5 Accessibility Tips for Attending Fall Fairs and Pumpkin Patches

It's that time of year when a crisp chill hits the air and pumpkin spice fills our nostrils. The fall harvest yields a lot of fun activities for families, including hay rides, pumpkin decorating, caramel apples, and much more. Before embarking on your next autumn adventure, check out these five tips for ensuring a fun and exciting day for all.

1. Check the weather

All it takes is a little rain to make those paths at the pumpkin patch messy and difficult to navigate, no matter if you're cruising in a manual or power wheelchair. That's because many of them are dirt with packed straw on top. Try to plan your excursion when the weather is clear to reduce your risk of getting caught in mud. If it has been particularly stormy in your area, give it a few days to let the ground firm up.

Pumpkin patch

2. Avoid the corn maze unless it's explicitly designated as accessible

Corn mazes are notoriously narrow and twisty, and feature uneven (and often muddy) sections of path. It's difficult to anticipate the conditions inside a corn maze, and once you're inside of it, it's sometimes even more difficult to find your way out. Luckily, some farms are taking the time to make their maze paths wide enough for strollers and wheelchairs in addition to creating solid, more established paths, so be sure to ask about maze conditions before rolling in.

Corn maze path

3. Ask about restroom facilities

Depending on where you're going, restroom facilities could be few and far between. For most fairs, you can count on permanent structures and adequate restrooms. But for farms, many of which are active, working farms, restroom options could be limited. Take note of the setup before you go so you can plan accordingly.


4. Arrive early

Crowds can be stressful to navigate through anywhere, but especially at a farm. Aim to arrive right at opening to avoid a lot of headaches, or plan your adventure during a weekday (if they're open). Fewer people means that rolling from activity to activity will be that much easier and enjoyable.

Pumpkins at a fall festival

5. Call ahead

Many farms and fairs can make accessible accommodations with just a little advance notice. Not only will they help fill you in on different activities and crafts to plan your day, but some places even feature accessible wagons, small train rides, and more.

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Date: 10/22/2019 12:00:00 AM

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