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Fall into fun

Take your pick of festivals, pumpkins, apples and more

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Diana Nollen  ::   UPDATED: 21 January 2014 | 3:37 pm   ::  

Ready to fall into fun? Grab your jacket and jump into this pile of leaves, pumpkin patches, hayrack rides and other Eastern Iowa autumn outings.

But this list is just a taste of what's happening.

When you need fuel to fire up your hikes, bikes and explorations, area churches are offering everything from chili suppers to chicken and noodle dinners. Ready to shop? Hit the bazaar trail. Need to get in out of the chill? The play's the thing at local professional and community theaters and music is on tap at local bars, breweries and art houses.


 


PUMPKIN PATCHES


 

Bart’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch

  • 7307 Alburnett Rd., Marion

  • 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; pony rides 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

  • Free admission, $5 pony rides


 

Bass Farms

  • 1325 Hwy. 30 W., Mount Vernon

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday

  • Free admission


 

Bloomsbury Farm

  • 3260 69th St., Atkins

  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

  • Admission: $11 weekends, $8 weekdays

  • Also features corn mazes, zip line, themed activities


 

Colony Pumpkin Patch

  • 2780 S. Front St., North Liberty

  • 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday

  • Free admission


 

East Post Pumpkins

  • 1950 East Post Rd., Marion

  • 4 p.m. to dusk Monday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday, 10 a.m. to dusk Sunday

  • Free admission


 

Goodlove’s Pumpkin Farm

  • 1870 Covington Rd., Palo

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

  • Free admission


 

Honey Creek Acres

  • 799 Swisher View Dr. SW, Swisher

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

  • Free admission


 

Kroul Farm and Gardens

  • 245 Hwy. 1 S., Mount Vernon

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

  • Free admission


 

Pumpkin Patch Pizzazz

  • 16359 170th Ave., (new location) Monticello

  • 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

  • Admission $3

  • Animals, activities, pumpkins, etc.


 

Sherman Pumpkin Farm & Corn Maze

  • 413 S. Wayne, Manchester, Iowa

  • No admittance fee.

  • Pumpkin Farm:  9:00 – Dusk; Monday thru Sunday / Corn Maze 9:00 – Dusk on Saturday & Sunday

  • Corn Maze Fee:  $5.00 per person; 4 and under free


 

Shima Pumpkin Patch

  • 4080 Highway 382 NE, Solon

  • 9 a.m. to dark daily

  • Free admission


 

2-Jo’s Farm and Western Town

  • 2253 73rd St., Hwy. 30, Van Horne

  • 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday

  • Admission: $5

  • Pumpkins, ponies and petting zoo


 

Wilson’s Orchard

  • 2924 Orchard Lane NE, Iowa City

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

  • Free admission


 

 


AUTUMN LEAVES


Eastern Iowa is a leaf looker's paradise:

  • The Great River Road to Coralville Lake

  • Lake Macbride near Solon

  • Palisades-Kepler State Park near Mount Vernon

  • Pinicon Ridge Park near Central City

  • Backbone State Park near Strawberry Point

  • And perhaps the most popular, Pikes Peak near McGregor


Really, anywhere two or more leafy trees are gathered, they all break out their fancy colors to create a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green and purple against a clear blue sky.

 

Fall Leaf Tour: Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation bus tour

  • Oct. 11

  • Adults ages 50 and up

  • 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Ambroz Recreation Center, 2000 Mount Vernon Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids

  • $50 residents, $58 non-residents

  • Tour the Mississippi Valley, apple orchards near Gays Mills, late lunch at Breitbach’s in Balltown.

  • Register for program 20113-01 by Wednesday (10/10)

  • (319) 286-5731 or crrec.org


 

Brucemore Autumn Landscape Hike

  • 10:30 a.m. Oct. 20

  • Brucemore grounds in Cedar Rapids

  • Gardeners lead hike through the estate's 26 acres and answer questions from plantings to landscape design

  • $10 or $7 Brucemore member

  • (319) 362-7375 or Brucemore.org


 

CELEBRATION


 

Under a Cider Moon -- A Celebration of Autumn

  • 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19, Schwab’s Celebration Barn

  • Johnson County Heritage Trust fundraiser

  • Live and silent auctions, food, music by The Guy Drollinger Trio

  • $50 in advance at (319) 338-7030 or email info@jcht.org


 


FESTIVALS


Festivals abound this time of year, but here are several key ones to get you out and about.

Anamosa Pumpkinfest and Weigh-off

  • Saturday, Oct. 6

  • Downtown Anamosa

  • Parade, food, craft vendors, pumpkin carving, kids' games and rides, sports tournaments, 5K run, music, chili cookoff, Ryan Norlin Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off


 

Czech Fall Festival

  • Sunday, Oct. 14

  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Czech Village

  • Music, food, vendors and more


 

Ely Fall Fest

  • 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 and 6:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 6

  • Ely Community Center, park and fire station

  • 5K race, breakfast, farmers market, crafts, car show, kids events, pumpkin decorating/carving, youth talent show, sports, food, bingo, fireworks


 

Marengo Fall Festival

  • Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6

  • Marengo Town Square

  • Entertainment, food, vendors, ending with community performance of "Thriller"


 

Fall Arts & Crafts Festival

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7

  • Triangle Park, McGregor

  • Arts, crafts, music


 


HAYRACKS AND SCARECROWS


 

Harvest Hayrack Night

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10

  • Ushers Ferry Historic Village

  • Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation program with hayrack rides, hot chocolate around a bonfire, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making

  • $8 adults, $4 ages 3 to 14, free 2 and under at the gate or in advance at (319) 286-5731 or crrec.org


 

Scarecrow Invasion

  • Oct. 13 to 27

  • Brucemore mansion, Cedar Rapids

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and  noon to 4 p.m. Sunday

  • Build your own scarecrow to place on the estate or stroll through the display

  • Vote for your favorite scarecrow Oct. 13 to 21; details (319) 362-7375 or Brucemore.org


 

PS: Look for our Hoopla scarecrow at the Scarecrow Invasion!  :-)

 


SCARY/FUN


 

Monsters & Merlot

  • 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5)

  • Bloomsbury Farm, Atkins

  • Cocktails in the Sugar Shack until 8 p.m., moonlit hayrack ride to the dinner table in the cornfield, appetizers to die for, dinner served by zombies, then venture through the Slaughterhouse and Curtain Chaos

  • Admission: $49.95

  • Bloomsburyfarm.com or (319) 446-7667


 

Oak Hill Cemetery Tours

  • 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6

  • Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department

  • Early Cedar Rapids residents who have made the cemetery their home will be on hand to tell their stories; bring a flashlight. Dessert, coffee and conversation follows  at the Ambroz Center

  • $12 residents, $16  non-residents; pre-registration required at (319) 286-5731 or crrec.org


 

Halloween Homicide

  • 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14

  • Circle of Ash, Cedar Rapids

  • Like a live-action version of the "Clue" board game,  guests try to figure out who is the murderer and how it was done, then go Halloweenhomicide.com, enter the information to find out if they're right

  • Admission: $17


 

 

 

 

 

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