Fall pumpkin patch festivities will run this year, but with COVID-19 restrictions

pumpkin patch with young boy Pumpkin patches are open this year for Fall fun, but with COVID-19 safety modifications. Photo credit: BigStock.com

It’s October, which means West Niagara residents might wonder what their favorite pumpkin patch has planned this year. Niagara Info reached out to area farms to find out what festivites are on. The good news is that most are open, and their events will run, just with COVID-19 appropriate health and safety resrictions.

Merry Farms

Merry Farms in Hamilton usually runs a popular largescale fall pumpkinfest and cornmaze event. This year the farm will be open, but there wiill be changes. “For obvious reasons things will look different,” said owner Lisa Merry.

The farm has shortened its list of family fun activities from 30 to 18. “We are not offering activities that we cannot either sanitize properly or maintain safe social distance guidelines,” said Merry. “No wagon rides, jumping pillow, or food trucks.”

Visitors are also required to make reservations online. Walk-ins will not be accepted. “We (have) online bookings only, for timed ticketing slots. Three slots per day for a two-hour visit.”

This year, Merry Farms is featuring a massive five-acre corn maze. Anyone couragous enough to enter is also challenged to find six hidden letters among the stalks to uncover a secret word.

Merry Farms’ pumpkinfest runs on all Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October. General admission for kids two-years old and up is $12. Kids under two are free. Merry Farms is located at 1974 Concession Road 2 W, Hamilton (Lynden), Ontario. For more information on the event visit their site at Merry Farms.

Warner Ranch and Pumpkin Farm

Warner Ranch and Pumpkin Farm, located at Schisler Rd in Welland, Ontario, is running its fall event this year, but also has restrictions in place. “There is a 100-person limit to the outdoor activities,” said owner Donna Warner. “We encourage customers to visit during the week if possible, as weekends tend to be busier.”

Visitors are required to follow strict health and safety guidelines when at the farm. “Under current COVID-19 regulations, we ask that visitors sanitize upon arrival, social distance, and wear a face mask in areas where social distancing is not possible,” Warner told Niagara Info.

Warner Ranch and Pumpkin Farm has a corn maze, animal-viewing area and hay rides.They also offer Belgian horse-drawn hay rides at $3, and Unicorn rides for the little ones at $6. It’s open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and operates every day of the week during the Fall season.

The event is not pet-friendly. Cash payments are required at Warner’s. Though, there is an ATM on site. For full information on the festivities visit Warner Ranch and Pumpkin Farm.

Howells Family Pumpkin Farm

Howells Family Pumpkin Farm’s fesitivites are on. However, this year, they have hired a ticketing company to sell timed tickets. The system will ensure that customer visiting times are spread out to avoid heavy traffic issues.

Visitors are asked to buy their tickets online prior to arriving at the farm. Many busy time slots are already sold out.

Attendees must also wear a mask when in lineups, while interacting with farm animals, or on the jumping pillow. They also must wear masks in more confined spaces such as inside all buildings, on train or wagon rides, and in the ‘spook barn’ attraction.

The farm is at 2878 Holland road in Fonthill, Ontario. Tickets are priced according to how busy they are. Admission on peak days is $24 per person, while cheap Tuesdays are priced at $12 per person. Anyone who would like to join in the fun at Howells can visit their site at Howells Family Pumpkin Farm.

Richard’s Farm & Market

Richard’s Farm & Market located at 131 River Road in Dunnville has cancelled its normal fall activities, such as its corn maze and wagon rides, but the are still selling pumpkins. They also have created photo opportunities for families who visit the farm.

“We will not be running fall activities this year, however we have lots of pumpkins and other fall decorative items at the farm, and our farm store is open Monday to Saturday,” said owner Kirsten Richardson.

In addition to pumpkins, Richard’s Farm & Market has a variety of local farm fresh produce. They also carry maple syrup, jams, preserves, baked goods and more. These items are also available online. For more information visit their site at Richard’s Farm & Market.

Bry-Anne Farms

The Pumpkin Patch at Bry-Anne opens Oct. 3. Pumpkin Patch access will be first come first serve. Wait times are expected attendence at the event reaches capacity, which is 100 people. Social distancing measures and mask guidelines are in place.

The Bry-Anne Farms Pumpkin Patch runs Fridays 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Admission is $7 for kids three and older. For more information on Bry-Anne Farms, located at 471 Foss Road in Fenwick, Ontario visit their website at Bry-Anne Farms.