Waiting for a sign that fall is finally here – other than the omnipresent pumpkin spice lattes, of course?
Turlock's own pumpkin patch and corn maze, operated by R.A.M. Farms, officially opened for the season on Sept. 27.
It's the third year for the 20-acre corn maze, which this year resembles an evil kitty. The maze takes about 45 minutes to navigate, assuming one doesn't become completely cornfused, Karen Macedo, co-owner of R.A.M. Farms, said.
The corn maze is a hotspot for Turlock teenagers throughout the fall, serving as a hangout spot on most Friday and Saturday nights. Guests just need to bring a flashlight for the “Freaky Flashlight Nights.”
“We try to keep it safe and family-friendly,” Macedo said.
And it's the sixth year for the pumpkin patch, featuring more than 45 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds, all grown in Turlock. The patch even sells a special pink pumpkin for breast cancer awareness, with proceeds going to the Turlock and Hilmar Relay For Life.
“Our pink pumpkins have been really popular this year,” Macedo said.
Other fun fall activities include pumpkin bowling – two lanes, this year – a hay bale maze, the new addition of pumpkin checkers, and Farmer Ron's Scary Shed.
The annual corn maze and pumpkin patch will close Nov. 1, with owners set to chop down the silage corn days later.
But this year, for the first time, R.A.M. Farms will open back up on Nov. 27 to host Turlock's first-ever temporary outdoor ice skating rink. The rink will measure 60-feet by 80-feet in size, and will be open until Jan. 12.
R.A.M. Farms expects to draw 25,000 skaters and spectators to the ice rink this year. And space is already filling up for school groups.
“We're taking reservations right now for field trips,” Macedo said.
R.A.M. Farms is open from 12 noon to dusk daily, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It is located at 716 N. Daubenberger Dr., Turlock.
Corn maze admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children age six to 12, and free for children under five. “Freaky Flashlight Nights” are $2 more. Group rates are available for groups of 25 or more.
Yearlong wristbands are available for $25 for those age six to 12, and $35 for those age 13 and over.
For more information, visit www.ramfarms.com.