Messick’s Market and fall festival is a cornucopia of fun

Country market offers fresh farm fare and fun

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It’s that time of year when the pumpkin patches start sprouting up all over Fauquier County. Each year it seems to be more competitive, with local farms endeavoring to create the most circuitous corn maze, the scariest haunted hayride, and of course, the largest market of pumpkins of every size shape and orangeness and shades thereof to attract kids and families to celebrate the harvest season.

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While I will always be loyal to our family favorite of Cox Farms, which is one of the original fall festival farms in the area, I recently discovered another delightful pumpkin patch on some back roads heading home to Warrenton from Bealton, drawn in by a roadside sign for fresh blueberry custard.

I pulled off to discover Messick’s Farm Market, which features a adorable walk-up ice cream bar with a covered wood deck patio in front, and a whole cornucopia of fresh vegetables and dairy inside the joining farmers market, opening up and back to a farm fantasyland of activities for kids.

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One of the main attraction for my 10-year-old son was a huge jumping pillow, sort of like a trampoline but filled with air. For the price of three dollars my son got a wristband to join his fellow jumpers, performing flips and other aerial feats that kept him entertained for a good 40 minutes before he staggered off exhausted and parched, gasping for water. This for me was a good thing, as it meant one of us — which means two of us — would get a good night’s sleep that night.

While we came by at sunset, and the hayride and other activities had closed down for the evening, we could see the signage and glimpse the entrance to the corn maze and other activities. After all of his jumping, my son was too tired anyway to do anything else, so lucky for us the festival will go on for another month, and we will be back!

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