By: Hayley Woodward (US Family Guide Editor)
Disclaimer: I was gifted 4 General Admission tickets to the Fall Festival in exchange of a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Fall is my family’s absolute favorite time of the year, truly. Both my husband’s and I’s birthdays are the first week in October, my daughter’s in September and it is no secret that we all love pumpkin-flavored everything.
One tradition never goes unmissed--hitting the local farms in Colorado for Fall festivals. Not just any local farms either. Anderson Farms remains a favorite of ours… Dating back to about four years ago when our daughter’s Kindergarten class went there for a school field trip (a top-choice for those too!)
So, when the opportunity presented itself for my family to visit, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Though, sadly, my whole family and friends originally planning to go could not make it, as the notorious and unavoidable treachery we can always count on just about every Fall in Colorado, is the dreaded flu, both my husband and my best friend contracted it in the same weekend. Which, fortunately didn’t strike my daughter nor I until the following week.
That being said, we invited a few of my daughter’s friends from school instead, (a brother and a sister), and I can say, I safely survived several hours with three tweenagers on our adventure. We also thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, as I find it nearly impossible to spend a Fall day at Anderson Farms and not have a great time.
Since we were taking on this whole experience with a new approach going to the farm with a different group of people, we decided to change it up and do different activities this year than our typical routine of taking the hayride to the pumpkin patch to handpick our pumpkin, letting our daughter play in the playground (she’s getting too old for that now), and getting the wits scared out of us in the Terror of the Corn, etc.
However, we already picked out, painted, carved and ate up pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pies from the pumpkins we couldn’t wait for and store bought, so we decided to take the road less traveled of venturing into the other side of the crops at the farm and test out our navigating skills without the use of a typical Garmin, or via Siri’s voice and though they have an app (for that!) corn maze--we tested our abilities to find our way how our ancestors had--with tracking skills and intuition.
I have to admit... Since we got a later start to experience the farm in the late-afternoon to early-evening as we still contemplated getting scared in the Terror of the Corn--the way the sun set as we were walking through the maze, row by row, turn by turn, as the sun peeked through the still, intact corn stalks was just absolutely beautiful. Especially with the sun setting over the horizon behind the mountains.
We did make it through one side of the maze in impeccable time, just as the sun completely set, for the kids to play on whatever they liked or hit the haunted attractions if they chose to. However, we had one kid (mine), throwing a fit to go through the haunted attractions--probably to prove the point to her friends that she didn’t scare easily. But, a rule in my family is we compromise with whatever our guests want to do. Which was to hit the Jump Pillow, then take on the fierce competition of the pedal car racing, so we could go out for some ice cream after all the festivities.
“The Jump Pillow” technically has two pillows: one for under 48” tall and one for over 48” tall (thankfully my daughter is finally over 48” tall, so we weren’t faced with another issue for my daughter to fuss about).
The worker strategically lets the kids jump for a solid 10 minutes, then had all of them get off of the pillow for a good five minutes. My guess is, likely for the pillow to have a chance to reform and also to not keep the jump going too long for the same children still jumping continuously, or, for the sake of us parents not wanting to wait an entire day/evening for the kids to finish that one activity and hopefully move onto another.
For us, that other activity was pedal car racing. It was a huge hit! My daughter’s fit was finally over when she saw that even for her lack of height, she could still race the bigger cars. Given their amazing, adjustable seats and she could keep up with the gang just fine! Then, since there was no line and to feel like the big kids they are, they chose to ride the smaller ones and really RACE! They may have had more fun on those, actually.
All in all, the visit was a great time for us and we are already planning our trip for next year to make it the best yet! A few key pointers for families planning a visit there:
Take advantage of the coloradokids.com coupon prior to your ticket purchases, this year’s was $3 OFF the Fall Festival.
If you plan on doing multiple attractions beyond the Pumpkin Patch, Corn Mazes and game playing for the children, they offer several packages from basic Fall Festival tickets to Fall Festival with Terror in the Corn or Zombie Paintball or all the activities in one. This way you’ll know what time to get there and plan an itinerary around it all.
Be sure to give yourself plenty of time… Anderson Farms is HUGE, there is so much to do and if it’s busy, you won’t feel rushed or that you won’t have enough time to do it all.
Cameras on phones are pretty good but if you have a better one, don’t forget it! There’s so many great photo opportunities and phone cameras might limit that.
Make a whole day out of it. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. Pack a lunch or eat from one of their many choices of delicious food choices, ranging from roasted corn (that’s right, you can even EAT some of Colorado’s delicious corn), hot dogs, food trucks--you name it. You can rent a firepit to have s’mores at sunset or a little after. What a perfect way to finish the day: Relaxing around a campfire.