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Discover traditional family fun at Patterson’s Fun Fest

Aug 21, 2017 05:24PM ● Published by Today's Family

By Mary Flenner

In an age where most kids have their own iPad—and communicate with their friends via texts, Snaps and selfies—it’s nice to get back to the basics.  And enjoying a beautiful fall day at the farm is an experience that still can’t be rivaled.

Patterson Fruit Farm hosts an annual Fun Fest that is aimed at bringing families together over traditional activities.  Here, families can unplug and enjoy things like corn mazes, apple picking and pumpkin painting—all with the irresistible scent of fresh kettle corn and warm apple cider wafting in the air.  Fall in northeast Ohio doesn’t get much more picturesque.
While Patterson’s Farm Market is open year-round, their seasonal Fun Fest runs for a few weeks and offers lots of activities for families.  This year’s event runs through October 29.

If it has been awhile since you attended the festival please note that it is no longer held at their Caves Road location.  Due to its popularity, Fun Fest was moved to their location at 8765 Mulberry Road, just a few miles away.

“I think young families are looking to give their kids the same traditional experiences they had growing up,” says owner Nancy Patterson.

“We wanted the festival to be something the whole family could do together, as opposed to parents sitting back and just observing.  And with four acres of activities, there really is something for every age to have fun and get involved with,” she continues.

This fifth generation, family-owned farm in Chesterland is just a short drive from the suburbs, but you'll feel a world away, and perhaps even like you’ve taken a step back in time. 
The fest started simply, 25 years ago, with their pumpkins and a few bales of hay for kids to play on. However, they quickly noticed that families were looking for an excuse to stick around longer and for more to do.  In response, new activities, toys and play areas were slowly added.  While the festival continues to grow, they avoid overcrowding by spacing out activities across their land.  

All the play equipment is hand-made, including their enormous wooden tractor, tree house, red silo and 50-foot slide.  There are 14 total slides, a sand canoe, tire swings, handmade go-carts, a 1.5-mile walking trail and pony rides.  There are also real tractors and a combine that kids can climb in.

Nancy says one of her favorite parts is watching kids play in the hay bale pavilion, which houses hundreds of bales of hay.  "They’re so happy just to sit there and take their time feeling the hay, with no one telling them what to do, or to hurry up.  They're in their own little world—enjoying the experience.  And that’s what it’s all about.”

“I can’t remember the last time my kids had so much fun doing such simple things,” one visitor said.

"As each generation becomes a little more removed from traditional farm life, it’s important to have experiences like these.  Some kids have no idea what a farm even looks like.  They're shocked when they arrive.  Here they can see the orchards, touch the trees, pick the apples and understand where their food comes from,” says Patterson.

Patterson’s Fun Fest hours are Monday through Thursday 10 AM to 6 PM, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Weekday admission is $5.00 per person, weekends are $8.00 per person.  Children two and younger are free.

Visitors can pack a picnic or enjoy one of Patterson’s seasonal treats, like their renowned apple fritters.

Get more information online at www.PattersonFarm.com or call 440-729-1964.

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