Merrymead Farm corn maze

Jay Lloyd | KYW Newsradio

Jay Lloyd's Getaway: Fall agritainment

October 11, 2018 - 7:15 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania farmers were in a squeeze about 20 year ago.

Crop prices were falling and the cost of farming was rising. With the notion of bringing in extra money to the land, the concept of agritainment was born.

Agritainment combines family fun on a farm with the serious business of planting, harvesting and raising livestock. This is the time of year it goes into overdrive with corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin patches, petting zoos, even golf — and it has continued to grow.

If you’re looking for a day trip or weekend getaway featuring agritainment, check out these local sites.

Merrymead Farm 

Find your way through a 5-acre maze on this sprawling dairy and produce farm near Lansdale.

The pioneering Rothenberger family began working this land more than a century ago. When the financial crunch came, they were quick to welcome guests and begin a new tradition.

I learned how to carve a pumpkin here. The kids love the hayrides, the maze and the homemade ice cream, blended within sight of the cow barn where the milking for that fresh cream begins.

Freddy Hill Farm 

Jay Lloyd | KYW Newsradio

Pigs don't really fly, but they sure can race. And at Freddy Hill Farm, you can cheer them on, only within a hog call of Merrymead.

Take a ride on a tractor-drawn wagon to the pumpkin patch and pick your own before taking the kids on an adventure through the corn maze. Then, let them climb in the saddle for a pony ride.

Freddy Hill keeps adults entertained, too, with miniature golf, a driving range and a battery of batting cages.

Linvilla Orchards

Jay Lloyd | KYW Newsradio

Pumpkins, peacocks, a kind witch, corn maze, a tractor-drawn hayride — the combination and much more have made Linvilla Orchards in Delaware County one of the region's most popular attractions.

The sprawling farm and garden center has a year-round following. Kids can fish a stocked pond, while adults can take cooking and gardening classes.

Plus, if you're looking for fresh apples, you can pick your own. Plan to spend a day.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm

Jay Lloyd | KYW Newsradio

Make a weekend of a fall farm getaway near Lancaster County’s crop country.

It may sound like just another corn maze, but you have to navigate this one in the dark of night. Bring a flashlight as you try to find your way out, every Friday and Saturday this month.

After exploring the farm, take a scenic drive through Amish farmland and ride the vintage trains on the Strasburg Railroad.

Then, overnight at one of the many major brand family-friendly hotels in and around Lancaster.

Mast Farm

Jay Lloyd | KYW Newsradio

Take the challenge in two amazing mazes in nearby Berks County. Just west of Morgantown, you'll find Mast Farm with an array of activities surrounding the main event.

The pair of challenging corn mazes share the farm with a colorful pumpkin patch, just a hayride away from your soon-to-be jack-'o’-lantern.

For those not quite ready for the corn mazes, there's a soybean maze.

On the farming side, Mast Farm grows potatoes — which inevitably calls for spud slingshots.

As a kid growing up in New York City, my pumpkins were plastic. Now in the Philly suburbs, I'm making up for lost time. Enjoy fun on the farm.