Have you ever seen a pumpkin fly? Would you like to shoot a corncob cannon? Have your kids slipped down a slide into a box of dried peas?
It’s all happening in northeast Washington State during fall harvest. Back east, fall may mean seeing leaves turn bright colors. Out west, anything goes.
Here are three top spots for the whole family to play this fall. You’ll find them in Green Bluff, Washington, a refreshing bit of country 30 to 40 minutes north of the city of Spokane.
You won’t believe Larry Knapp’s punkin’ chunkin’ contraption until you see it. Every weekend in October, Larry fires up his pumpkin blasting machine. It’s 30 pounds of air pressure packed into a 500 gallon tank. The pumpkins fly high and land up to a quarter mile away.
Other attractions at Knapp’s include incredibly cute miniature horses, geese and a maze made of hay bales. Larry offers a huge variety of colorful pumpkins and squash for sale.
Walter’s Fruit Ranch
Ride the Fruitloop Express tractor train into the apple orchards at Walter’s. The farm is strictly U-pick, so grab a bucket and take your pick of the 22 types of apples grown here. Honey crisp is the most popular, and it’s especially delicious plucked right from the tree.
After your apple ride, head over to farmer Mark Morrell’s corn cannon. Load the barrel with a dried corncob and fire away. You’re aiming for a pumpkin. If you manage to hit one, you win a fresh pumpkin to take home. For kids, farmer Mark has built a sweet pea sandbox and a slide that drops little ones safely into a deep box filled with more dried peas.
Stop in the shop for hot cider, jams and fruit pies.
Harvest House & Orchard
Check out the pumpkin patch, then head on over to the hay bale maze. If you’re feeling super adventurous and have an hour to play, Harvest House has created a unique, seven-acre maze in a living corn field.
Todd Beck calls his family owned, family friendly orchard “entertainment farming.” Some of his weekend festival activities were modeled after Apple Hill, located between San Francisco and Sacramento, California. Up in Washington, Todd says he’ll be open daily “until the snow flies.”
For San Franciscans, Spokane makes a fun fall getaway. United flies non-stops from SFO to Spokane in about two hours. Other airlines fly from SFO via Seattle or Salt Lake City.
Once you arrive, plan to stay at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. It’s owned by the Kalispel Tribe and is rated as northeast Washington’s only AAA Four Diamond hotel.