This weekend we decided to enjoy an unusually warm 88 degree October day by spending it outside at the Wayside Farm Pumpkin Patch. The farm is located about an hour's drive outside of DC, in the town of Berryville, Virginia. There's nothing like a sunny drive through the changing leaves of Autumn to start the day!
As we arrived at Wayside Farms, we were welcomed by two giant Angry Birds--this year's theme for the farm. It's no wonder kids darted from the car to the farm as fast as their little legs could carry them! Of all the pumpkin patches we have visited over the years, Wayside Farms is by far the most child-friendly. As a former educator, I am always impressed when activities are both fun and educational for kids. This farm has put effort into making sure this is the case.
- Pumpkin Playhouse
- Pig Races (my favorite!)
- Goat Walk
- Farm animals-llamas, donkeys, goats, and more!
- Pumpkin Bowling
- Pumpkin Checkers/Tic-Tac-Toe
- Combine Slide
- Straw Bale Playground
- Duck Pump Races
- Little Farmer Play Trough
- John Deer Tricycle Racetrack
- Tether ball
- Construction Zone Sand Pile
- Roping Straw-bellied Bulls
- Hay Ride
- Corn Maze
What we really liked about the activity arrangement is that it is all centrally located, so that parents can always easily see their children as they run from game to game.
At around 11 o'clock, visitors claimed a seat on a hay bale in preparation for the pig races! The woman who runs these races is fantastic! She kept us all entertained and taught us all about pigs before the races began. You can tell they love these animals and take very good care of them. She kept the races interactive by asking the audience questions, allowing a few kids to participate in the bell ringing and gate opening, and asking everyone to pick a pig and cheer it on. I imagine this was a favorite of most everyone's day!
This maze is impressive! At the start of the maze, you are handed a card with 10 angry birds questions on it. The correct answers tell you whether to make a left or a right at each checkpoint. You can choose from an easier or harder route before you begin. We had never seen this kind of corn maze before and found it really fun. If you have a smartphone with you, be sure to scan the code before entering. This will give you a map of the maze in case you find yourself at a loss for how to get out. It was awesome to see young kids feeling like the leaders of the maze because they knew all of the Angry Bird answers better than we did!
I don't know about you, but I've never been on a hay ride before where I actually learned about farm crops and methods, while enjoying a drive-by scavenger hunt of objects hiding in the corn-lined path! Our hay ride guide told us all about the corn and soy beans they grow on the farm and what they use them for. He even passed around a soy bean plant for everyone to see, touch, and taste (if they dared). We all had fun pointing out the objects we saw hiding in the corn field along the ride. On the way back, he told us about how they take care of their pumpkins-over 50 different kinds!
All in all, Wayside Farms makes for a memorable family outing with little ones. It's certainly worth making a day of it.
Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day 10:00 am-6:00 pm
5273 Harry Byrd Highway, Berryville, VA 22611
Disclaimer: As always, our reviews are our own, honest opinions and may differ from yours. We are appreciative of Wayside Farms for allowing us to review their farm.