By: Vanessa Hsieh
Picking fresh fruits and vegetables is not the only activity available at local farms. There are also exciting attractions open during each Fall season. F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm provides local neighborhoods with a variety of activities, all while following strict safety measures to ensure the welfare of their guests. The farm is mainly known for its pumpkin picking, and it’s a perfect way for families to spend more quality time together. There is also sunflower picking, vegetable picking, and a farm stand where you can purchase fresh fruit, preserves, pies, decorations, or even roasted corn collected straight from the farm. Other attractions include mini-golf, a large playground, farm animals and pony rides, hayrides, a corn maze, and the most unique of all attractions…a Halloween themed haunted house and corn trail! The Schmitt family provides the community with a fun addition every Fall to its usual farm components.
Every year, the family spends the summer fully remodeling each room and crafting new costumes for their actors so that the experience would differ every time you visit. The Schmitt’s Farm Haunt, as they like to call it, began in 1994 where two brothers, Bill and Fred, decorated their unused greenhouse and transformed it into a haunted house. The first haunt was so successful that they started to do it every year. The attractions are only open from Friday to Sunday and online booking is highly recommended since it tends to get very busy. 30 minute timed ticket slots were implemented this year to prevent overcrowding. Guests can choose between a Daytime Haunt Walk-Through or a Night Time Haunt. A Daytime Haunt is for individuals who would rather experience the haunt during daylight hours to make it a little less spooky. The haunted house and corn trail remain the same, but during the day, lights are on, and there are no actors inside.
The Night Time Haunt starts after 7 pm and includes plenty of surprise scares from talented actors. During the month of October, there were also special nights such as “Clown Takeover” and “Lights Out.” As the name suggests, “Clown Takeover” was a session where the actors only dress up as clowns, and “Lights Out” turns off all the lights on the farm, forcing guests to navigate the haunted house by only using a small lantern. As if the darkness wasn’t scary enough, the live actors and actresses add a level of terror that sends shivers up your spine! In addition to the talent of the performers, this level of fear could not have been achieved without the talented makeup artist Catrina Grieco. Check out more of her work at www.catrinagr.com! If you missed out on this year’s Haunt, don’t worry because you can relive some of the horrors in the immortalized images taken by the talented Nicolai Patrick. Some of his work is highlighted here in The Thunderbird, but to see more, check out his portfolio at www.nicolaipatrick.com or follow him on Instagram @nicolaipatrick.
Although Schmitt’s Farm seems like your average run-of-the-mill farm, it actually encompasses many unique and fun features for all families to enjoy. If you didn’t get a chance to experience it this year, definitely add it to your list of fun Fall activities for 2021!
All photos courtesy of Nicolai Patrick.