There’s now an ostrich, zebra, giraffe and even a panda bear on the farm.
They are part of the latest attraction — a painstakingly restored carousel that debuted at New York City’s fabled Coney Island — you’ll find at the 26th annual Dell’Osso Family Pumpkin Maze that runs from Oct. 1 thru Oct. 31.
“A carousel is probably the last thing my father would have expected to have seen on the farm,” Ron Dell’Osso said as his wife Susan hopped aboard a giant cat with a fish in its mouth that is one of 36 ride options on the carousel adjacent to the wildly popular pumpkin blasters.
Crews spent over a month doing restorative hand painting of carousel details and rehabbing every mechanical apparatus of the carousel that came disassembled in a cargo container. The carousel that first delighted riders at Coney Island went to another locale before making its way to Lathrop.
The carousel is something that Susan wanted after Ron got his train in the form of the Dell’Osso Express that takes guests around the perimeter of the 10-acre corn maze.
“I always wanted a train,” Ron said.
As for the carousel Susan noted it’s a “little girl thing.”
It is one of several newer attractions awaiting visitors at the farm.
The carousel is one of the few attractions that has an additional cost on top of the admission, but most of the other attractions do not. They include a hillside slide, tiny town, an 18-hole miniature golf course as well as a “lower” rope course designed for kids.
The crew in the Country Store will be busy baking pies, making caramel apples with various options such as plain, M&Ms, brownies, cookies, and more. The store offers a long list of treats from fresh-made apple doughnuts that many visitors like the taste so much that they buy a dozen to take home before they leave the farm, to 35 types of wild animal jerky including alligator.
A number of things that were on a hiatus due to during the pandemic are now back include the pig races, the interactive pirate show and more.
Craft beer and hard cider sales are back on “Cider Hill” as is homemade pizza. There is daily and nightly live musical entertainment.
There are more than two dozen attractions including the corn maze, a haunted house, and the Dell’Osso Speedway featuring pedal cars.
The farm also has various food options.
Among the attractions that are extra are the bazooka-like pumpkin blasters where for $8 you can fire a bucket full of mini-pumpkins, hurling them at various targets at speeds approaching 100 mph.
The best time by far to beat the crowds is Monday through Thursday that feature lower admission rates as well.
“It ramps up as we near Halloween,” Susan said.
You can also purchase an annual pass good for as many times as you want to use it in October. It’s $69.95 with residents of Lathrop receiving a $5 discount. The passes can only be purchased at the farm.
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 $18.95 Monday through Thursday, $24.95 on Friday and $27.95 on both Saturday and Sunday. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is free.
The Dell’Osso Family Farm October event employs 450 people.
Roughly 2 million people have visited the farm since the annual month-long October attraction opened in 1996.
It is one of the largest — if not the largest — agri-tourism concern in California that is not a traditional county fair.
For more information, go to pumpkinmaze.com.