Dustin Smith and his wife grew up spending time at their grandparents’ farms, but many years later, Smith’s kids weren’t getting that same experience.
So the Smiths opened The Patch, a farm in Elbert County that puts on fall festivities and provides a chance for kids to throw horseshoes, learn about tractors and pick up crafting skills, such as how to spin wool.
“We really like the generational aspect of what we do,” said Smith, whose farm has offered the event since 2017.
The Patch features a corn maze, a pumpkin patch and the chance to meet “farm critters,” according to its website. Also part of the fun: a hay wagon ride, apple cannons, roping and corn hole.
Smith’s dad — affectionately called “grandpa Smith” — often comes out from Kansas to help at the farm, and when he was at a Subway restaurant back in Wichita, somebody recognized his shirt and asked whether he was part of The Patch.
“They had said that grandpa Smith had played with their grandson from Castle Rock, and on their way home, their grandson asked where he could ‘buy a grandpa Smith’ because he had so much fun,” Dustin said. He added: “Even as far as Wichita, it just shows that people love to connect.”
People come to the farm from all over — roughly from as far north as Broomfield, as far west as Conifer, as far south as Colorado Springs and as far east as Burlington, along with some attendees from out of state, Smith said. The farm sits in the Elizabeth area, east of Douglas County.
The event has become a staple for some who say they’ve come every year, Dustin said.
“It’s the memories that they’re going to have for the rest of their lives. This is how the grandparents are going to remember their grandkids, how the grandkids are going to remember their grandparents,” Dustin said. “Just family time together.”
The public can visit The Patch's website for tickets or call 720-446-6001 with questions. The farm sits at 39980 Fox Trot Circle, several miles north of state Highway 86.
The Patch opened for the season Sept. 17 and is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.
Up north in Weld County, a longtime fall event arose out of a deep agricultural history.
“My grandpa and his brother bought the property in 1958,” said Rachelle Wegele, the operations manager for Anderson Farms in the Erie area.
The location was “really a tenant farm for my family from the 1950s up until the pumpkin patch (started) in 1997,” Wegele said. (Tenant farming is a system where landowners contribute their land while tenants contribute their labor.)
“We actually farmed closer to Mead, and that’s where I grew up,” Wegele said, referring to a town farther north.
Her father started the pumpkin patch event because some friends in another state were holding pumpkin patches and telling him how fun it was, Wegele said.
Today, the farm’s Fall Festival includes a corn maze, wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, a “pumpkin cannon,” farm animals and many other attractions, according to its website.
“A lot of families have made it an annual tradition,” Wegele said. “It’s something that the whole family can do, from little kids up to grandparents. Families just look forward to it every year.”
The festival was to run this year from Sept. 21 through Oct. 31, and it’s open every day except Tuesdays. Call 303-828-5210 for questions or see the Anderson Farms website for tickets and hours, which vary.
The farm is limiting the number of tickets available per day, so people should buy tickets ahead of time to make sure they can get in this season, Wegele said. The farm sits at 6728 County Road 3 1/4, west of Fort Lupton and west of Interstate 25.
Started in 2001, Maize in the City provides a rural fall atmosphere near the edge of Thornton.
The event features a 20-acre corn maze, a mini maze, and a variety of locally grown pumpkins, gourds and “other fall décor,” its website says. It also offers many other attractions, including sand art, a corn launcher, “5-minute escape rooms” and pony rides, according to its website.
The event takes place at 104th Avenue and McKay Road, a short drive east of Colorado Boulevard. It was set to open for the season Sept. 24. See here for tickets and other details.
In Douglas County, the relatively new fall festivities at Lone Creek Farms include a large array of activities.
Among them are “pumpkin jump pads,” tire swings, a large pedal-kart race track, panning for gemstones, a corn maze and hay wagon rides, according to the farm’s website. And, of course, there are pumpkins for sale.
“Since 2018, we have strived to create a fun, family-friendly environment for the fall season. We are a family-owned business, and from our family to yours, we hope to create memories that will last from year to year,” the website says.
Lone Creek Farms is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays mid-September through October.
For tickets, see here. The location has a Franktown address of 3879 N. state Highway 83 and sits in the east Castle Rock area, north of state Highway 86.
Southwest of Littleton in unincorporated Jefferson County, the Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms offers a pumpkin patch and corn maze, an antique tractor exhibit by Front Range Antique Power Association, hayrides and an obstacle course, according to the festival’s webpage.
See the Chatfield Farms website for tickets or call 720-865-3500 with questions.
The festival runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 7-9 at 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, just southwest of Wadsworth Boulevard and the C-470 highway.
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