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Fall family fun with Berry Acres

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With the days getting shorter and colder, time is running out to get outside without having to completely layer up. Berry Acres is open as a last chance for outdoor family fun before snow starts sticking around.

“We started in 2010 and the only year we weren’t able to open the pumpkin patch was the year of the flood,” owner Ashley Berry explained. “It’s something different for you to do in the fall as a family…It’s different than going to a playground because you get to play on the hay bales and the different slides.”

Each year Berry Acres chooses a new theme based on current events in entertainment. This year, the theme of the pumpkin patch is Aladdin. The original “Aladdin” animated movie was released in 1992 but has been given new life in 2019 with a live-action remake.

“Aladdin’s kind of old but since the new movie came out, we thought it’d be kind of cool to have that as the theme this year,” Berry explained. “We also try to pick (themes) that are more bright and colorful just so they stand out.”

Berry commented that guests enjoy coming back year after year to see the different themes and take photos with the different decorated hay bales. The process of decorating and setting everything up starts over the summer.

All the pumpkins, gourds and squash on display and available for sale at Berry Acres are produced by the Berrys themselves. They also carry various Pride of Dakota products in their store.

Each year the Berrys try to add something new to the pumpkin patch to enhance the autumnal family experience. This year Calvin Berry added swings that have become very popular.

“The previous year we added the fishing pond and that was a really big project so we really couldn’t do anything too big this year,” Ashley Berry said.

Younger kids from three- to eight-years-old love the corn box according to Berry. Playing on the bales of hay and going through the obstacle course are also popular activities for young kids.

Teenagers seem to gravitate towards the air cannons to shoot pumpkins and to the paint ball wagon.

Special activities offered on Saturdays and Sundays, for a small additional fee, include: train rides, hay rides, paintball wagon, pumpkin cannons, laser tag and chipping golf. Mini golf is offered daily for $5.

Berry Acres is open daily, weather permitting, until Oct. 27. Admission is $7 per person with children 3 and under entering for free. Guests in groups of 10 or more get a special $5 per person rate. The pumpkin patch is open Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

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