Pumpkins, animals and making new friends, it’s a tradition for the Marks family.
“It’s nice to have things to look forward to as a family,” Steve Marks said.
Steve and Kendra Marks and their sons, 8-year-old Harlan and 6-year-old Jensen, have been going to Leeds Farm for the past few years.
Steve said the kids especially love going there.
“They like to venture in absolutely everything, from the obstacle course to the hayride and the slide, we end up getting pumpkins as well,” Steve said.
This year may be a bit different when it comes to fall activities, all because of COVID-19.
However, Steve said they aren’t nervous. He said they will take precautions and follow the farm’s precautions.
The owners of the farm, Rob and Christy Leeds, said they are doing everything they can to make sure everyone is safe.
They want to make sure families can continue their traditions.
“Here at Leeds Farm, we have four key points to live by, safety, courtesy, brand and efficiency and we’re going to sacrifice some efficiency to make sure everyone’s safe,” Rob said.
Last year, farmers all throughout Ohio faced challenges with planting because of the weather. This year, they now have to worry about how the coronavirus will impact business.
With that being said, they made some changes for this fall season.
“The biggest one, is we’re doing times, in advance purchased tickets, this year is the first time,” Christy said.
The owners said they have 90 acres and are reinforcing social distancing. They feel confident visitors will be able to with the amount of space, plus everything being outside.
Christy said they also plan on sanitizing everything, such as anything used before or after an activity.
“We’re adding 13 hand sanitizing stations and really there’s one near every single activity,” Christy said.
They’ve even modified their activities and removed some completely, like the corn box and paintball.
“But we’ve replaced it with baby animals, so everybody loves baby animals,” Rob said.
They are requiring masks for both visitors and staff, except for those under the age of 10.
Despite all of these precautions, excitement is in the air.
“I would tell everyone to go to Leeds Farm,” Harlan said.
Of course, when it comes to fall festivities, pumpkins are a big part.
“I’m looking for the biggest, so you can make big art,” Jensen said.
Don’t worry, Christy said there should be plenty of good pumpkins to choose from this year.
“The pumpkins are looking great,” Christy said.
For the first time ever as well, for the first two weekends, they are letting visitors pick out their own pie pumpkins.
They officially open for the fall season on September 19 at 10 a.m.