It’s time for some old-fashioned fun down on the farm.
Dell’Osso Farms Pumpkin Maze is now open for its 24th season daily through Halloween.
They’ve been given the green light to open amid the pandemic due to measures they have taken to assure the health and safety of guests.
Those safety measures include:
Face masks required, period. The only exceptions carved out are for those under 2 years of age and those with specific breathing issues as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.
Attractions will involve primarily basic 6-foot social distancing as well as sanitizing blasters between groups of users. The train will have Plexiglas shields installed between seats. The haunted house — heavily laden with special effects — will be devoid of actors with groupings of people entering every 30 seconds instead of continuously.
The corn maze was planted earlier this summer with 12-foot wide paths instead of the usual 6-foot wide paths.
The 50-acre site works in favor of being able to handle crowds during the pandemic given the only areas where crowds get thick are in the walkways near the entrance where there are a multitude of smaller attractions. Protocols are being put in place to maintain social distancing in that area.
The entire site will be sprayed overnight with disinfectant.
Ticket sales are being limited to make sure COVID-19 capacity caps are followed.
In order to comply with health orders as well as to make sure all social distancing surpass state and county requirements to keep attendees and workers healthy, the Pumpkin Maze will shift the bulk of ticket sales to online.
Susan Dell’Osso noted 75 percent of all tickets sold for a given day will be online with 25 percent set aside for possible walk-up sales. Those walk-up sales may not happen on specific days if crowd adjustments are needed to assure social distancing.
While almost all attractions can operate, there are some such as the hay rides and zip lines where social distancing can’t be assured or else there is requirement of staff to be in close contact with guests such as when they are locked into a zip harness that will not be offered that year.
That has prompted the decision to reduce the $20 admission fee to $17 per person. Children 2 and under are free. Admission covers most attractions.
At the same time in a bid to get Northern San Joaquin Valley residents to visit Dell’Osso Farms away from the much busier days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday when Bay Area attendance balloons, the admission is being further reduced to $15 for Monday through Thursday.
To encourage more people to plan their visits farther in advance, Dell’Osso said ticket purchase prices will be refunded if by chance the health department closes Dell’Osso Farms due to COVID-19 progress slipping or it is closed for a day due to weather.
The hours Monday through Thursday will be shortened by two hours due to no school field trips this year. The hours are noon to 7 p.m. with closing at 8 p.m. The Friday hours are noon to 8 p.m. with the closing at 9 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with closing at 9 p.m.; Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with closing at 8 p.m.
Dell’Osso Farms at Manthey Road off Interstate 5 between the 120 Bypass and Interstate 205 interchanges is arguably the happiest place in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Last year 180,000 people visited Dell’Osso Farms.
Between 30 acres of corn and an old-fashioned creativity reflected in scarecrows to blasting mini-pumpkins at 90 mph Ron and Susan Dell’Osso have created the perfect antidote to the malaise sweeping our culture that the only way to have fun is via high-tech or the thrills and spills of spectator sports.
It is evident in the faces of little and big kids alike that imagination, friends, and family brought together in a low-tech environment are a winning combination.
The outdoor event features everything from a massive corn maze and haunted house to train rides and a pumpkin patch.
It seems a bit corny – pun intended – but the most fun is probably the 30-acre corn mazes. Sure, the pumpkin blasters are a blast, but there is something about wandering through a maze trying to find your way out with friends and family that just can’t be topped.
How else do you explain laughter and smiles from simply walking around in what when all is said and done is simply a bunch of corn stalks? Try to have as much lively entertainment from simply talking and walking for roughly the same price as a trip to the movies.
Exploring the mazes at night by moonlight or flashlight adds an entirely different dimension.
There is also a country store with pies, crafts, and more. Food and drink are available.
And what would a trip be to the Pumpkin Maze without lugging home your own pumpkin? All shapes and sizes can be purchased at the Dell’Osso Farms pumpkin patch.
Ron and Susan Dell’Osso have literally created a low-tech amusement venue that works and is something you can’t find anywhere else. That just doesn’t refer to all the stuff that is in one place but it is the only place in the world that grows its own ammo or even has a pumpkin blaster target range.