Have you ever lived somewhere for a really long time and not realized the amazing opportunities or fun right in your neighborhood? I have to admit to some guilt in this respect. My area is surrounded by fun, family activities that I somehow am only now just discovering. One such awesome spot to go is in Rowan County, just north of Charlotte, called Patterson Farm.
Patterson Farm is open in the spring and in the fall. Spring offers fun that surrounds all things farming, as well as strawberries. The fall season offers the excitement of everything you can think of that comes with September into the end of October: pumpkins, corn mazes, face painting, festivals, and more.
My family went to Patterson Farm last weekend. It wasn’t our first time there, but it was actually our first time there to have the whole experience. We had been before when they hosted our Girl Scout troop (their educational programs are outstanding) or when a friend had a birthday party (be sure to check out the options for parties — they are also amazing!).
This time, we wanted to do the traditional experience of the farm, and the kids were most excited about the opportunity to go through the famous corn maze.
When we arrived on the farm, we came across the old truck that is perfect for family or kid pictures. This sits near the Market where you can purchase anything from baked goods to toys to sodas and pumpkins.
We walked to the shed where we could pick up our tickets and were immediately greeted by at least three workers who welcomed us to the farm. The place was buzzing with excitement, and the day was absolutely perfect for being outside.
Our first stop was the corn maze. Since we have three who are seven and under, Sassy Pants (13) was kind enough to play along and let them answer the “easy” questions. Upon arrival to the maze, you have the choice to enter the silo to pick out your maze Passport. The Passports range from very young (that’s what we picked) to older or even themed with Scout topics or science-education topics.
Each “stop” in the maze is numbered, and each number coincides with a question on your Passport. It was fun to hear the littles answer the questions and feel like true experts. The correct answer tells you which way to turn in the maze, and you carry on until you reach the last question.
Now, our area had just experienced Hurricane Michael, so parts of the maze had been bent down by the winds and rain. I can attest, however, that when not injured by a hurricane, the maze is extremely fun and filled with twists and turns that might make you get lost!
Once we mastered the maze, we headed to feed the animals in the barn. One cup of feed (which is plenty for each kid) is provided with the purchase of a wristband. The kids marveled at the baby goats and the peacocks. They loved seeing the rabbits and all the chickens. Careful to read the signs that remind you which animals should not be fed or touched!
I want to point out one of the most meaningful (and recent) additions to the farm. They just added a Baby Station for parents to use when they need to soothe, feed, change, rock, or simply be quiet with a young baby. This. Is. Genius. I wish every location I went to with younger babies had this option. The opening is actually covered with a screen curtain so that you can still see out and have air but help keep out unwanted pests.
Face-painting was our next stop. There were many superhero characters and cats, butterflies, and mermaids to choose from. The line was moderately long, but it didn’t take forever! The girls running the booth had a good rhythm, and we were able to move on to our next activity relatively quickly.
And so much more!
We rode ponies and then the kids had fun on their absolute favorite part: the cow barrel train. Barrels have literally been decorated to look like cows, have been named, and then hooked together to form a train. It’s pulled by a 4-wheeler and goes all over the farm. This and the hayride we went on next are great ways to see the land and then get an idea of what you might like to do next. Kids can ride together if they need (Diva needed Flash to hold her), but I wouldn’t recommend sitting in the barrel as an adult! It hurt my long legs.
On the hayride, we had fun pointing out all the decorations we saw along the way. From scarecrows to bales of hay painted as superheroes, all three of the littles were captivated. The hay ride stopped at the pumpkin patch where you can choose to purchase a pumpkin (they will weigh for you and have the option to pay with credit card). Finally, the hay ride takes you back to the Market.
It was recommended that we do the hayride last since it takes you back to the Market and parking. Super smart idea that we’ll use again. To celebrate our fun time, we chose ice cream (for dinner, no less). Math Man had the pumpkin and said it was awesome. The rest of us ate cotton candy and chocolate.
My suggestions for future visits:
Buy the wristband to do all the things. It includes the playground, the barn, facepainting, and the hayride. Well worth that investment.
Get there with at least 2 hours (if not more) so that you can cover all grounds. The hayride did have a wait since there are typically three to four tractors and trailers running at one time. They can only move so fast, so just be patient!
Make sure you set enough time aside to play on PawPaw Carl’s playground. We messed up here and didn’t get there with enough time to do all the things PLUS play on the playground. Our 5 year old was not thrilled with us. Luckily, there’s a cool wooden ship playground next to the Market, and he mostly forgave us.