Fall Fun Field Trips
Crisp breezes, cozy sweaters, hot apple cider and plump orange pumpkins. Harvest season is here! Like an abundant harvest, the Delaware Valley features a full crop of fall festivities. Many experiences are also educational. Answer trivia questions to successfully navigate a corn maze, learn how pumpkins grow on a farm or discover historical customs and sites.
At local farms and orchards, fall festivals are open to the public on weekends, while many of the same activities are reserved for groups during the week. Especially fun for preschoolers and early elementary ages, tours often include a hayride, farmer demonstrations in the fields, explanations of how crops grow and opportunities to pick pumpkins to take home.
Designed to align with curriculum standards, many programs can also be customized to coordinate with classroom lessons. These cost-friendly tours typically run $5-$10 per person, with a minimum of 15-20 students.
Corn Maze Challenges
Corn mazes for older children and teens encourage teamwork, build problem-solving skills, teach map-reading and exercise memory. The 2011 maze, “Discover America,” at Hurricane Hill Farm in Coatesville, PA, features American history fun facts and includes word games within the maze.
The “Kernels of Knowledge” clues within the 2.5-mile maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster County, PA and similar stations set up in other farms’ mazes provide additional learning opportunities.
Farming & Food History
Besides teaching where food comes from, some farms offer students a look into historical food production and farming methods. At The Mill at Anselma in Chester Springs, PA, a working grist mill, and Howell Living History Farm in Lambertville, NJ, kids can help grind grains, sift flour, churn butter or perform other household and farm chores using oldfashioned tools and techniques.
For a seasonal history tour, consider ghost tours. These entertaining walking tours of cities including Philadelphia, Lancaster and New Hope combine dramatic storytelling with history facts and folklore.
Two popular tour providers that offer group tours for students are Ghost Tour and Spirits of ’76. Just remember to discuss age-appropriateness ahead of time with your tour provider to make sure the content is not too spooky for your students.
Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids