• July 29, 2014

DAY-CATIONS Pumpkin patches make great escapes

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Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 4:30 am

Fall is a good time to get off the couch, out of the air conditioning and into the great outdoors. For those short of time and money, a regular vacation may be out of the question. But have no fear, there’s plenty to do right here in Harker Heights’ backyard. This is the second in a series on “Day-cation” destinations.

The first cold snap of autumn didn’t stop parents, grandparents and children from enjoying the pumpkin patch at Silo Christmas Tree Farm on Sunday. It was “opening weekend” for the pumpkin patch, and owners Bob and Marilyn Garber had prepared for big crowds.

“Oh, we’ll be busy from open to close,” Marilyn said. “They start lining up early in the morning. It’s that way every weekend.”

Various pumpkin patch activities are spread across the 12-acre farm located west of Temple near Lake Belton. Kids can take pony rides in a corral set up next to a towering red-brick silo, the farm’s namesake, and visitors can take a hay ride that circles the property behind a green antique tractor.

“My husband runs the hayrides, so he stays pretty busy,” Marilyn said.

A petting zoo, featuring wooly sheep, is located near the barn. Behind the farm’s yellow homestead sits the gift shop, which also serves as a bed-and-breakfast establishment from January to September.

And next to the gift shop, rows and rows of pumpkins are lined up for folks to browse through and purchase.

Visitors can also enjoy pumpkin painting, a mini-train, a bounce house and snacks for a small price. Tickets are $1 each and rides and activities cost from two to five tickets per person. Cash and credit cards are accepted. There is no entrance fee, but the Garbers are asking for a canned-food donation for Helping Hands food and clothing pantry in Belton.

The pumpkin patch, located at 7617 McGregor Park Road in Temple, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through the end of October. For more information, call (254) 986-7988.

More Pumpkins

For those who want to stay closer to home, the Harker Heights pumpkin patch is located at 601 E. Farm-to Market 2410.

Sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Killeen, the pumpkin patch will host a carnival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Hay rides, a petting zoo, a rock wall, pony rides, games and food will be available for pumpkin shoppers.

The Harker Heights pumpkin patch, where families can come and pick out their own pumpkin, is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the church at (254) 634-6363.

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