Horatio Harris Creek Road, in Greenville. The Aultman family has been offering all types and sizes of pumpkins, mums, gourds, and corn stalks since the 1950s. Doris and Larry Aultman live on the family farm, and raise sheep, chickens and ducks. It is a fun place to stop by and find some favorite fall items and decorations. Visit them at aultmanfarms.weebly.com.
Within a half-hour drive, just 20 miles southwest of Greenville, is Today’s Harvest, located at 5859 Ohio Route 320, in New Paris, which features an amazing variety of children’s activities, including a corn cannon, giant chess, duck races, a corn maze, and wooden barrel train rides on weekends. At 26 acres, owners Tom and Lisa Jordan offer the largest corn maze in Ohio, with over 8 miles of walking paths and two challenging games. Seasonal treats, such as pumpkin donuts, caramel apples and peanut butter pie, are available in the market, which is open year-round. Weekend hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. Cost is $7, with $1 off admission when bringing a non-perishable food item. For more info, visit www.todaysharvestfarm.com.
Another half-hour drive, just 24 miles south of Greenville, is Majestic Nursery and Gardens, located at 2100 Preble County Line Rd., in West Alexandria. This beautiful sesquicentennial family farm offers many fall attractions including a petting zoo, children’s play area, hayrides and a pumpkin patch train for small children on weekends. Overseen by Jeff and Karen Pansing, the ‘Amazing Maze,’ now in its 23rd season, is located in a 20 acre corn field, with an observation deck within the middle of the maze and optional treasure hunt wherein adventurers can win a mini pumpkin. Cost is $5 for ages 5 and up, open through Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more info, visit www.majesticnurseryandgardens.com.
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-4314.