Everyone loves celebrating the arrival of autumn, and if you're looking for a fun way to get outside and enjoy the crisp weather and changing trees, you're in luck. Visiting a local farm for a hayride can be a cherished family memory. Whether you want to celebrate Halloween with spine-chilling scares or pick pumpkins to carve together, the York area is home to a host of farms offering hayrides. Read on to learn about four of the best spots for hayrides in and around York County.

Smyser's Farm

Hay Ride by Ben Grey is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

Smyser's Farm hosts an annual fall festival on select weekends in September and October. This year, it begins on September 24 and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of October. This family-friendly celebration features a petting zoo where kids can meet furry friends, a pumpkin patch so you can take home seasonal souvenirs to carve, and a massive corn maze to test your family's patience. After your little ones have tuckered themselves out with activities, you can pile into a wagon and enjoy a 20-minute hayride.

The cost of the hayride and most of the festival activities is included in the admission. Tickets are $7, and you can get a $1 discount for paying in cash. Be sure to bring extra money for pumpkins and snacks, as the farm only accepts cash payments. There are sunflowers and gourds, too, if you want to bring home some iconic autumnal items to decorate your home for the season. If you have toddlers aged two or under, they get in for free.

Maize Quest Fun Park

Maize Quest Fun Park goes all out to celebrate fall, so you don't want to miss it. As you might guess based on the name, a massive corn maze is the focal point of this local autumnal paradise. It's not your average corn maze, either. It features riddles, puzzles, and a kid-friendly theme. Alice in Wonderland is the inspiration for this year's maze, so plan a family movie night to get your little ones ready. This brain-busting fall activity is a fun way to build your kids' critical thinking skills.

After you make your way out of the maze, there are more than 30 other family-friendly activities on the premises. If you haven't had enough of the cornstalks after your time in the maze, you can see them at a whole new angle on a private tractor-pulled hayride. That's not the only wagon at Maize Quest Fun Park, either. Every weekend, the Pumpkin Express Wagon runs to and from the fields, helping little pumpkin pickers carry their orange treasures across the facility.

There's a scare-free policy at the park, too, so it's safe for little ones who aren't quite ready for high-octane Halloween thrills. As a safety measure, no costumes are allowed, so keep the Mad Hatter top hat and the Alice dress at home. Maize Quest Fun Park is located at 2885 New Park Road in New Park, Pennsylvania. The park is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the autumn season runs from September 3 to November 6.

Country Barn Market

If you want to visit a charming local farm that feels like home, plan an afternoon at Lancaster's Country Barn Market. This Lancaster County hot spot is a perfect place to pick your annual pumpkins, appreciate the colors of Pennsylvania in the fall, and bond with family over snacks. For $1, a wagon ride will take you from the entrance out to the fields, where every family member can pick a pumpkin that's just their size. 

If you want to take advantage of the wagon, pick enough pumpkins to carve, then toss in a few more to bake into pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin pancakes. The farm has a variety of pumpkin and gourd types, including:

  • Wee-B-Little.

  • Peanut Pumpkins.

  • Fairytale Pumpkins.

  • Cheese Pumpkins.

  • Giant Pumpkins.

  • Baby Bear Pumpkins.

  • Goose Gourds.

When you've taken your wagon ride and paid for your pumpkins, stop by the Farm Market for seasonal snacks and goodies to take home. You can purchase autumn favorites like apples, cider, and donuts, plus there are plenty of fresh meats straight from the farm. The pumpkin patch is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from September 10 to October 30. It's also open on Fridays in October from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. You can find Country Barn Market at 211 South Donnerville Road in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Field of Screams

Maybe you're looking for something a little more haunting for a group of teens or adults. Field of Screams, located 25 minutes outside York in Mountville, Pennsylvania, delivers a haunted hayride experience that just might give you goosebumps. This award-winning attraction is one of the country's favorite haunts and was one of the world's first hayrides of its kind, so it's a must-see spot for thrill-seekers.

With a 20-foot-tall pumpkin king at the gates, the terrors start the minute you board the hayride. This 20-minute hayride features characters like clowns, zombie-like creatures, reptiles, and ghosts, and it even includes the world's first enclosed three-room hayride scene. If you're feeling brave after your ride, you can even explore the three other haunted attractions at Field of Screams: a haunted barn, a spooky forest, and a four-story indoor maze.

The farm gets cold at night, so plan on wearing something warm to this chilling attraction. Field of Screams opens for the 2022 season on September 9 and continues on weekends through November 12. The hayride opens at dusk each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening in October. Around Halloween, some Thursdays and Mondays are available. The farm is at 191 College Avenue in Mountville, and hayride tickets cost $20.

That concludes Apple Honda of York's list of some of the best places to take a hayride in and around York County. As fun as hayrides are, a wagon probably isn't enough to sustain your family's busy life. If you're looking for a dependable new or used car, truck, or SUV to get you and your loved ones to school, work, and family outings in the York County area, let Apple Honda of York help. Contact us today to set up an appointment to test drive any of our modern, stylish Honda vehicles at our York, Pennsylvania dealership.