Fall is one of my favorite times of year, and not just because it hails the start of another round of the pumpkin spice craze! As the days get shorter and the air breathes a bit cooler, fall also means it’s time for our family to spend a day at the fall festival! This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to Harvest Farms Fall Festival in Wellington, Colorado (stay tuned for a special coupon!). Not only was our experience amazing, but we were able to learn about the amazing mission of this farm; helping to break the cycle of addiction and homelessness.
THE FARM and its mission
Harvest Farm is a 209 acre working farm producing naturally raised Black Angus beef with no hormones, no antibiotics and is pasture-born and pasture-raised. It is also home to other livestock, including pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and a small dairy herd of Jerseys.
These animals as well as all farm maintenance and meals are tended by 72 men who participate in a long-term program with the goal of breaking the cycle of addiction and homelessness. Working together with the Denver Rescue Mission the farm’s participants engage in a New Life Program extending up to 27 months, designed to help them gain the skills, stability and self-esteem necessary to become productive, self-sufficient members of society.
Attending fall festivals and pumpkin patches are a a favorite past time for my family. However this particular experience, where we were able to see men changing their lives for the better and hear the stories of some of the participants and what the farm meant for their future, was truly amazing.
Fun at the farm!
Aside from helping so many men recover and start a new life, Harvest Farm is also the scene of some seriously amazing fun! We have been to quite a few fall festivals over the years, and I can honestly say that I have never had so much fun with my children while also experiencing such a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere.
With admission guests have access to a wide variety of activities! You can view all activities HERE, however I will go over our family favorites below!
Have you ever seen a pig race? I certainly haven’t, but must admit that is was possibly the cutest thing I have ever watched! The announcers really get the crowd excited and the kids involved by letting them help to name each racer. The races are short and sweet and it’s so much fun to cheer for those cute pink pigs! My kiddos were particularly excited to watch the runt of the pack try to beat out her bigger porkies! Races start 30 min. after opening & run every 90 min. after that so you have many chances to watch throughout the day, or to catch a second glimpse as my children wanted to do!
I must admit that I haven’t done a corn maze in almost 20 years, and it was a highlight to our Harvest Farm adventure! With easy, medium, and hard paths, there is a maze for everyone in the family. Our kids had such a great time taking charge and getting us massively lost, even in the easy maze! If you have a tracking app on your phone it is really fun to turn it on and watch just how silly your path becomes!
For the blasters of the family, meaning EVERYONE in mine, these cannons are super fun! Much like large potato guns, but with the extra kick of a generator and propane, the whole family will have fun shooting corn cobs at a variety of targets across a large field. Or, if anyone in your family is like my 6 year old, they will simply enjoy shooting them as high and as far as possible! I’m pretty sure my husband would have stayed here all day if I allowed him to!
After running around the corn maze we headed to the petting zoo for a little down time. Here, each of my 6 children managed to fall in love with an animal they begged to take home! Between the two calf’s, the silly goats, ponies, donkeys, and a huge, extremely patient and sweet barnyard dog, everyone was in heaven.
Natural Play Area
This area is specifically for kids; meaning parents are asked to let their kids be kids and to watch from the sidelines. This may seem a bit like asking for Lord of the Flies, but our kids could have stayed here all day and had the best time of their lives.
The area is stocked with various sizes of tires, tree stumps and tubes for kids to build imaginative structures or to just have a ball rolling down the hill. I loved watching each of my kids’ personality shine as they created and played. While I have to admit that I had a hard time not intervening, my children had a much better time in this less structured environment, and truly worked together in ways I haven’t seen in ages.
Yard Games & Corn Box Covered Wagons
A large section of the farm is dedicated to simple, well loved games like corn hole, horseshoes, Jenga, and yard tennis, along with an arena for kids and adults alike to try their hand at cattle roping a metal steer. Despite the nearness of bunnies to pet, my kids couldn’t get enough of lasso-ing a fake cow!
We also spent a large chunk of time in the covered wagons full of corn kernels. Whoever thought kids would love playing in a box full of corn was a bona-fide genius!
Hay Wagon Ride
Our final activity for the day was to hitch a ride on the hay bale wagon and tour the farm. Not only was the scenery beautiful but a former participant of the program was there to give us all the information about everything we saw. I loved seeing how the farm works and hearing his story of success, told amid funny commentary with a happy outlook.
Aside from all the fun we had we also were able to partake is some pretty delicious food! Harvest farm welcomes food trucks during it’s business hours so it’s guests have a wide variety of food-fare to choose from. I have a bit of a sweet tooth so I insisted on testing out their kettle corn, which more than satisfied! In fact, i decided I needed another bag to take home for later! I also was able to procur some of Harvest Farm’s very own honey, which is truly amazing!
There are a whole slew of pumpkin patches these days that offer fall festivals and fun for the whole family. Harvest Farm, however, though it may not be the closest, is absolutely at the top of my list for fun as well as for participating a truly noble mission. Each admission fee goes directly to supporting the farm and the men who are given a new chance at life because of it.
Also, right now my readers get $2 off their admission! Click HERE for a this great coupon!
***Please note they are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October and offer special events every Saturday!!