Fall activities with pumpkins galore still exist in the world of wearing face coverings, social distancing and good hand hygiene. Here are five area activities to enjoy throughout October.

Hewitt Holiday House

If you’re in the mood for a light show full of Halloween decor to delight including towers of pumpkin candy buckets, the Hewitt Holiday House is ready for you. You can enjoy the Halloween ambiance in about a 30 minute light show celebrating its first anniversary, according to Trinity Gruenberg.

You’ll hear from a 7-foot tall skeleton in a coffin, nine jack-o’-lanterns and view 16 foot spiderwebs. And watch out for the door popping out of the ground, one of the new elements made by Gruenberg’s mom Treva Feezor this year.

One of this year's new elements is a door made from PVC pipe, wood and spray foam.
Photo courtesy of Trinity Gruenberg
One of this year's new elements is a door made from PVC pipe, wood and spray foam. Photo courtesy of Trinity Gruenberg

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The light show runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 at 515 N Main St., Hewitt from 7-9:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 7-10:30 p.m. Friday to Saturday. While you’re there, make sure to have your headlights off and tune your radio to 101.3 FM. A donation box is available to give to the Bertha Area Food Shelf.

Visit the Hewitt Holiday House Facebook page for updates.

Otter Berry Farm

With a few new aspects each year, head on out to Otter Berry Farm for a corn maze, farm animals, hay rack playground, corn pit and pumpkin and raspberry picking. The old and new favorites, including painted large hay bales and light night mazes, will continue except the hayride, according to co-owner Kris Huebsch.

The “Bee Kind” corn maze and activities are open on Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 31; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. with 6-12 year olds for $5 and 13 and up for $8. Raspberries are u-pick only during daylight hours on the weekend and pumpkins are available daily during daylight hours, both have drop boxes for cash or check and Venmo payments available.

The Otter Berry Farm's corn maze is themed "Bee Kind" for 2020. The maze can be completed with a paper map or using a GPS on your cell phone all while completing games and trivia inside the maze.
Photo courtesy of Otter Berry Farm
The Otter Berry Farm's corn maze is themed "Bee Kind" for 2020. The maze can be completed with a paper map or using a GPS on your cell phone all while completing games and trivia inside the maze. Photo courtesy of Otter Berry Farm

The two light night events, with the second on Oct. 17 from 7:30-10:30 p.m., are family friendly events for walking through the corn maze with a flashlight and glow stick. There will not be any people or items jumping out. The last maze entrance is at 10 p.m., according to Huebsch.

“We just love having all the families and kids and people come out. It’s really fun to see people spending time with their families outside and then being able to experience a farm,” Huebsch said.

The farm is located at 38132 470th Ave., New York Mills. Visit the Otter Berry Farm Facebook page or call 218-346-5034 for more information.

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Richter Pumpkin Patch

With returning to what works and adding new elements every year since 1985, Larry and Ruth Richter have over 500 pumpkins with 18 different varieties of pumpkins and gourds to choose from, and even a gourd launcher.

For this year’s new adventure, the Richters designed a mini “WDC” corn maze that brings families through 10 stops of questions related to the letter they’re in. The Richters are glad to see families and other groups come out although they will miss the Early Childhood Family Education program night.

“We just really wanted it to be fun this year for families to go through the corn maze. With COVID we just thought that’s a fun thing families can do outside and not worry about anything,” Ruth said.

With a corn maze geared for kids, the W-DC pattern as seen in this drone photo by Trana Videos includes 10 stops.
Photo courtesy of Tricia Shaw
With a corn maze geared for kids, the W-DC pattern as seen in this drone photo by Trana Videos includes 10 stops. Photo courtesy of Tricia Shaw

The patch is open through October from noon-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Stop by for your pumpkin and a walk through the corn maze off of Hwys 29 and 75 at 32071 633rd Ave., Wadena. Watch for the pumpkin signs along the road. If you would like to schedule a hayride or a group ahead of time, call Ruth at 218-639-3062.

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Someplace Safe Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Instead of an obstacle 5K, Someplace Safe will have their first annual Scavenger Hunt on Oct. 31 in Sunnybrook Park. Groups can sign up for a start time between 1 and 4 p.m. and begin the hunt at the Burch Shelter. The daytime, outdoor activity will also include hot dogs at the end and prizes for the best costumes, according to Someplace Safe regional crime victim advocate Tanja Richter.

“I’m just excited because I love fall and we have some pretty cool clues for the scavenger hunt,” Tanja said.

There may also be pumpkin carving at the scavenger hunt.

Make sure to pre-register online at events.idonate.com/halloweenscavenger or by contacting Tanja at 218-631-3311 or tanja.r@someplacesafe.info by Oct. 29. Groups of four are $20 and additional people after that are $5 each. The proceeds will go towards helping victims of crime in Wadena County.

St. Hubert's Catholic Church Bluegrass Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival activities are put on pause this year but the church is doing a sealed bid silent auction. The silent auction is well known for painted, themed antique chairs as well as many useful and unique items, which are being collected until Oct. 4, according to parish member Vera Malone.

While the fun has changed this year, if you’re interested in viewing the items visit the St. Hubert’s Catholic Church Facebook page. The items have a minimum bid. Sealed bids can be placed in the Sunday collection in a sealed envelope or sent to the parish office at St. Hubert Church, PO Box C, Verndale, MN 56481. Sealed bids must be postmarked by Oct. 26.

Events to watch for more information on:

  • Fear Factory Haunted House

  • JCI Staples Boolloween event

Canceled events:

  • Zombie Run- Wadena

  • Holst Acres activities- Staples

  • Ottertail Pumpkin Festival- Ottertail

What about Halloween trick-or-treating?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added Halloween holiday celebration considerations on Sept. 21, which include ideas for low, moderate and high risk activities. Low: carving or decorating pumpkins with household or outside with friends, decorating living space and an outdoor Halloween scavenger hunt. Moderate: prepared goodie bags for trick-or-treating, outdoor costume party and going to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. High: door to door trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treat events and indoor costume parties.

Within each of these activities, consider the current number of cases and spread of COVID-19 in the community. Face coverings should still be worn rather than replacing them with a costume mask, according to the CDC.