Fall Harvest weekends at Lake Metroparks Farmpark are loaded with family fun

Metropark Art
During Lake Metroparks’ Fall Harvest Weekends, visitors to its Farmpark can enjoy various offerings, like “things of the past,” a car and truck show and more. Photo credit Earl Linaburg.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

If there’s a bite in the air, some turning of the leaves and the breeze smells like bonfires, it’s officially that time of year. This autumn, why not celebrate the season with family-friendly Fall Harvest Weekends at Lake Metroparks Farmpark?

Explore hands-on activities, crafts and adventures over four weekends, each with its own fall-flavored flair.

All the excitement kicks off Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, with Apple Butter and Cider Weekend. Get a tart taste of apple cider, sample a variety of apples and help grind apples and press cider. Enjoy an apple slushie at the Apple Cider Bar. Other harvest activities include an apple-themed cooking demonstration on Sunday.

Then the following weekend, September 28 and 29—new this year—take a step back in time during HorsePower Weekend. According to Farmpark Events Manager Andy McGovern, folks can witness history unfold as this two-day event tells the story of how transportation and farming have evolved over the last 150 years.

On Saturday, the focus will be on the power of the draft horse. These 900- to 2,000-pound animals will provide special demonstrations with horse-drawn equipment on how things used to be done on the farm. On Sunday, don’t miss the inaugural car and truck show (weather permitting). During the entire weekend, see antique tractors and equipment demonstrations that turned horse travel into “things of the past.” Take a selfie on a vintage tractor and grind corn with a belt-driven grinder.

You can’t celebrate a harvest without the fruits of the fields. The final two weekends are Corn & Pumpkin Festivals, on Saturdays and Sundays, October 5, 6, 12, 13.

Roll your sleeves up and husk, shell and grind the corn or plow behind draft horses. Younger visitors can make corn husk dolls and paint pumpkins, navigate the hay maze and play in the kids’ areas.

Farmpark is located at 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, in Kirtland. Daily hours for the festival weekends are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular Farmpark admission or membership applies to the events. For more information visit LakeMetroparks.com/events. With the mission of conserving and preserving the natural resources of Lake County, Lake Metroparks provides more than 3.3 million visitors each year with educational and recreational programs and activities.