A recently discovered alternative to the indoors, going "outside" offers adventurous explorers exposure to things such as wind, sunshine, and the naturally occurring mazes found in corn fields. Leave the indoors with today's Groupon: for $5, you get four corn-maze admissions and four hayrides at Fleitz Pumpkin Farm in Oregon, which is about 110 miles from Cleveland (up to a $12 value). The four admissions for each attraction can be shared among families and groups. Hayrides are only offered on Saturdays and Sundays; the farm opens for the season on September 10, 2011 and closes on October 31, 2011.
The multifaceted farm with more than a century of history provides guests with an array of family-friendly fall activities. Teach young orienteers to chart a course using only the sun, the wind, and a paperclip in the farm's 1-acre corn maze, which takes an average of 12 minutes to complete (a $1 value/person). Step up to a bigger challenge inside 5-acre maze, which features a lookout tower (a $2 value/person). The directionally challenged can recuperate with the chauffeured ease of a tractor-pulled hayride (a $1 value/person) that takes passengers through the farm's orchard, corn field, and pumpkin patch, where young pumpkins wait nervously to discover whether they'll be turned into jack-o'-lanterns or used as ballast in hot-air balloons. Kids can also spend time feeding chickens and goats or scrambling up a free straw climbing tower.
Fleitz Pumpkin Farm is a seasonal highlight for both kids and parents, who can also pick up fall decorations such as mums, indian corn, and more. Take care of gift shopping with a unique purchase from the craft barn or hit the Snack Shop (Saturdays and Sundays only) to load up on hot apple cider, freshly made donuts, and other delicious fall treats before the prolonged fasting of winter.
Fleitz Pumpkin Farm
In 1906, Joseph Fleitz purchased a tract of land along Seaman Road. Though he immediately started to farm, it would be another 85 years before his great-grandson, Paul, planted the first pumpkin patch, officially christening it Fleitz Pumpkin Farm. Since then, the family has built other attractions. The wind whispers through the stalks of a 5-acre corn maze, one capable of stumping even Ivy League–educated scarecrows. Tractors pull hay carts full of chattering riders off to pick their pumpkins.
Other amenities include access to a barn play area for kids, a craft barn, and an area to feed goats and chickens. During the fall, when the air grows crisp and cornucopias hang heavy on the trees, row upon row of sunset-hued pumpkins line the periphery of the farm and scents of cinnamon drift from a snack shack serving freshly made doughnuts and hot cider.