Written by Ryan Martin
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:00
The fall season is in full swing at Rader Family Farms with activities going on daily for the whole family.
Located in Normal, Rader Family Farms is open every day of the week up until November 2nd with a wide variety of things going on.
Upon entering the farm you’ll be greeted by a large selection of various sized pumpkins, gourds, and squash pre-picked that are available for purchase. If you prefer picking a pumpkin yourself, there is also a pick-your-own pumpkin field open everyday.
Also close to the entrance of the farm is the gift shop and cafe. The gift shop has plenty of fall decorations, as well as a variety of canned goods such as homemade jams, jellies, pumpkin butter, apple butter, applesauce, dilled pickles, sauerkraut, beets, and more. The Harvest Brew Coffee cafe, located in the gift shop, also has many varieties of coffees and speciality drinks, as well as sandwiches and wraps.
Spread throughout the farm are a bunch of themed scarecrows, which are part of the second annual Scarecrow Contest that benefits the local Children Home and Aid foundation. Local businesses pay $25 to enter a scarecrow, and people can vote on their favorites by putting money in a jar attached to each scarecrow. All proceeds from voting go to the foundation.
With the purchase of an activity pass, you can enter the section of the farm that is filled with a large selection of activities for all ages.
“We try to have our activities here be agricultural and unique, not just like stuff you have at a park.” said Linda Rader, owner of the farm. “We want it to be like an old farm, stuff people used to do.”
Popular activities include the Kiddie Corn Maze, Jumping Pillow, Corny Bins, and Roly Poly.
The Corny Bins are what they sound like, two large bins filled with corn that kids can play in and learn facts about corn that are posted in them.
Roly Poly is one of three new activities this year, along with duck races and spider web, where people can get in an oversized tube and go down a track.
On October 26th from 6-9 pm the farm will host a flashlight corn maze in the farms 10 acre maze.
“The are 10 checkpoints, and it’s broken down into two phases.” said Rader. “You have a map and you work your way through the first 5 checkpoints, then you can come out of the maze. If you want to do the second phase of the maze, you can go back into the maze and do the rest of the checkpoints.”
The farm has extended it’s season a few days this year, and will be ending it with a new event.
"We usually close on halloween, but thats on a Thursday this year, so we decided that we should carry the season into saturday.” said Rader. “Friday we will be having a big sale of pumpkins and a retail sale in the gift shop. On Saturday we’ll be having what we’re calling a Great Pumpkin Smash, which is new this year. From 10-2 we’re just going to smash pumpkins in a lot of fun ways. People can bring out their pumpkins that they want to get rid of, or they can just come out here and smash our pumpkins.”
The farm is located in Normal at 1238 Ropp Road and open Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm and 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information on prices and activities you can visit the farm’s website at www.raderfamilyfarms.com.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 09:28