By Danielle Taylor
Like dying eggs for Easter or cutting down a tree for Christmas, picking pumpkins each fall for Halloween jack o’ lanterns is an annual tradition for many families. It’s a lot of fun to take a drive out to the country with your loved ones, go to a farm, walk through fields of pumpkins until you find the perfect one, and pick it straight off the vine. At Paul’s Pumpkin Patch just north of New Bethlehem, you and your family can create a full autumn day of farm memories like this, less than an hour and a half from Pittsburgh.
Over the past decade, owners Paul and Linda Stahlman have transformed their family farm into an agricultural destination with plenty to entertain visitors of all ages. In addition to pick-your-own pumpkins, you can find hayrides, a pumpkin maze, a corn maze, a barrel train, a barnyard zoo, a corn box for tots, duck races, a history house, more than 80 varieties of pumpkins, squash, gourds, and ornamental corn for sale, and much more.
A particular highlight of Paul’s Pumpkin Patch is the Frogtown Flinger, a trebuchet-style catapult built by Paul and his sons. Each hayride tour of the farm includes a stop at the Flinger, which swings into dramatic action and hurls pumpkins more than 200 feet.
In addition to welcoming families and groups from scout troops, churches, 4-H clubs, and more, the Stahlmans also encourage teachers to bring their classes out for field trips. They offer a math and science-based lesson as well as a program focused on the farm’s animals.
Special events at the farm include:
– Gospel Music Night, September 23, 5 p.m.
– Not-Too Scary” hayrides featuring storytellers Jill and Jane Boyles, October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27, 7-9 p.m.
– Fall Photo Session, October 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Call (814) 365-5161 to reserve your seat for one of the “Not Too Scary” hayrides or your time for the photography session.
Paul’s Pumpkin Patch opens for the season this Saturday and will be open Wednesdays through Sundays until October 28. General admission is only $6 per person, with discounts given for seniors and groups. Kids under 2 get in free.
Learn more and find other interesting places to visit in the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region by going to VisitPAGO.com or calling (814) 849-5197.