Fall is officially here, and families looking for something to do have plenty of choices in Wilson County.
From pumpkin patches and portraits to costumes and corn mazes, here are some of the options:
Fox Ferry Farm (185 Underwood Road, Mt. Juliet)
Noon — 6 p.m. Friday and Sunday, 9 a.m. — 6 p.m. Saturday
Kevin Early and Toby Tombs spent the summer fixing up a 100-year-old barn so Fox Ferry Farm could celebrate its opening weekend on Sept. 19.
The farm is billed as a one-stop shop for fall décor, offering a variety of pumpkins, mums and other seasonal items. Live music, scenic photo opportunities and a touch-a-truck are available free of charge.
Despite the COVID-19 inspired demand for pumpkins and an opening weekend crowd roughly 2,000 strong, the farm is expecting to be able to fulfill the needs and eventually transition into the Christmas season on Black Friday.
“It’s very much exceeded our expectations,” Tombs said. “It was a perfect weekend, and we probably a line out most of the time we were open.”
Early and Tombs plan to add more activities from year to year, but decided to start small in its first one because of COVID-19.
“We’ll have things like the fire truck out here for people to come see, because kids love being around that stuff,” Early said. “One of our main attractions is our photo ops. We have several photo areas that are really nice. Things went really well this weekend, and we couldn’t believe how well the community has accepted us.”
Shop Springs Farms (3939 Sparta Pike, Watertown)
9 a.m. — 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. — 6 p.m. Sunday
Those out for an afternoon drive may stumble across Shop Springs Farms, a seasonal roadside stand with a patch’s worth of pumpkins and mums.
Melinda and Mike Forbes have run the shop together for years and typically stay open for the fall harvest until Halloween. The main draw is the mums, which come in all colors and sizes in specialty pots.
“The new thing I have for this year is called a decorated or combination pot, and it’s huge,” Melinda Forbes said. “We’re also offering hanging baskets for people to use to put their mums up for the first time.”
Visitors can also expect a wide variety of pumpkins, and can buy corn stalks or gourds to take home and decorate with their families.
“We’ve got anywhere from pie pumpkins, which are about the size of a golf ball, to ones that are about 50 pounds,” Melinda Forbes said. “I also have carving pumpkins, fairy tale pumpkins … there’s even one called a hangover pumpkin that looks like it has bloodshot eyes.”
All About Holidays (1946 Murfreesboro Road, Lebanon)
10 a.m. — 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. — 5 p.m. Sunday
All About Holidays has served Lebanon for 20 years, but the costume and decorations shop is seeing a surge in customers looking to plan Halloween parties this year.
“Everybody seems to be still wanting to do Halloween,” co-owner Tammy Walpole said. “But with COVID-19 we’re seeing a lot of families planning parties or neighborhood get-togethers instead of trick-or-treating.”
With the virus in mind, the shop is requiring people to wear face masks before trying on its latex masks and cleaning or quarantining costumes for two days after try-ons.
Those not interested in costumes or decorations can still check out Mrs. B’s Pumpkin Patch, located right next to the storefront. The patch also has unique games set up for children, like rubber duck water slide racing.
“We do pumpkins, mums, corn stalks and all kinds of specialty pumpkins,” Walpole said. “With pumpkins, we usually get a huge order in on Aug. 15.”
Walpole said business has been good this year, especially in the afternoons after school, and the store offers an online option at allaboutholidays.com for those concerned about visiting in person.
Shop Springs Creamery (2816 Sparta Pike, Lebanon)
2-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon — 8 p.m. Saturday, 3-6 p.m. Sunday
Starting on Oct. 2, Shop Springs Creamery will be offering one of the few area corn mazes this year at a $5 charge.
Co-owner Jeffrey Turner said the creamery held its first corn maze last year and that the event was a success. However, they decided to shelve some of the other activities this year because of COVID-19.
“We’ll have ice cream to go with the maze as always, and a fall photo booth,” he said. “Otherwise, we’re just recommending social distancing and our store is drive-through only.”