(ABC4) – Now that fall is in full effect, getting the kids bundled up in layers and heading out for a fall-themed adventure is a must for many Utah families.

Something about the crisp air, muted colors, and the warming sensation and refreshing taste of apple cider just fit together. Throw in a few pumpkins and hayrides and you’ve got an outing that some people look forward to all year round.

ABC4.com also featured a list of some of the best haunted houses to visit in the fall, but for those who prefer a milder autumn-themed experience, have no fear, there are plenty of non-scary things to do as the seasons change in the state.

A pumpkin patch, for example, would be an excellent way to spend a fall day.

Here are some of the best places to enjoy selecting a future Jack-o’-lantern or go on a hayride:

Black Island Farms Harvest Festival

Courtesy of Black Island Farms

For those looking for fall fun in Davis County, there may be no better place to visit than Black Island Farms Harvest Festival. The rundown of activities stretches nearly as long as the 16-acre corn maze on the property. The farm offers a cow train, straw mountain, grain chute slide, and a goat mountain on its list of can’t-miss attractions. A tractor ride to the pumpkin patch, where you can pluck the pumpkin of your choice off the vine sounds like a hoot, but it’s hard to imagine anything as delightful as the nightly pig races. Just look for the giant spotlight in Syracuse and you’ll find your way to the fall-themed Mecca that is Black Island Farms.

Cross E Ranch

Courtesy of Cross E Ranch

The giant Cross E Ranch on the west side, near the border of Davis and Salt Lake County is known for going all out during the holidays. The fall season is no different. Of course, the usual staples of a fall festival can be found there, including hayrides, barrel trains, and yes, pig races as well. The pumpkin patch at Cross E also boasts 25 different varieties of pumpkins! Who knew there were so many variations on pumpkins? What adds to the enticement is the ranch’s lineup of treats and food on hand. Bring a bag of kettle corn or a box of apple cider donuts back to the office after a night at the ranch, and you’ll probably be the most popular person in the workplace.

Gardner Village

Courtesy of Gardner Village

Located in West Jordan, Gardner Village already has a solid reputation of being a social media photo-worthy hotspot filled with adorable little boutiques and restaurants. In the fall, however, the Instagram effect steps up a notch with the area’s annual WitchFest. Patrons are invited to participate in the event’s marquee offering, the Scavenger Hunt, complete with witch statues and figurines hidden throughout the village that hunters must photograph to complete the list of clues and earn a cookie reward. On top of that, more witchy fun includes a 5K Witch Run, a Witches Night Out, and plenty of Witchy Eats. It’s time to dust off the broomstick and head over to the village.

Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta in Daybreak

Courtesy of Live Daybreak

We all know that giant pumpkins make for great horse-drawn carriages (that’s a Cinderella reference, by the way), but you may not realize they also make for fantastic water vessels. Yes, really. Fans of pumpkin-themed aquatics have been coming out in droves to watch stunningly large pumpkins carved out and used as kayaks for a decade now. This year’s event on Oct. 16 will be the 10th of the imaginative gatherings on the shores of the Oquirrh Lake. This thing has to be seen to be believed as the huge pumpkins are lowered into the lake, sawed open and gutted, and then rowed across the water.  It’s way too fun to not go mainstream one day. Who knows, maybe the pumpkin regatta will be in the Olympics one day?

Wheeler Historic Farm

Courtesy of Wheeler Historic Farm

For some reason, it seems like going on a field trip to Wheeler Historic Farm was a mandatory part of the elementary school curriculum. What is going to feel like a field trip for adults and lovers of canines will likely be the farm’s Dog Days in the Maze on Oct. 25. On that night, humans and dogs will enjoy a fall outing together as they navigate a hay maze, take a wagon ride, and even go trick or treating. While that ‘paw-some’ event will be one night only, the farm has an ongoing Pumpkins Days festival that is also quite enjoyable.


Courtesy of Cornbelly’s

For many Utahns, fall isn’t really fall without a trip to Cornbelly’s. The family-friend institution has two locations in Spanish Fork and Lehi, but the latter one at Thanksgiving Point may be the more iconic. There are over 55 fantastic fall activity installations at Cornbelly’s that blend the DIY nature of life on the farm, with the friendly appeal of an arcade or a game center. Attractions include Barnyard Basketball, Barnyard Billards, a Pumpkin Princess Playland, and a Corn Cob Beach. Animals also take center stage at Cornbelly’s in the form of a petting zoo as well as duck and pig races.

Let us know!

The above is not a complete or comprehensive list of fall activities in Utah. Do you have a favorite autumn activity hotspot? Let us know in the Facebook comments below:

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