As horses frolic in the open air and nuzzle each other in the fields, Denise Berry-Hanna draws upon master-trainer certification from the Certified Horsemanship Association to oversee a skilled team of instructors. Pupils of all ages learn about English–style riding with an emphasis on safety. Students ride year-round in an indoor arena or on an outdoor riding arena with sand and limestone footing. Trainers focus on English–style riding; the farm also has a large dressage arena, a cross-country field, and a stadium jumping area for advanced riders. A summer camp for kids aged 6–15 gives youngsters a warm-weather activity other than taking No Running signs to the Supreme Court, and horses board at the farm in warm, hay-filled stalls or on the rolling meadows.
Youngsters clamor over air-filled merry-go-rounds, obstacle courses, and slides inside FunFlatables' indoor play arenas. Dyer's 12,00-square-foot facility houses giant aquariums, pirate ships, and 19-foot slides. Each bounce facility keeps toddlers from getting underfoot in dedicated Totland play spaces, complete with musical toys, miniature slides, and foam-covered floors.
For Josh Sickinger, starting a pumpkin farm was a rite of passage?his family has been farming in the Lowell area for more than 160 years. Each October, he transforms his pumpkin patch into a family-friendly playground in celebration of autumn. At his annual Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch, hay wagons pulled by tractors take guests out to the fields so they can cut a pumpkin from the vine or choose their favorite gourd from a pre-harvested selection. In the new section of the patch, kids can board the Harvest Tyme Express train which drives around an oval track. But that's just one of many family-friendly attractions here. Besides the traditional hayrides and a 3-acre corn maze, guests can let loose in the bounce houses, on a 65-foot-long slide, and at Farmville Playland, a farm-themed playground. There are plenty of other oddities here, including corn cannons?which can launch ears of corn up to 60 feet into the air?and a gem-mining village. Should guests get hungry, the farm also offers freshly popped kettle corn, hot dogs, caramel apple cider, and homemade donuts.
Forest View Farms beckons to horse enthusiasts with the rustic charm of wooded riding trails and stables full of friendly equines. Cozy accommodations and turn-out services keep the horses comfy and exercised, and heated training facilities ensure year-round instruction without the need to shove horses into ill-fitting winter pea coats. Guides regularly shepherd visitors and their mounts through the forested paths. During the summer and autumn months, horse shows see riders and steeds displaying inspiring feats of courage, poise, and comedy double acts.
Jak's Warehouse's bright green, off-kilter sign hints at the fun to be had behind its weathered-brick entryway. Within the industrial-themed indoor playground, children dodge beams of light in a laser maze, collide in a bumper-cars arena, and navigate tunnels and launch volleys of foam balls in a Ballocity climbing structure. Under the glow of black lights, they compete in games of laser tag and play through a nine-hole, city street-themed mini-golf course. The four-story Sky Trail climbing structure’s elevated platforms and swinging ropes let small visitors nearly touch the ceiling of the expansive space, while on the ground, nearly 100 modern arcade games fill the Warehouse floor with lights and Morse-code messages from Pac Man to his wife. Though Jak’s Warehouse doesn't permit outside food or drink, casual café fare is available at the on-site Forklift Restaurant, including sandwiches, hot dogs, and pizzas.