Farms opening up for family fall activities

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Fall is the busiest time of the year for agribusinesses such as Tuttle Orchards. The businesses attract tens of thousands of visitors. (Tom Russo | Daily Reporter) Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — Those hoping to get their apple cider or pumpkin spice fix don’t have much longer to wait, with the opening of several local farms and attractions that promote fall family fun just around the corner.

A late spring freeze wiped out much of central Indiana’s apple crop, so there’ll be just a few “u-pick” apple opportunities available. Still, there’s a whole lot of fun to be had for kids and grown-ups of all ages. Here’s a look at four nearby agritourism hot spots, and the activities they have to offer families with new features and tried-and-true autumn traditions.

Tuttle Orchards

Location: 5717 N. 300W., Greenfield

Online: indianapolisorchard.com, www.facebook.com/tuttleorchards

Phone: (317) 326-2278

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Sept. 1-Oct. 30 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, Aug. 31). Closed on Sundays.

Family fun activities: Tractor Town playground, corn maze, wagon rides, and more most days this fall. The farm store and café are expanding to outdoor tents this year to accommodate crowds and social distancing.

Fall crop outlook: U-pick apples are anticipated to be available only for a short time, starting Friday, Sept. 10 and up to a week after. Several varieties of apples will be available in the store all season. The pumpkin patch is open Sept. 24-Oct. 30. New this year is cut-your-own flowers, available now through Sept. 10. A sunflower trail is tentatively available now through Sept. 25, dependent on weather and blooms.

Admission: No general admission; pay per activity or what you pick. See the website for prices and which activities are available on which days.

Lark Ranch

Location: 1611 N. Meridian Road, Greenfield

Online: larkranch.com, facebook.com/TheLarkRanch

Phone: (812) 295-9000

Hours: Opening date is Saturday, Sept. 25. Open weekends only; hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Gates open at 11 a.m. with rides starting up at noon.

Family fun activities: Corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayride, mile-long train ride, amusement rides, slide mountain, zip lines, peddle go-karts, kids playhouses, games, fair food and more.

Fall crop outlook: U-pick pumpkins and gourds will be available for sale.

Admission: $12 per person for the first weekend and $15 for October weekends. Kids ages 2 and under enter for free; groups of 10 or more get $2 off.

Piney Acres Farm

Location: 1115 E. 1000N., Fortville

Online: pineyacresfarm.com, facebook.com/PineyAcresFarm

Phone: (317) 326-1700

Hours: noon to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays through the end of October.

Family fun activities: New obstacle course for kids ages 4 to 12, plus a gem mine, hay rides, bounce pad, slide and more.

Fall crop outlook: For sale on site are pumpkins, Indiana corn cornstalks, straw bales and gourds; dining hall on site with fall foods and treats.

Admission: Pricing subject to change as of press time; see website or Facebook for more information.

Pleasant View Orchard

Location: 10721 N. 850W., Fairland

Online: pleasantvieworchardin.com, facebook.com/PleasantViewOrchard

Phone: (317) 861-4025

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Family fun activities: Playground on site. Silly Safaris live animal show will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 4. Trunk or Treat and another Silly Safaris show is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24. Live music is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 9, Sept. 18, Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9; and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 16.

Fall crop outlook: Apple picking opens Sept. 4 while the crop lasts. Apples are available in store all season. Pumpkin patch opens Sept. 25.

Admission: Free admission and parking; pay per what you pick or order in the store.