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Chesterland farm hosts Fun Fest Patterson Fruit Farm has an eclectic range of kid-friendly activities

September 28, 2018

Chesterland farm hosts Fun Fest Patterson Fruit Farm has an eclectic range of kid-friendly activities

A group of elementary school kids from various districts were being put in place like little toy soldiers to climb aboard a wagon that would whisk them to a day of adventure exploring a corn maze, climbing and jumping from bails of hay, and wading through a crib of corn.

Yes, Fun Fest is up and running at Patterson Fruit Farm, 8765 Mulberry Road, Chesterland. It’s open through late October.

The 160-acre farm is run by David Patterson, a sixth-generation farmer, and his wife, Pam.

“I’m the sixth generation so we have a long history here,” he said. “We started the farm market [on Caves Road] in 1956. We have been here on the farm for over 100 years. It started out as an ‘Old MacDonald’ farm, with cows and chickens and sheep. We didn’t start specializing in apples until the 1950s.”

Fun Fest started in 1992, after Patterson graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in pomology (the study of apples and other fruits). Patterson says the farm fest is a re-creation of all the activities he and his brother used to do as kids.

Families can bring a lunch and sit at picnic tables conveniently located near the 50-foot double slide as well as the treehouse in the woods.

What would a farm be without horses? Pony rides are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Kids can paint a pumpkin from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays for a $4 fee, which includes the pumpkin.

Patterson not only runs the farm, but also is the disciplinarian when a visiting child becomes overzealous. As he was passing by a criblike structure filled with kernels of corn, a teacher asked him to tell her student, who was fighting to get more playtime in the corn crib, that it was time to wrap things up and go. Patterson, with a smile, concurred, and that was that.

Hours for the Fun Fest are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission is $5 during the week and $8 on weekends. For more information, go to pattersonfarm.com/fun-fest/. A weather hotline is available for closing information: 440-729-7144.

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