Monday, August 29 2022 1:18

Hayrides and Fall Festivities in the Brandywine Valley

Written by Gina Mullen

Take a hayride for more fall fun

Linvilla Orchards

What began as farm children piling into wagons loaded with hay at the end of the day’s chores has transformed into a can’t-miss fall festivity.  Now autumn isn’t complete without a leisurely tractor-pulled hayride with views of tall cornstalks and ripe pumpkins, plus the sweet scent of hay and delectable apples.

Here are some of our favorite local hayrides for the whole family to enjoy.

Chester County

With a reservation, fun-lovers at Highland Orchards in West Chester get several options for hayrides. The hour-long hayride travels through scenic orchards, while the two-hour ride includes a 45-minute tractor-pulled wagon ride around the orchards to a private campfire area. For three- and four-hour events, groups can schedule more time at the campfire. Through October, Fall Harvest Weekends are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. and include a 15-minute hayride loop through the orchard. Buy apple cider and donuts from the market to snack on during your ride.

Chester Springs’ Milky Way Farm offers hayrides for up to 20, with reservations. During their annual Pumpkin Harvest Season, stroll the pumpkin patch, wander through the corn maze, take family photos ans visit the farm animals on weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m. ($5 admission). During the week, navigate through a family-friendly corn maze ($3 a ticket). Plus, BYOW (bring your own wagon) for pumpkins, vegetables, honey and other items for sale. Before heading home, stop by the famous Creamery for an ice cream treat from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Delaware County

Through November 6, take a trip to Media’s Linvilla Orchards for Pumpkinland, featuring an array of autumn activities, including apple and pumpkin picking, mazes and several spook-tacular scenes for the whole family, like Harvest Hayrides. Enjoy views of the farm on a scenic 15-minute ride through the fields, departing from Pumpkinland. Kiddos love the Hayride to the Witch’s House, where a friendly witch tells stories, jokes and gives out treats, with a campfire stocked with cider and marshmallows awaiting at the end. Or take in the pleasure of a crisp fall evening on the Autumn Moon Hayride, a 20-minute loop through the farm surrounded by apple trees under the evening sky, complete with a crackling campfire, toasted marshmallows and homemade apple cider.

Media is also the home to Indian Orchards Farm, an old-fashioned, family-run farm for 109 years. Dubbed a “best kept secret of Delco” by visitors, this non-commercialized farm offers in-season fruits and vegetables for the picking, including September peaches, October apples and November pumpkins for only $3.50 a person. Enjoy hayrides every weekend, grills for use after fishing at the lake, homemade apple cider and produce grown from organic seeds. Want to skip picking your own produce? Stop by the farmstand to pick up your fruits and veggies.

Lancaster County

Located in the heart of Pennsylvanian Dutch country, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is brimming with fall fun. This solar-operated property contains an adventure farm surrounded by over 300 acres of lush, cultivated crops. Find more than 50 Farm Fun activities on the farm, including the Farm Tour Wagon Ride, Hay Chute Slide, Amazing Maize Maze, Petting Zoo, Apple Blasters and more. Voted a Top 10 Corn Maze in America from 2018–21 by USA Today (#1 in 2020), this farm knows how ot create family fun!

For a Special Halloween Treat…

The Haunted Hayride finally returns to the Bates Motel in 2022 at Arasapha Farm with new, gigantic sets to ramp up the Halloween fun. With amazing props, digital effects, spooky actors and horrifying makeup, the Haunted Hayride has scared visitors for over 30 years, earning it a feature on the Travel Chanel and #1 rating for Haunted Attractions in America by news outlets like CNN Travel and USA Today. This 25-minute horror ride through the deep, haunted forest of Arasapha Farm features monstrous displays and pyrotechnics and is guaranteed to strike fear in the bravest of souls.