Whether families are looking to enjoy the crisp fall air or get their fill of frightful fun, there are a host of hayrides ready and waiting for them this month.
Many of the hayrides rely on nice weather to draw people to the parking areas and onto the backs of tractors.
"This year has been really good so far," said Hope Perez, secretary of the Nesco Volunteer Fire Company in Mullica Township, which hosts a haunted hayride on Fridays and Saturdays through the end of the month. "Last year was not as good because it rained so much."
Perez said that after taking a break for a number of years, the fire company's hayride has been going strong for the past three years.
Like other haunted hayrides, the emphasis is on being as scary as possible. For Nesco's hayride, that means creating themed areas around pirate ships, aliens and scary clowns.
For small children or the easily scared, other hayrides provide a less frightful but equally fun alternative.
At Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township, the hayride is something the park has added to draw visitors in the fall as it reduces its hours but prepares for the Christmas season later in the year.
The hayride is included as part of the admission to the park. Two tractors are usually going at the same time, said Jess Fricano, whose family owns Storybook Land, and any children on the ride get to decorate their own pumpkin at the end.
"We use stickers," Fricano said. "So there's no paint, and no mess."
Contact Ben Leach:
Hayrides near you
Here are a number of hayrides happening throughout southern New Jersey. In addition to hayrides, other farms, fire companies and municipal recreation departments are sponsoring haunted walks, corn mazes and other outdoor activities.
Buena Vista Township: The Haunted Halloween Hayride and Thrill Show will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October at 7215 Millville-Mays Landing Road in the Milmay section of the township. Tickets $10 for adults and $5 for ages 4 and younger. For more information, visit www.devilriderproductions.com.
Egg Harbor City: Sahl Father Son Farm, 422 W. Pestalozzi St., features corn mazes and pumpkin picking in addition to hayrides. The ticket booth is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays. The grounds remain open after ticket booth hours until 9 p.m. on all those evenings. For more information, call 609-965-9300 or visit www.josephsahlandson.com.
Egg Harbor Township: The Scullville Volunteer Fire Company hosts the Terror in the Junkyard Haunted Hayride and Maze from 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays in October at the Fleming's Auto Parts Junk Yard, 323 Zion Road. Cost is $8 for hayride, $4 for corn maze, $10 for both. For more information, call 609-653-8412 or visit: www.scullvillefire.org.
Egg Harbor Township: Storybook Land hosts hayrides Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October. Rides are included with park admission. The park is located at 6415 Black Horse Pike. For more information, call 609-641-7847 or visit www.storybookland.com.
Galloway Township: R & J Farm, 723 W. Herschel St., hosts hayrides from noon to 10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays in October. For more information, visit www.randjfarm.com.
Mullica Township: The Nesco Volunteer Fire Company, 3521 Nesco Road, hosts a haunted hayride featuring a variety of different themes and animated areas. Rides run Fridays and Saturdays through October. For more information, visit www.nescovolunteerfirecompany.com.
Northfield: Birch Grove Park will host Family Friendly Hayrides from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 12-16, 19-21 and 27-28, and Haunted Halloween Hayrides from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 22-24 and 29-30.
Cape May County
Ocean City: Free hayrides on the Boardwalk from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24, and Saturday, Oct. 30.
Millville: The Millville Recreation Department will host the Corson Park Annual Halloween Pumpkin Extravaganza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. The event is aimed at children as old as 12. In addition to hayrides, children can participate in a costume contest and pony rides. For more information, call 856-825-7000, ext. 7392.
Lacey Township: Argos Farm, 1250 Lacey Road in Forked River, offers pumpkin picking, a corn maze and tractor-pulled hayrides. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 609-693-3513.
Tuckerton: Pirates and sea captains long lost at sea will stroll the boardwalk for a night of screams and fun Oct. 22 and 23 at the Tuckerton Seaport, 120 W. Main St. The weekendlong event includes hayrides, a phragmites maze, food, entertainment and a nonscary pumpkin patch for children. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit www.tuckertonseaport.org.
Stafford Township: Manahawkin Pick Your Own Berry Farm, 178 Beachview Ave., offers hayrides and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Wednesdays through October. For more information, call 609-597-3437.