The last time I took my daughter to Clark’s Elioak Farm she was in preschool. I was stoked to have the opportunity again to take her back to the farm several years later. While nursery rhymes may seem babyish for an elementary aged kiddo, she was actually amused by it. For me, it was a bit of nostalgia, a nod to my wonderful childhood. Clark’s Elioak Farm salvaged pieces from the Enchanted Forest fairy tale theme park and gave them a new home.
At Clark’s Elioak Farm Fall Festival, you can see sculptures of your favorite nursery rhymes as you walk through the Enchanted Forest or wander through the Enchanted Pine Tree Forest pennant maze. Visit the many farm animals and take a ride on their friendly ponies. Take a hayride to pick pumpkins and hop on the cow train. On most weekends there is face painting and gem mining. Purchase tickets for all attractions at the castle store. Each activity has a different price and ticket.
It’s $6 for the petting farm (free for infants under age 1), $2 each for a hayride, cow train or pony ride. The cost for gem mining and geode cracking $14 to $18 and can be purchased directly at the mining station. The castle store also carries local cider, ice cream treats, grass fed meat and eggs, snacks, souvenir apparel and children’s toys.
The Forest Face Hayride is a great place to start because it gives you an overview of Clark’s Elioak Farm. It lasts approximately 10 minutes and I appreciated that the driver went slowly meaning no bumps. We had fun looking for the 21 faces throughout the tractor led ride. For those that want to stop at the pumpkin patch, pick your beauty for .69 a pound. There is a small tent where you can pay for your pumpkins.
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Approximately 100 Enchanted Forest pieces were moved from the abandoned theme park to the farm. You’re never too old to appreciate nursery rhymes and fairy tales brought to life. Look inside the Three Bears House in search of Goldilocks and slide down the 23 foot tall, 30,000 pound Old Woman in the Shoe. Sit alongside Humpty Dumpty, step onto the Little Toot boat, see Cinderella’s pumpkin coach and mine with the Seven Dwarfs. On the other side of the huge farm is the Enchanted Pine Tree Forest maze with more of the same theme such as Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, Hansel and Gretel at the candy cottage and Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandma’s house.
Then it was time to get up close and personal with the residents of the farm…the animals. When we arrived, most of the animals were resting like the alpacas, sheep, cows and bunnies. We were entertained by Mu the emu and enamored with Picasso the black pony who was here during our last visit. There are chickens and turkeys, rabbits and a donkey. Bring quarters to feed the goats and step inside the corral where you can interact with the littlest of the baby goats. I love that the Charlotte’s Web theme runs through with the newest members, the pair of American Guinea Hogs named Templeton and Wilbur who were born this past June.
Parents of wee ones will enjoy the covered pavilion filled with ride on vehicles and toys designed with toddlers in mind. Portable toilets and a hand washing station are conveniently adjacent to this area. There are two small wooden playgrounds and little playhouses for tikes to romp around and discover. The farm was abuzz with regular visitors like ourselves, but we also saw a birthday party and a happily ever after wedding taking place.
- Gem mining takes place September 24-25, Oct. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 29-30.
- September 24-25 there will be pumpkin coloring and crafts.
- October 1-2 marks the 25th annual Teddy Bear Farm Visit with Tony McGuffin. There will be free hayrides for children who bring a teddy bear along with a teddy bear contest and folk singing in the afternoon with Tony Noon.
- October 29-30 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. the farm host Halloween costume parades.
- November 5-6 is Pumpkin Chucking weekend. Bring your own pumpkin and launch it via catapult across the farm.
Clark’s is open daily from March to November on Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Photos by Kathleen Molloy.