George and Carol Haramis, owners of Heritage Farms in Peninsula, are quite accustomed to having guests.
Many hundreds of guests, in fact.
From the beginning of May to the end of October, they offer primitive and shelter camping on the 117-acre spread that traces its history to 1848. Heritage Farm is renowned for its fresh-cut Christmas tree operation.
The Fairy Festival is a popular attraction on the final weekend of May every year.
Through the summer months, the farm surrounded by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the site of the Peninsula Flea Market, aka Flea at the Farm.
But it is in the fall, during Pumpkin Pandemonium, that Heritage Farms shows its truest, most vibrant colors.
Running through Oct. 28 in what George Haramis reckons is its 25th year, Pumpkin Pandemonium offers a range of family-oriented activities geared to the season that produces cooler weather and a yen to savor fall’s sights, smells and sounds.
“People are in the mood for enjoying nature and having a good time,” Haramis said. “We stick to the basics here. People appreciate that.”
What you won’t find at Pumpkin Pandemonium is the horror element built into other fall attractions.
“This isn’t ghosts, goblins and scaring the living daylights out of the kids,” Haramis said with a chuckle.
Instead, the Heritage Farms fall presentations include a one-third acre maze shaped by snow fence and corn stalks, tractor-drawn wagon ride, two scavenger hunts, straw bale bird’s nest and corn box play areas geared to youngsters, straw tunnel, coloring wall, slide and a leaf pile, providing the trees cooperate.
“In good years for the trees, we have dramatic changes in color,” Haramis said.
As for the event’s namesake, there are pumpkins of all shapes and sizes available for purchase as well as pumpkin rolling, similar to bowling.
Harkening to another annual event as Heritage Farms, Pumpkin Pandemonium patrons well might cross paths with the Spider Fairy and Autumn the Pumpkin Fairy, Haramis said
Other popular features of Pumpkin Pandemonium are a concession stand operated by a girls fast-pitch softball traveling team. Refreshments include apple cider made at Grobe’s Fruit Farm in Elyria.