BY ALYSSON AREDAS
209 staff reporter
With Halloween right around the corner, local farms are gearing up for another year of fall fun with colossal corn mazes, bountiful pumpkin patches and endless family-friendly activities.
Based in Patterson, Fantozzi Farms will not only celebrate its 14th year with a number of Halloween activities, but the upcoming election with a giant corn maze featuring presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over the United States Capitol.
“We wanted to incorporate this theme because it is a presidential election year and we also have a lot of school kids come out ot the maze, so we want to educate them on the election process in a fun way,” said Denise Fantozzi.
Guests can take their maze experience one step further with the farm’s haunted maze that takes place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Those brave enough to enter will jump at every corner as the maze is filled with creepy crawlers and characters. Those interested in challenging themselves with the haunted attraction are required to bring a flashlight.
In the courtyard, guests can also browse from a huge selection of pumpkins and decorative gourds and engage in a variety of other activities, including corn cannons, hay bale mazes, cow train rides and a corn seed bin. There will also be a section dedicated to educational displays on farming and the upcoming election.
New this year, Fantozzi Farms will also be offering a zombie shooting range, where guests can shoot paintball guns at stationary targets, as well as moving zombies.
“Every year we try to add something new and we thought a zombie shooting range would be a wonderful addition,” said Fantozzi.
Fantozzi Farms is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Guests can check out the pumpkin patch and corn maze at 2665 Sperry Avenue in Patterson until Oct. 31. For more information on ticket prices or activities, call 892-2015 or visit fantozzifarms.com.
Since 2007, R.A.M. Farms in Turlock has provided the community with a perfect fall destination filled with pumpkins and a challenging corn maze. Now almost a decade later, the farm proves that it is better than ever by offering even more pumpkins and hours of family fun.
“We’re excited to offer something for everybody—from toddlers to their grandparents,” said Karen Macedo.
This year’s corn maze will reflect a “Get Caught Up in the Fun” theme with a spider web design, according to Macedo, who said that the maze will span 20-acres and include 15 checkpoints.
The corn maze will once again feature the ever-popular Freaky Flashlight Nights that will begin at dusk on Friday and Saturday nights. Guests are encouraged to bring their friends and, more importantly, their own flashlight. Trekkers through the maze must be accompanied by an adult and children under the age of five are not recommended.
With over 40 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds picked and gathered from the local field this year, Macedo said that there is a perfect pumpkin for everyone, whether it’s a Fairy Tale, Cinderella, Long Island Cheese, or Jarrahdale. New options this year include Warty Goblin, Silver Edge and Red Witch pumpkins.
Additionally, the farm will also be selling pink porcelain doll pumpkins, which were developed to raise breast cancer awareness. With each pink porcelain doll purchase, $1 will go towards funding Relay for Life events. For more information on the unique pink pumpkins and their mission, visit pinkpumpkinpatch.org.
As always, the pumpkin patch will include more than just pumpkins with a scary shed, hay maze, sand box, and fun fall photo opportunities—all free with the purchase of a pumpkin. Guests can also test their bowling skills with crowd favorite pumpkin bowling at just $1 per pumpkin.
The farm will continue its “Movie Under the Stars” program this year with free movie showings every Friday and Saturday evening beginning at 7:15 p.m. Throughout the movie, guests can also indulge their sweet tooth with food offerings including popcorn, frozen yogurt and hot chocolate.
R.A.M. Farms is open from noon to dusk Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Guests can check out the pumpkin patch and corn maze at 716 N. Daubenberger Road in Turlock until Oct. 31. For more information on ticket prices or activities, call 668-2425 or visit ramfarms.com.