PUMPKIN MA­NIA

Dell’Osso Farm: It’s corny but tons of fun

Escalon Times - - LIVING - By DEN­NIS WY­ATT 209 Liv­ing

Dell’Osso Farms is ar­guably the hap­pi­est place in the North­ern San Joaquin Val­ley.

Be­tween 30 acres of corn and an old-fash­ioned cre­ativ­ity re­flected in scare­crows to blast­ing mini-pump­kins at 90 mph Ron and Su­san Dell’Osso have cre­ated the per­fect an­ti­dote to the malaise sweep­ing our cul­ture that the only way to have fun is via high-tech or the thrills and spills of spec­ta­tor sports.

It is ev­i­dent in the faces of lit­tle and big kids alike that imag­i­na­tion, friends, and fam­ily brought to­gether in a low-tech en­vi­ron­ment are a win­ning com­bi­na­tion.

The out­door event fea­tures ev­ery­thing from a mas­sive corn maze, zip lines, haunted house and gi­ant hu­man-mas­ter style pumpkin ball races to a pumpkin patch. The farm at Man­they Road off In­ter­state 5 be­tween the 120 By­pass and In­ter­state 205 in­ter­changes opens daily at 10 a.m. with the last en­try at 8 p.m. At­trac­tions start clos­ing at 9 p.m. The farm is open daily through Oct. 31.

Last year, 150,000 peo­ple made their way to Dell’Osso Farms just south of the Moss­dale Cross­ing of the San Joaquin River. The closer you get to Hal­loween, the big­ger the crowds.

That’s why South County res­i­dents who want to avoid the lines that can get pretty long – es­pe­cially at the pumpkin blasters, scare­crow rides, the Dell’Osso Ex­press train ride, and even the haunted house —can opt for a week­night or week­day if they want to avoid the throngs on week­ends.

It seems a bit corny – pun in­tended – but the most fun is prob­a­bly the 30-acre corn mazes. Sure, the pumpkin blasters and zip lines are a blast, but there is some­thing about wan­der­ing through a maze try­ing to find your way out with friends and fam­ily that just can’t be topped.

How else do you ex­plain laugh­ter and smiles from sim­ply walk­ing around in what when all is said and down is sim­ply a bunch of corn stalks? Try to have as much lively en­ter­tain­ment from sim­ply talk­ing and walk­ing for roughly the same price as a trip to the movies.

Ex­plor­ing the mazes at night by moonlight or flash­light adds an en­tirely dif­fer­ent di­men­sion.

The zip lines are a big hit with par­ents video their kids and spouses as they sail through the air.

At $8 for a sin­gle rider and $12 for two rides it is a lot cheaper than hav­ing to pay to go on a cruise to ex­pe­ri­ence the sen­sa­tion. Those 18 and un­der will need a signed waiver from their par­ents.

There is also a coun­try store with pies, crafts, and more. Food and drink are avail­able.

And what would a trip be to the Pumpkin Maze with­out lug­ging home your own pumpkin? All shapes and sizes can be pur­chased at the Dell’Osso Farms pumpkin patch.

Ron and Su­san Dell’Osso have lit­er­ally cre­ated a low-tech amuse­ment venue that works and is some­thing you can’t find any­where else. That just doesn’t re­fer to all the stuff that is in one place but it is the only place in the world that grows its own ammo or even has a pumpkin blaster tar­get range.

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion in­cludes un­lim­ited ac­cess to the corn maze, haunted cas­tle, the scare­crow ride with an in­ter­na­tional theme this year, Dell’Osso Ex­press Train, hay ride, mys­tery tour, gi­ant pumpkin ball races, tire pyra­mid, Dell’Osso Speed­way pedal cars, pet­ting zoo, ball shoot arena, lawn games, walk­ing the plank, su­per slide, kid­die play land, kid­die Fer­ris wheel, kid­die coaster, kid­die swings, spin­ning pump­kins, pil­low jump­ing, and chil­dren’s in­ter­ac­tive crit­ter.

The gen­eral ad­mis­sion also in­cludes two new fea­tures — an en­ter­tain­ment stage aimed at de­light­ing kids and pig races.

The at­trac­tions that have sep­a­rate prices is the gem min­ing for $6, pumpkin blasters for $6, zip lines for $8 to $12, pony rides for $6, and pumpkin paint­ing for $5. Food, mer­chan­dise, pump­kins and sea­son gifts are avail­able for pur­chase and not in­cluded in the gen­eral ad­mis­sion.

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion tick­ets are $13.95 per per­son Mon­day through Thurs­day and $17.95 per per­son Fri­day through Sun­day. Early bid en­try be­fore 2 p.m. on Mon­day through Fri­day is $10.95 per per­son. Chil­dren 2 years old and un­der are free. All tick­ets are sold only on the premises.

HIME ROMERO/209 Liv­ing

LARGE PHOTO ON TOP: The Dell’Osso Farm corn maze. TOP PHOTO: There are plenty of pump­kins to choose from to take home for the per­fect Hal­loween Jack O’ Lan­tern. BOT­TOM PHOTO: See how a ham­ster feels in the rolling pumpkin balls.

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