Pumpkin patch set to open again MondayBy Emily Beckett Published 11:15pm Friday, September 28, 2012
With September and the first official week of fall drawing to a close, families will start looking for pumpkin patches and other places to take children for autumn amusements.
By now, many families probably have discovered one of Clanton’s pumpkin-packed destinations: the Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch.
About 14 years ago, Bobby and Frances Payton started the Patch in what they thought was a perfect location, on Alabama Highway 145 near Interstate 65 Exit 212.
“There’s a lot of them up north, and we just thought we had the perfect location and that it would be a good family outing,” Frances Payton said. “There’s not many family places you can go and just let the kids run.”
Payton said a visit to the Patch has become a tradition for many, and the good times aren’t limited to the gourds.
Kids can enjoy educational demonstrations on Indian culture from a local Native American, weekend helicopter rides (weather permitting), pony rides, an inflatable amusement park, rides on the “Twactor Twain,” a petting zoo and sheep shearing, a new addition to the Patch’s activities.
Hayrides take visitors out to the large pumpkin patch every so often, and homemade food, barbecue and pies abound all day long in the concession area.
According to Payton, the roasted corn is “a hit” every year.
“We have people that come just for that,” she said of the corn. “It’s been there ever since we’ve been open.”
The Red Barn Gift Shop is another wing worth a walk-through at the Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch.
Bonfires by appointment are held Friday and Saturday nights, and field trips are common throughout the week but do not preclude others from visiting at the same time.
The Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch is open Oct. 1–31, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to dark Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to dark Sunday.
For more information, call (205) 755-4553.