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Fun down on the farm

Question: How far — and how fast — can you lob a mini-pumpkin using a 6-foot bazooka-style barrel with sights?

Answer: About 200 yards at 90 mph.

The wildly popular blasters using Northern San Joaquin Valley grown ammo are just part of more than two dozen attractions found at the Pumpkin Maze at Dell’Osso Farms in Lathrop.

Between 30 acres of corn and an old-fashioned creativity reflected in scarecrows to pedal race cars, 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.

Now in its 27th year, the farm is open on a daily basis Sept. 30 through the end of October.

New this year is The Dell’Osso Family Pumpkin Treehouse that joins the Little Town and slide hill attractions added last year.

There is also a Halloween costume store this year with more than 900 costume options.

 It seems a bit corny – pun intended – but the most fun is probably the 30-acre corn maze. 

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 just wandering around in what when all is said and done is simply a bunch of corn stalks? 

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

There are more than two dozen other attractions from a carousel that once graced Coney Island to train rides, haunted house, mini golf and more.

There is also a massive pumpkin patch — arguably the largest in the area — where kids of all ages can search for the perfect pumpkin.

In addition to the food court, there is a country store with fresh baked goods such as pies and apple spice doughnuts, as well as fudge, cookies, and other treats.

And to top off the perfect date night there’s Cider Hill. It features craft beers, hard cider and homemade pizza.

Most of the attractions are included with admission. The maze opens at noon Mondays through Fridays and at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The last admission is 7 p.m. nightly while attractions start closing at 8 p.m.

Admission is $19.95 Monday through Thursday,  $24.95 Friday, and $28.95 on Saturday as well as Sunday. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is free.

Not included in the general admission is gem mining, $10; pumpkin blasters, $8; carousel, $4;  pony rides, $10; and pumpkin painting, $5.

Dell’Osso Farms is located off the Manthey Road exist in Lathrop along Interstate 5 between the San Joaquin River crossing and Interstate 205.

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