BY: RACHEL WUMKES
Fall is such a spectacular time of year. There are just so many options of seasonal activities one can enjoy! You love all things orange and yellow and pumpkin-flavored? CHECK! You love to be scared out of your wits? CHECK! You love costumes and candy and pumpkin carving? CHECK!
We are so incredibly lucky to have two phenomenal places to get your fix of amazing fall activities, right here in North Iowa.
For years, Enchanted Acres has provided people of all ages with a whimsical place to visit. Open Friday and Saturday from 9am-5pm and Sundays from 12pm-4pm, this agricultural venue is the perfect place to spend some time immersed into all things fall. Besides the pumpkin patch, they have crafts, farm animals, and a marketplace to purchase fresh produce and baked goods. It really does live up to its name, leaving you enchanted by its beauty and magic.
In just their second year of business, Plain Ol’ Pumpkins in Clear Lake has really made a splash onto the pumpkin patch scene. Open Saturday from 9am-5pm and Sunday from 12pm-4pm, they’ve been able to grow this venue into an incredible fall destination. Besides shooting apple slingshots and playing a game of wagon b-ball, patrons can get lost in a corn maze or peruse the fabulous décor in the gift shop! Check out their Facebook page for more details, and to see what food truck they have on site each weekend.
For those who are into the darker side of this season, you’ve got a great option right here on South Shore Drive in Clear Lake. The Nightmare – Haunted Hike got an upgrade this year with the addition of more scenes that are guaranteed to scare your socks off! This eerie spook-fest is open every Friday and Saturday from 7pm-11pm with the last tickets of the night being sold at 10:30pm. Masks are required, not only to keep you safe from COVID germs, but also to muffle your piercing screams in the night. For more details and up to date information – be sure to follow them on Facebook.
While the Haunted Hike is geared toward the older kids, there is still plenty of Halloween fun to be had for the youngsters! On Saturday, October 24th, the YMCA in Mason City will hold their Halloween Truck or Treat event. Bring a bag and wander the YMCA property to collect goodies from all over. You can bring a carved pumpkin or decorate your COVID face mask for a chance to win some awesome prizes! This event takes place from 6pm-7:30pm with a rain date scheduled for October 25th just in case. Check out their Facebook page for more details on all the fun!
Every year, the Evangelical Free Church put on “Kings Kids” during Halloween. While they are unable to recreate the event this year, they are planning a fun alternative, centered around 10-12 “lighthouses” throughout the community. Watch their Facebook page for more details about this creative, social, outdoor event with hot chocolate, cider, and full sized candy bars!
And then on Saturday, October 31st, get dressed up in your best costume and come downtown Clear Lake for the annual Halloween parade. The fun begins at 9:30AM at City Hall and will proceed down Main Ave to City Park. Participants will receive a goody bag (until gone). That evening, there will be Trick or Treating in Clear Lake. Kiddos of all ages will be out begging for candy from 5-7PM for those who leave a light on.
Last week, I touched base on where to get scrumptious pumpkin or fall flavored food and drinks around town. Well, ingesting the deliciousness is not the only way to celebrate harvest and the copious bounty of goodness associated with fall. Thankfully, we have a slew of retailers with plenty of options to get your home and your body decked out for the season! Fall wardrobes are my favorite – the colors, the textures… the cute boots!! Be sure to check out The Funky Zebra, Larson’s Mercantile, Ralphene’s, Lake Lifestyle, Emerson’s by the Lake, K&B Emporium, Red Geranium, Weathered Elements and Unique Boutique to satisfy all your shopping needs. Retail therapy is good for the soul, my friends, so go… buy all the things and do all the shopping!
And there you have it, pretty much every chance possible to enjoy the spoils of the autumnal season from some our awesome Chamber members. Don’t let this period of abundant thanksgiving and joy pass you by. Get out (safely, please) and appreciate the activity and fun while the weather is still good!
See you at the Lake!