Embrace autumn with these festive activities


Cameron Krasucki

A goat awaits to be pet at the Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 31, 2020. There are multiple places to visit in the Champaign-Urbana area during the fall season.

By Michelle Martinez, Staff Writer

Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch

Get into the fall season and head down to Curtis Orchard. The orchard and pumpkin patch is open until the end of December, and there are so many activities to choose from that are perfect for the fall season. Sophie Wentworth, junior in LAS, went to Curtis for the first time last week. She said that her favorite activity was apple picking and recommends anyone who visits to check it out. 

“It was really fun; it also wasn’t super crowded for apple picking which was really nice,” Wentworth said. “The apples were good, and I already made apple sauce and I’m going to make a pie eventually.”

Wentworth did not expect to see so many people, and she recommended going at an unexpected time to be able to experience all of what Curtis has to offer.

 “I heard the corn maze is super fun, and I wanted to buy baked goods,” Wentworth said. “It smelled so good, but I will be back.”

Curtis is a great getaway for family, friends and couples to hang out to make new memories. 

“Another person in my art classes mentioned that the corn maze is her favorite thing to do and every year she always tries to buy apple cider donuts,” Wentworth said. “So, we will definitely be back before it closes at the end of December.”

Farmers markets

If you’re looking for fresh produce, baked goods or seasonal goods, you should check out the farmers markets that the C-U area offers.

Urbana’s Market at the Square, located in downtown Urbana, is open every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to noon until the end of October. Look for their list of vendors online, and you’re sure to find products that range from candles to fresh produce. 

If you missed any of them, make sure to look out for them starting next May!

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch is home to reindeers that have been flown in from Alaska, an experience to be up close with reindeers is perfect for group outings. Emily Salinas, sophomore at the University, recently visited Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch for a retreat with her sorority. 

The ranch is located in Rantoul, Illinois, a  half-hour drive from the C-U area, but “it’s worth it,” Salinas said.

“My sorority sisters actually put a graham cracker between their teeth, and they would go up to the reindeer,” Salinas said. “The reindeer would eat it ,and it looked like they were all giving them a kiss.” 

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch is home to not only a reindeer tour but also a 10 acre corn maze. Every year Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch changes the design for the corn maze, this year’s theme being Day of the Dead. 

“They have a really big maze, and we were probably in there for an hour and a half looking for exits,” Salinas said. “I have never seen corn that high, and it’s difficult to see anything.”

Spooky season is still going on, and if you’re still looking for something to get in the Halloween spirit, visit the corn maze at night. 

“It was actually scary because we went in at night and had to use our phone flashlights,” Salinas said. “I recommend people go to the maze at night only if you’re looking for a spooky Halloween vibe.” 

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