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Gilcrease Orchard review

by Rhiannon Belanger, Junior Editor

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Gilcrease Orchard had its annual pumpkin patch opened on Saturday, September 29th. For many families, it is a tradition to wake up early and be one of the first to enjoy the many experiences the orchard has to offer.

The orchard is open year round, but the pumpkin patch opening is especially exciting for a variety of reasons. For some Vegas locals, the pumpkin patch opening is the real start of autumn. The reason for this is only partly due to the pumpkin patch itself.

Many of the fall vibes come from the open air food court that serves apple cider donuts, orchard made pear and apple cider, caramel popcorn, and dipped apples. The line may be a little daunting, but the treats are well worth the wait. If you are lucky enough to be waiting while one of the live bands are playing, it makes for a great opportunity for an impromptu dance party.

After indulging in a delicious (and affordable) breakfast, you should make your way over to the hayride. It’s really more of a covered wagon tour throughout the entire orchard where you get to see all of the amazing produce the orchard has to offer, besides the gigantic pumpkin patch.

Once your ride is complete, a stop by the hay maze is next on the agenda. It’s a small maze, only about chest high, but with the crawl through tubes and wrong turns, it is surprisingly fun for all ages. Just beyond the hay maze is one of my favorite orchard attractions- chickens! Lots of them in all shapes and sizes. There is even an information board that gives random facts about chickens, such as how many eggs can one chicken lay each year?

After you’re done at the chicken habitat it’s time to go on your pumpkin picking excursion. Located at the other end of the orchard, the pumpkin patch is huge. There are so many rows of pumpkins that it’s a little overwhelming trying to find the perfect one. Also, the pumpkins here are huge and heavy, but luckily the orchard lets you borrow a wheelbarrow for free. There are pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, some are oval and green and look more like watermelons. Others are pure white and as large as the wheelbarrows.

There are also the gross looking pumpkins that instead of having smooth skin are covered in disgusting pimples which we learned was an effect of over watering. And of course, there are thousands of the traditional orange pumpkins. Whatever type of pumpkin you are looking for, you are sure to find it at the orchard.

As much fun as it is to pick your own pumpkin, indulge yourself in autumn flavored treats and enjoy the maze and live music, perhaps the orchard’s best quality is its overall beauty. With so much open space and gorgeous scenery it is also the perfect place to bring your family or friends together for beautiful photographs. No matter what activities you engage in at the orchard, from pumpkins to pictures, a day at the orchard is a perfect way to start off your fall.

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Gilcrease Orchard review