October in East Tennessee is one of the most breathtaking times of year to take in the beautiful natural vistas, from the changing leaves coloring the mountains to the contrasts of the autumn sunsets with the brilliant blue skies touching the crisp, sparkling water of the many waterways and lakes. Ahhhhh, yes, fall in full bloom! Pumpkins showing up in everything from front door décor to candle scents and of course spiced lattes….. who could argue with the absolute refreshing change from the warmth (ok sometimes more like oppressive heat) of summer. Some of the other things that permeate October are the choices for outdoors family activities.I want to spend a few minutes talking about some of the very best pumpkin patches, which also feature mazes and haunted houses, which are close to Knoxville.
First, let’s look at Deep Well Farm. It’s located at 9567 HWY 11E, Lenoir City TN 37772 - just 5 minutes from Farragut and 10 minutes from Turkey Creek Shopping Center. Their own website encourages visitors to relax and enjoy the break from modern responsibilities and just embrace being on a farm: “Take a trip to a simpler time. Get lost in our corn maze or take an old fashioned hayride to our pumpkin patch. Or simply let the kids run around and play while you relax in one of our front porch rocking chairs.” Many local schools plan field trips to Deep Well Farm and the kids love picking out their own small pumpkin. The corn maze is an amazingly fun activity in which to include your pre-teen and teenage children. It will have them running and giggling leaving behind the stress that usually pre-occupies their age group. You can also choose to take a hay ride and visit the various farm animals. The website offers a calendar as well as a link if you are interested in scheduling a private party or event. There is also a haunted attraction at Deep Well Farm which has a completely separate website linked here.
Next, another option is Oakes Farm at 8240 Corryton Road, Corryton, TN 37721. It also boasts an impressive corn maze and pumpkin patch and depending on where you live in Knoxville may be a closer choice. The Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch at Oakes Farm website offers the following: “We're the place to experience an amazing corn maze, a delightful pumpkin patch, an old-fashioned hayride, and lots more! Fall is simply fantastic at Oakes Farm … so, join us for a day that will provide a lifetime of memories! Located about 12 miles north of Knoxville, TN, Oakes Farm is a wonderful place for both the young and the young-at-heart to enjoy a truly unique outdoor experience at a very affordable price. We're becoming famous for our amazing corn mazes, which are works of art when viewed from above (of course, we have pictures) and challenging, life-size puzzles when you're inside them.” They list more than 25 various other activities from animal petting areas to slides and astoundingly, something called the “Pumpkin Cannon” which looks worth the trip on its own! I should also say, the website is very engaging and contains not only more in depth information, but also some great photos and maps so you can get a great idea before you actually go. According to the website, this is the last year for the Haunted attraction called the Trail of Doom which covers 4 acres of land. In my opinion, if you love scary things that makes this a must do for 2015!
Finally, a newer option is the Gilreath Farm. This is the second year for the Knox Corn Maze at Gilreath Farm and it offers a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, a hay ride, and a petting zoo. They have many other fun activities that remind me of things you may see at a county fair. According to the website, live music acts are sometimes present. A calendar on the site shows exact dates when live musical entertainment and certain nights for the Haunted Corn Maze. According to their website: “It's More Than Just A Corn Maze....We are working hard to develop our attractions for 2015. You will see some favorites from last year with improvements along with plenty of new ones!!! Confirmed Additions for 2015: Gilreath Farms Train Ride; 40' Bounce House and Slide Combo; Gem Mining, Fossil Mining, Arrow Head Find; Mini Corn Maze for Small Children” plus many others. I think you would have a great time at any of these sites. Whether you want to simply enjoy the bountiful harvest on a farm or see the maze or pumpkin pages, Knoxville certainly doesn’t fall short on opportunities. It’s always great to welcome people relocating to the area at this time of year and be able to introduce them to a great seasonal activity!