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Area farms offer pumpkins, fall fun activities

Live Oak Elementary School students, from left, Kelvin Starks, Jarquis Brinkley and Lucy McDonald gather in the barn at Mitcham Farm to feed the sheep.

Live Oak Elementary School students, from left, Kelvin Starks, Jarquis Brinkley and Lucy McDonald gather in the barn at Mitcham Farm to feed the sheep.

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Live Oak Elementary School student Aaron Johnson runs his fingers over the bumpy spots on a pumpkin at Mitcham Farm in Oxford

If You Go

Area pumpkin patches

• Colonel Cob's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch at the Mitcham Farm, 797 Macedonia Church Road, Oxford, Newton County. Hours: Wednesdays, 1 to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 1 to 10 p.m.; Saturdays, noon to 10 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.

Visit www.mitchamfarm.com or call 770-786-8805 or 770-855-1530

• Southern Belle Farm, 1658 Turner Church Road, McDonough, Henry County. Hours: Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 6 p.m.

Visit www.southernbelle... or call 770-288-2582

• Yule Forest Pumpkin Patch, 3565 Hwy. 155 in Stockbridge, Henry County. Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 4 to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 to 6 p.m.

Visit www.aboutyule.com or call 770-954-9356

If you haven't made that trek to the pumpkin patch yet this season, there's still time. Farmers are waiting to welcome you with hayrides, corn mazes, slides and plenty of other activities to keep the kids busy for an afternoon.

The family-owned Mitcham Farm in Oxford offers its Colonel Cob's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. While there are pumpkins for sale, the activities are the real draw. Young children will enjoy the cow train, inflatable jumper and corn-filled silo, while the giant slide, corn maze, corn cannon and pedal cars offer fun for all ages.

New this year is a hayride to a barn with a petting zoo, and a pumpkin decorating table, as well as a video about farming.

"We try to make it educational," Kevin Mitcham said.

On weekend nights, the hayride takes visitors to a bonfire where they roast marshmallows and hotdogs.

Other special events include an American Indian pow-wow at 1 p.m. on Oct. 16, helicopter rides each Saturday, and a presentation by wildlife educator Okefenokee Joe at 12 p.m. on Oct. 29.

Southern Belle Farms, a 200-acre working farm in McDonough, is another option for fall fun.

The biggest attraction is the 7-acre corn maze, this year carved into the shape of a cow. The family-owned farm also offers pig races, a petting zoo, corn cannon, cow train, jumping pillow, pedal carts, a corn box and a giant slide.

Special activities for the rest of the month include a square dance performance 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct.16, Farm Heritage Day and Antique Tractor Show from 12 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 22 and a Fall Festival from 3 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29.

If you live closer to Stockbridge, you may want to check out Yule Forest's Pumpkin Patch. In addition to growing blueberries and Christmas trees in other seasons, the farm cultivates a pick-your-own pumpkin patch ready just in time for Halloween.

Once you've selected the perfect pumpkin, let the kids enjoy a hayride, earthworm exhibit, a rabbit pioneer village, petting zoo, live reptile displays, a 20-foot slide, jumping pillow, obstacle course and fun house.

For the older "kids," Yule Forest offers Fear the Woods, a haunted house and hayride on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7 p.m. to midnight. Tours leave each hour on the hour.