For every season there seems to be those one or two events that just make the season for our family, and it would definitely not be autumn for our family without a trip to Patterson’s Fun Fest. This year marks our family’s seventh trip to this annual event. One of the things we quickly learned is that the Fun Fest is amazingly popular in Northeast Ohio and the weekends are PACKED!! So if you don’t mind missing out on a few of the activities only available on the weekends, I would highly recommend trying to go during the week. They are open until 6pm Monday through Thursday which makes an after school visit completely doable.
The Fun Fest takes place at the Patterson Fruit Farm Mulberry Road location. After parking you can go to the ticket booth on the weekends or busier days or inside the store on less crowded weekdays to purchase your wristband to access the Fun Fest. At $5 a person for weekday admission and $8 for weekends and NEOEA Day, this is one of the most affordable family activities in town! The wagon rides that transport you to the Fun Fest area leave regularly, even on low crowd days. Strollers can easily be transported back to the Fun Fest on the wagons, too!
One of my kids’ favorite activities is playing in the piles of hay. There are slides, poles, and giant tire swings in this area. Be prepared, the kids will be covered in hay when they emerge. Embrace it, how many years will you have to pick hay out of your darling children’s hair? In fact, my older daughter still had hay in her rain boots from last year’s adventure.
There is a large corn maze that the entire family can enjoy together. There is also a smaller hay maze for younger kids that has one short path between and exit and entrance (both the entrance and exit can easily be viewed at the same time).
There are so many outdoor activities for the kids, be prepared to spend several hours as they explore all the activities throughout the Fun Fest. You are welcome to bring your own food into the Fun Fest, and multiple picnic tables are available. Concessions are available on the weekends.
Don’t forget to head back into the woods to slide down the giant 50 foot double slide and climb in the tree house. Be warned, this area always seems to be muddy (which has earned the Fun Fest the beloved nickname of Family Mud Fest in our house). Come prepared with extra clothes for little ones, a change of shoes, and bags for the muddy items on the car ride home and let them be little and explore.
After we finish with the Fun Fest, we always head to Patterson’s orchards to pick some apples to take home. They supplies bags and will direct you to where you can find the best apples on that day. They also encourage tasting the apples so that you know what you are picking! This is also a great way to walk the mud off you shoes if you forget extras like we did this year.
When we’ve picked more apples than we can carry, we like to head over to Patterson’s Farm Market just a few miles away on Caves Road. In addition to the high-quality produce at the market, there is also playground equipment for the kids.
However, the star of the market is the bakery. Our Patterson Fun Fest adventure would not be complete without an apple fritter or dumpling for the road!