Fall is upon us and we have been fortunate to have unseasonably warm weather. This means more time outside looking at the few leaves that are starting to turn, pick plump pumpkins, and celebrate at fall festivals.
We chose to visit Crumland Farms on opening day. Even with GPS, my family had a difficult time finding the entrance to the farm. The few signs were poorly marked and we felt some bunting or arrows would have made it easier to locate. Once we traveled down the gravel road, when we came upon the farm, I saw what looked to be a farm stand. I was concerned that this was it, but luckily, I was wrong.
What we liked
The farm is good for the 5 and under set. The barrel train was not in operation upon arrival because the employee was also driving the tractor-led hayride. After admiring the goats, ducks and turkeys, we saw later that the moo choo train was up and running. The driver gave us a brief description of the farm, informing us that it used to be a dairy farm. He encouraged the adults “to play too” and hop on for the ride.
Toddlers have their own shaded area known as the Kids Corral. It’s a small play space with cubbies for shoes, tunnels, and slides. There are pedal carts and a quartet of colored tires to climb on. On the other end of the farm is a dinosaur tire playground and pedal carts for older children. The rubber duck relays could have used a little more water to help crank the lever. A sandbox with diggers is secluded under a giant barrel slide. Another favorite is the John Deere combine harvester turned into a slide.
Teens aged 13 and up can visit the farm at night to experience the Starlight Maze, Screamland Farms featuring 100 actors or zombie paintball (additional fee).
What we didn’t
The snack bar area has an electronic alien-like monster that may scare young children. The animatronic creature moved to The B52-s “Rock Lobster.” Past this area is the ticket booth where you purchase wristbands allowing you to partake in the 8 acre corn maze and other farm activities. One family gave up after an hour in the maze with no way to find the exit. No one was operating the corn cannon or gem mining area, both of which cost an additional fee.
The Bottom Line
Hayrides to the patch are available on the weekends. Unless you research ahead of time, there is no signage telling you that they offer pick-your-own pumpkins. Port-a-potties are scattered throughout and strollers can maneuver the farm without concern.
There are no sweets like candy apples or donuts. The farm market is no more than pre-picked pumpkins and Indian corn priced at .50 a pound.
Crumland Farms Festival is open until Nov. 1 from 10 am to 6 pm. Tickets are $9 per person, and those aged 2 and younger are free. If you live in Frederick or nearby, you may want to check it out. However, having traveled over an hour from Alexandria, Virginia to check out the farm, I didn’t feel it was worth the trip.
Photos by Kathleen Molloy.