Brad Gritt, the general manager at Gritt’s Farm, told us, “you don’t end up out here by accident.” It’s true, you don’t find yourself standing on hundreds of acres of Gritt’s Farm property without intention, but, as with most things in life, the effort is well worth the payoff. Located in Buffalo (within an hour’s drive of both Charleston and Huntington) Gritt’s Farm has been in operation since 1927 growing various produce, trees, shrubs, flowers — if you can name it, they can likely grow it. As growing season turns to harvest season, crisp air blows over the hills of the Kanawha Valley and the farm transforms into Fun Farm, an autumn wonderland with pumpkins, corn mazes, and plenty of entertainment for the whole family.
Fun Farm begins every September and runs through early November, but we got a sneak preview of this year’s offerings on a warm September day. One of the first sights you’ll see as you enter the farm is a plentiful pumpkin patch sitting on the side of a hill near the entrance. You can roam the patch in search of the perfect carving pumpkin —- just the thing to get you into a spooky fall spirit. Another great way to get into an autumn state of mind? Corn mazes. Fun farm has both a Jr. Corn Maze and a Big Corn Maze. The theme of the Big Corn Maze this year is about the Gritt family history, which traces back to Italy.
Also, what trip to the pumpkin patch is complete without a wagon ride? Wagon rides will take you deeper into Gritt’s Farm land where you’ll find a number of attractions you cannot walk to. One of the newer, more unique experiences for kids this year are the jump pillows. These give a similar experience to a bounce house, but the jump pillows are partially buried in the ground and inflated. This means there’s no danger of the jump pillows blowing away and the Fun Farm has 2 sets —- one for smaller children, and another for the older crowd. Also new this year is a throwing station where you can practice throwing a variety of balls at targets including footballs and baseballs. Another fun attraction that sets Gritt’s Farm apart are their apple cannons, which, as the name would imply, shoot apples out into a field. You can practice your skills on wooden targets scattered throughout the field, and the cannons are so easy to use that even small children can operate them safely. The kids will also love the variety of other activities and attractions on the farm. Thre are slides, a corn bin, multiple play areas, and animals — including goats and rabbits. Kids can ride a zipline, practice archery, go pumpkin bowling, race rubber ducks, and try to find their way out of rope and hay mazes. It’s all sure to provide hours of fall fun for the entire family.
After all that playing, you’re going to be starving. Thankfully, Fun Farm has an excellent selection of tasty food made fresh to order. The menu includes savory items like cheeseburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken tenders, chili, and fries. Be sure to try out the variety of homemade pork rinds they have cooked up for a salty, decadent snack while you’re exploring the farm. There are also seasonal sweet treats for anyone with a sweet tooth. Pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pies, and a variety of caramel apples and kettle corn are available to purchase. Our personal favorites, however, are the pumpkin cake doughnuts. Calories don’t count while you’re enjoying Gritt’s Farm! (FYI they also serve salads if you want to make up for all the sugary snacks you’re eating.)
Fun Farm 2019 is underway now and is open Thursday and Friday from 12 pm to 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Fun Farm is free for children 2 and under, $6.50 for any “gramps and grannies,” $10.75 for everyone else on weekdays, and $12.75 weekends. You can also get a season pass for $32.00. School groups and organizations must schedule trips in advance, and the link to do that can be found here. Have a great trip!
Written by Tyler Phillips.