What it is: This is the second year that we have headed up to Hill Ridge Farms for their "Fall Festival" celebration. It is a great place to bring young kids and we had a wonderful time both years. Hill Ridge Farms has designed a fall experience for families and kids including pony rides, gem panning, a giant tube slide, several mazes, farm animals, a train, both a hay pit and a corn pit, and a hayride to pick out your pumpkin. There are concession stands where you can buy festival fare such as funnel cakes, lemonade, roasted corn, etc. as well as a store and a grill where you can pick up a meal such as hot dogs or hamburgers.
*All of the events described were part of the Fall Festival. Call the farm to determine what is available at other times.
What we liked: We loved how there was just so much for my toddler to do, and yet it didn't seem hectic or fast-paced. We could just wander from activity to activity according to the his interest, and there was so much that we could have spent all day there. Our favorite on this visit was the corn pit where we could sit and enjoy ourselves happily playing with both our two year old and our 5 month old.
The cost is also relatively reasonable at $10 per person for a basic pass and $20 for an ultimate pass. It seemed expensive at first, but when compared with some of the other pumpkin patches in the area, it was actually pretty reasonable. The basic pass included most activities, and you could either pay extra to add the special activities such as pony rides, gem panning, and train rides, or you could purchase the ultimate pass which got you admission to everything. As an added bonus, you get your pumpkin free with your admission purchase.
What we would change: If you do head there, it is best to arrive as close to when it opens at 9 as possible because it does get crowded and the lines for the activities can get long on the weekends. In addition, with its location in Youngsville, it's a bit of a drive from Durham. It was about 45 minutes away from our location in S. Durham.
Website and other important information:
Phone Number:(919) 556-1171 or 1-800-358-4170
Hours: 9am-6:30pm seven days a week
Fall Festival Dates (2013): September 14-November 10
Address:703 Tarboro Rd., Youngsville, NC 27596
Views of the farm