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The pros & cons of two metro Atlanta family farms

Berry Patch Farms' fall season is over, but the holiday season will soon start
Berry Patch Farms' fall season is over, but the holiday season will soon startL.Johnson

Are you looking for a farm to visit in these last months of 2010? Read on to learn about the pros and cons of two Atlanta-area farms for remaining fall season and upcoming winter activities: Berry Patch Farms and Cagle Family Farms.

  • Berry Patch Farms, Woodstock

Pros: Free admission; located in a beautiful setting; simple activities for younger kids.
Cons: Fall season is already over; older kids might not be as adequately entertained.

Reopening on November 26, 2010 for its holiday season, Berry Patch Farms in Woodstock offers Christmas tree cutting for families with a do-it-yourself mindset. Smaller children will enjoy simple fun such as the playground near the entry
For the budget-minded family, it’s great because there is no admission fee .

Although the farm’s fall-themed activities are over, check out its page on fall craft ideas and other holiday fun. Plan to visit next year to experience the hayride to and from the sizable pumpkin patch.

Berry Patch farm does not have a corn maze or "Jumpee Pillow." Because the features are pretty basic – and little ones tend to require very little to be entertained -- there may not be enough to do at Berry Patch Farms for some older elementary-age children or teens yearning for more thrills.

Like the tots, parents will probably appreciate the simpler things: the ride out to this country setting is relaxing, and sometimes it’s nice not to have 50 things to choose from, pulling your family in all directions.

Beginning November 26, 2010, Berry Patch Farms' hours of operation will be: 10 am - 6 pm on weekends; 2 pm - 6 pm on week days.

Pros: Fall season 2010 still going on, though activites during the week are limited or require reservations, and the Haunted Barn is now overwith. The last Friday-Sunday opportunity for the tour, corn maze, hayride and bonfire is November 12-14, 2010 -- visit Cagle's calendar). Cagle's also has features/activities for younger and older children; lovely country setting; decent package deals and downloadable coupons.

Cons: Not free.

Cagle’s Family Farm
offers a little bit of fun for a variety of age groups.

Adventure-loving children in upper elementary grades and teens will get a kick out of the challenging corn maze. Toddlers, not quite understanding the concept and purpose of going around in circles, might not appreciate it so much – and their panicked expressions will quickly let you know. If you do take them but don’t want to tire out their little legs, the maze path is wide enough to accommodate a stroller.

Kids of all ages will like the hayride to the bonfire and marshmallow roasting.

Although the milk crates located within the two "Jumpee Pillow" areas can’t compare to a comfortable recliner, it’s nice to be able to sit down while the kids jump to their hearts’ content. Just be sure to pay attention to them, as there can be lots of kids on the pillow at once, and all that bouncing can give little kids quite a jolt. Having Cagle staff on hand gives you an extra set of eyes.

There’s an enclosed area with a much smaller, much less intense pillow for very small kids to bounce on. The area also has age-appropriate tricycles on hand.

There are pretty nice package deals if you want to experience everything for just a bit more. For just $20 per person, you can get the maze, hayride, and farm tour -- a great deal, because you save $4 per person doing it this way.

If you go a la carte, the prices are: Corn maze tickets, which include use of the Jumpee Pillows, are $10 per person for folks age three and up; the hayride-to-bonfire is $7. Farm Ag-venture Tours are $7.

Pony rides are $5. There is food available for purchase.

You can also download coupons.

Visit Cagle's calendar for a list of activities. Hours of operation:
The Maize is open Fridays 5pm-11pm, Saturdays 10am-11pm,
and Sundays 10am-6pm. The Farm Tours: Saturday 10am-4pm, Sundays 10am-4pm.
The Hayride and Bonfire: Fridays 6pm-10pm, and Saturdays 6pm-10pm.

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