Family-friendly merriment

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Farm Forum

SPEARFISH – Spearfish Valley Produce is a working farm three miles northwest of Spearfish on Chicken Creek Road, and for the fourth fall, part of it has transformed into a corn maze and pumpkin patch filled with family-friendly activities for all ages.

“Everyone’s having fun. That’s what our objective is: A fun, fall, family activity,” Nicole Krautschun, owner, said of the season so far. The corn maze and pumpkin patch opened Sept. 9, and Krautschun said since then, “When the weather cooperates, it’s busy.”

The corn maze and pumpkin patch is open from 4-10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, and throughout the week by appointment for nonprofits and school groups.

This year, Spearfish Valley Produce Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch made the “America the Beautiful Series: The Best Pumpkin Patch In Every U.S. State” list put together on Tripping.com, an online search engine for vacation rentals. The website describes, “Vibrantly colored and versatile, pumpkins signal the beginning of autumn and the holidays. Although pumpkins are available for purchase at grocery stores, a more ideal place to pick them out is straight from the source at a pumpkin patch.”

And people have that chance at Spearfish Valley Produce. They can pull hand-drawn wagons out to the patch to find the ideal size, shape, color, and variety of pumpkin to take home.

In addition to pumpkin picking, the site features some new activities in its activity center this year. There is a giant hay slide and bee line (a zip line) amongst the seasonal favorites: hay jump, duck race, corn box, hayrides, and more.

“It is fun for all ages,” Krautschun said, explaining that all of the activities are designed to accommodate adults as well as children. Groups and families come from all around the area and sometimes spend the entire day playing, picking out pumpkins, and going through the maze, which has a mummy theme this year. Krautschun said the direct route through the maze is 2.8 miles.

“But that’s without getting lost,” she added.

There is a children’s maze built into the overall maze, and there are eight stations within for participants to find. Those that find all eight receive a prize, and everyone who attempts the maze will receive candy.

Each year, the corn maze partners with the Black Hills State University theater society and the Spearfish High School drama department to create a haunted maze, which will take place the last two weekends of October and Halloween night. Times will be announced, and Krautschun encouraged people to follow the site’s Facebook page for updates.

“My favorite part is always just watching people . having fun with their kids, grandparents walking around taking pictures …” Krautschun added about the season.

Spearfish Valley Produce is located at 10784 Chicken Creek Rd. For more information, pricing, and directions, visit spearfishvalleyproduce.com.