This time of year there is no shortage of pumpkin patch/harvest festival/cider mill, etc type stuff to visit. It’s all a great time, but my favorite place to visit in the fall is hands down Johnson Farms in Belton, MO.
Fall is their big time of year! From September 24 – October 31, you can visit and enjoy pumpkins, a hay ride, pick your own apples, a large outdoor play area for kids, delicious cider slushes and donuts, live music, live animals, and most importantly, fantastic staff who love families. We recently spent the day there (yes, the ENTIRE DAY) with our Kansas City Moms Blog family, and I can’t tell you how much fun every single person had.
Located at 17701 Holmes Road, Johnson Farms is just an easy 20 minute drive from Kansas City. Even on a busy Sunday morning, there was plenty of parking. When you first walk in through the plant store and into the greenhouse to pay admission, you’re greeted by huge piles of pumpkins picked from the farm’s pumpkin patch. For us, one of the best parts of the day was picking our own pumpkin. But if you don’t want to walk through the pumpkin patch, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous pumpkins to choose from right up front.
Once inside, my almost-four-year-old son was all about the play area. Know this beforehand: the Johnsons don’t mess around when it comes to kids play. They want the kids to run around, jump, climb, explore, and just have a great time. There are so many different opportunities for our small humans to do just that.
There is a huge enclosed play gym (think hamster cage tunnels for kiddos), a small playground for small children, a “corn crib” challenge for kids who love obstacle courses and lots of climbing and sliding, pedal go-karts, a giant bouncy pillow, pig races, and more. My son’s favorite part of the farm is their big yellow school bus that’s had the seats removed. It used to be filled with sand, pails, and shovels. This year, however, it’s filled with giant blocks. We spent more than an hour building in the block bus. He also loved the corn pit, another new feature this year! It’s exactly what it sounds like: a pit that’s filled with corn kernals. Kids loved making “corn angels,” throwing corn, burying each other in corn, etc.
We then took a hayride up to the back field where you can walk through the pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkins AND your own apples. You can then walk them back in a wheelbarrow or carry them if you’re feeling strong.
My son spent another half hour playing on an antique fire truck, and we were finally able to pry him off with the promise of the dragon that eats pumpkins. You read that right. A dragon that eats pumpkins.
Speaking of eating, you can buy some of their delicious apple cider donuts and cold apple cider slushies and it’s a more-than-satisfying combo. My favorite is the fresh cooked corn on the cob. They also sell cheeseburgers, hot dogs, drinks, and coffee (Thank the Lord. I had two cups).
We spent five and a half hours there, you guys. FIVE AND A HALF HOURS. We weren’t the only family who did. Every time I talked to someone who had never been there, they kept saying the same thing: “We had no idea there was this much great stuff to do here.” That’s an understatement.
This is not the kind of place you go, grab a pumpkin, spend 45 minutes, and then leave. Be prepared to spend at least two hours enjoying Johnson Farms. And why not? What else is better than being outdoors with family and friends in a gorgeous location?
All kids 2 and under are free, but there is admission for children, adults, and seniors. Kids are $13 on the weekends, adults are $11, and seniors are $9. But this year, Johnson Farms is offering their new season pass options. A family of up to six people can purchase a large family season pass for $100. New this year, is the Family 4-Pack Season Pass for families of up to four for just $65.
If you go twice this season, and trust me, you will want to, a season pass is the way to go. The Friends of the Farm loyalty card also offers frequent farm guests perks – you’ll earn rewards after reaching 200 points. Details in store.
I have been a fan of Johnson Farms for years, and the owners are some of the best people I know. They care about what they do, and it’s obvious in every part of the farm. Take advantage of the season pass and go enjoy autumn at the farm.
I guarantee we will back at least twice before Halloween.