As summer winds down and temperatures begin to dip, fall colors fill the landscape and pumpkins ripen for the picking.
What better way to celebrate harvest season than getting lost in a corn maze or taking a haunted hayride?
Whitewater resident Patty Hanson is opening her H and H Pumpkin Patch on Saturday and is pulling out all the stops to provide visitors with a variety of autumn fun. Along with her husband, Rick, and business partner, Alex Huff, Hanson transformed her 30-acre plot into an agricultural-centric carnival.
The Hansons have owned their farm for 15 years and sold produce from the property for five. After seeing her stand grow in popularity, Hanson decided it was time to branch out.
Hanson and Huff met a few years ago when they both worked at Festival Foods in Janesville. Huff recalled another employee mentioning Hanson had her own produce stand.
“We met and got to talking and discovered we both dreamed of owning a full-blown pumpkin patch,” Huff said.
After a couple years of mulling the idea over, the pair made the business a reality.
The attraction, which is located on the Hansons’ Whitewater farm off Six Corners Road, features many festivities synonymous with fall and Halloween.
“We have a lot going on,” Hanson said.
In addition to the nearly 5-acre corn maze, the business offers hayrides, a straw bale maze and games aplenty. From a corn pit to bounce houses, a petting zoo to table games, the little ones have more than enough activities from which to choose. There will even be Clydesdale horses on hand to pull passenger wagons.
To add a hint of spooky to the ambiance, Hanson will have a 12-foot movie screen on which she will play scary yet family-friendly movies. The hayrides and corn maze will turn into haunted attractions from 6-11 p.m., Oct. 8-30.
There is no shortage of food options, as Hanson has set aside space for food vendors. Delavan cupcake shop Home Style Bakery is selling its popular apple cider donuts—which Hanson calls “absolutely perfect” pastries. Also on hand will be a “Ghouls’ Grill” serving up a ghastly amount of fare from burgers, hot dogs to caramel sundaes.
Visitors can also grab a cup of hot chocolate or hot cider while munching on some kettle corn.
“This will be quite a food destination,” Hanson said.
Crafts and produce will also be sold from a produce tent. And of course, as advertised, people can choose from thousands of homegrown pumpkins.
Hanson said her event will get people into the fall spirit.
“We have been shut down for a year. People need to get out and enjoy life,” she said.
Keeping the pandemic in mind, the event will follow appropriate precautions. Masks will be optional unless they are mandated at some point.
Huff added that the intent of the event is to provide entertainment for families at a reasonable cost.
“My hopes are that we can create a fun family destination that doesn’t break the bank,” she said.
Entry to the patch is $3 per person and parking is free. Hayrides and corn maze admission will be available for an additional $3 for children aged 4 to 9 and $5 for adults.