Best Fall Festivals 2012 in South Florida: Hayrides, Pumpkin Patches, and Corn Mazes | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Best Fall Festivals 2012 in South Florida: Hayrides, Pumpkin Patches, and Corn Mazes

It might be hard to believe from the weather outside, but Autumn 2012 officially began on September 22. But just because we live in the only Zone 10 in the contiguous United States doesn't mean we can get a little taste of fall fun. There are pumpkin patches, hayrides, and harvest-time fun all over Broward and Palm Beach counties.

11. Bedner's Farm Fresh Market
Tucked away on 441 in Boynton Beach, Bedner's Farm and farmers' market is the kind of old-fashioned country gem you don't find often these days. And this time of year, it has a full pumpkin patch where you can plop down the little ones and snap a memorable photo. In addition to the pumpkin patch, there's a hayride, a corn maze, and -- new this year -- the Fun Field, which includes duck races, a rock-climbing wall, and laser tag. Hayrides are $3, admission to the corn maze is $3, and the wristband for the Fun Field is $10 -- or all three for $13. The fall activities are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

10. Flamingo Gardens
On October 13, Flamingo Gardens will present its Harvest Fest & Third Annual Great Scarecrow Competition from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The botanical garden becomes the boo-tanical garden, where participants are invited to create their own scarecrow to be displayed in the garden until November 1. The scarecrows should be brought to the garden and set up between 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, October 12, and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. At the Harvest Fest, somewhere between the hayrides, Fall Market, scavenger hunt, and autumn crafts, the scarecrows will be judged with the winners announced at 2 p.m. Entry in the contest is free, but the prizes are not -- $100 for first place, $50 for second, and $25 for third.  Admission to the park is half price for the day.

9. Flamingo Road Nursery
The nursery holds its Fall Harvest Festival all

month long. In addition to apple sampling and garden talks, this

landscapers' mecca has a pumpkin patch and pumpkin painting, plus

horse-drawn hayrides ($4) and face painting ($4) on Saturdays and

Sundays starting October 6. Great place to pick up gourds and a hay bale

as well.

8. Batten's Farmers' Market
Battens Farmers' Market in Davie was closed all summer but reopened September 28. It will have a pumpkin patch beginning October 20. There's a Halloween movie night and hayrides on Friday, October 26, and pumpkin carving and pony rides on Saturday, the 27th. A petting zoo is open every day except Wednesdays. Be sure to pick up milk shakes and fresh jams and jellies.

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane

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