Nothing says fall like a trip to Autumn Acres. From corn mazes and pumpkin patches to bonfires and hayrides around the beautiful countryside, the best of what the season has to offer is celebrated here.
Stephanie Woods and her husband, Bo, started Autumn Acres 19 years ago. Not only was did it provide a way for Woods to use both her agriculture and education degrees, but it also blended her desire to raise her daughters, Bailey and Kenzie, on a farm and share her love of fall — her favorite time of year.
"We have experienced many obstacles over the years, from drought to too much rain, to storms and everything in between," said Woods. "Farm life is not easy. It is hard work … [but] we feel blessed to be able to provide our farm as a place where families can come and enjoy time together and experience all things fall!"
The couple purchased the farm at 1096 Baier Rd. in 2000 and opened its gates to local schools, churches and the public in the fall of 2001. At the time, visitors enjoyed one maze in 6 acres of corn, as well as a couple of acres of pumpkins, a few farm animals and cold drinks served from a cooler.
"Over the years, we have continued to grow," said Woods. "We now have 110 acres full of agritourism!"
Nowadays, Autumn Acres is the home of three professionally designed corn mazes carved inside a 10-acre cornfield and several acres of pumpkins. Three wagons provide guests with rides around the property and a planned stop to pick out the perfect pumpkin.
In addition to a petting zoo, youngsters can let their imaginations run wild at the Barnyard Ag-venture Playground featuring a "huge mega jumping pillow," two 40-foot tunnel slides, swings, a corn crib, tire playground, cow train and much more.
"We now have two places to choose food from," Woods added.
Autumn Acres’ Barnyard Café is well-known for hearty dishes like Jumbo Stuffed Pulled Pork Potato, Piggy Mac 'n Cheese and BLT Grilled Cheese. There's also scrumptious desserts, such as funnel cakes and a variety of deep-fried goodies like Oreos, Twinkies and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
The Eats and Treats is where delicious hamburgers, pizza, hand-scooped ice cream, root beer floats and homemade pumpkin treats are served.
"We also have the Autumn Acres General Store, where you can stop in and shop for your homemade fudge, caramel apples, souvenirs, and farmhouse and fall décor for your home," said Woods.
At Autumn Acres, the fall season kicks off with the Sweet Corn Festival on the third Saturday of September. Crafty vendors, tailgating and other special activities are offered this day, but the corn is the star of the festival. All forms of corn are available this day, including cornbread salad, corn nuggets, kettle corn, popcorn and sweet corn by the ear dipped in hot butter with a toppings bar nearby to perfectly season it.
This fun-filled day is followed up with several others including Public Servant Appreciation Day, when all firefighters, EMTs, first responders, police officers, sheriff deputies and teachers get in free, and Doggie Maze Day, when furry friends are invited to join their owners on the farm.
Discounts days are also set aside for students (Oct. 11-13), grandparents (Oct. 18-20) and for everyone in costume on Dress-up Day (Oct. 26).
All the excitement of the season comes to an end with Pumpkin Destruction Day (Nov. 2).
"This is an amazing fun day where we are smashing, mulching and blasting pumpkins," said Woods. "We get the kids involved and they love it!"
Get glimpses of all the fall fun on Autumn Acres’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages or check out their website at autumnacres.net.