As James Madison University grads, we might be a little bias when we say the Shenandoah Valley is one of the most beautiful places for outdoor fun. Last weekend, we made our annual trip out to Back Home on the Farm for a day of pumpkin picking, corn maze navigating, and goat feeding. The farm is located about 15 minutes outside the university so it draws crowds of all ages.
One of the first things we like to do is visit the maze. Every year, the corn maze is redesigned with new twists and turns to get lost in. It is several miles long and takes between 15 and 45 minutes to complete, depending on your sense of direction – or group you are with! The farm provides 10 trivia questions to help you navigate the maze. You can choose from a variety of topics including entertainment, sports, and American history. Each question lines up with a checkpoint you’ll find as you work your way through the maze. Every correct answer will lead you towards the exit of the maze while every wrong answer will get you more lost – so answer carefully! But don’t worry – there is a farm employee who sits on scaffolding high above the maze to help you if you get stuck.
Click the pictures to make them bigger!
The farm also has a variety of games to play which helps spread out the traffic. There is a mini maze, a slingshot, a carousal, pig races, and a petting zoo. Bring some quarters so you can feed the goats! There were also horses, donkeys, and cows when we visited this year.
We ended our trip with the hayride to the pumpkin patch. This is one of our favorite
parts because we can get such healthy pumpkins fresh off the vine for carving and turning into delicious pie. If you don’t want to wait until the end of your day to visit the pumpkin patch, the farm will let you put them in your car and come back in. You can also visit the store to buy a variety of jams and jellies along with kettle corn, potted plants, and fall activities for kids.
On Saturday nights in October, the corn maze is open for Flashlight Mazes. Dress warmly and bring your own flashlight to navigate through the giant maze in the dark. This maze is perfect for all ages because it isn’t scary – although you may see some bugs scurry across the path!
Back Home on the Farm is perfect for pumpkin patch lovers of all ages. The farm is about a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from the DC area so you can easily make the trip in a day. If you do want to stay overnight, make hotel reservations at least a few weeks in advance! Hotels fill up fast, especially on JMU game weekends. You can also rent the picnic area or barn for special events.
All ages, pumpkin patch lovers
$8 admission, pumpkins sold by the pound
2915 Willow Run Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22802