Your Guide to Getting Down on the Farm in Franklin
Once temperatures begin to dip and that first bite of a fall chill nips at the air, one of the great southern traditions is upon us. That, of course, is heading to the farm to spend a fall day outside, picking the perfect pumpkin, getting lost in a corn maze, or simply enjoying a taste of cider while visiting the many different animals. Whether looking for an afternoon with the entire family, an with girlfriends, or anything in-between we’ve got you covered this fall in Franklin, Tennessee.
Pull the flannel shirts out of the closet, put on those fall boots, and make your plans to visit these incredible, fun-filled farms across the Franklin and Williamson County area.
A staple in Franklin for over a century, and welcoming visitors for over 25 years, it is no wonder that fall doesn’t feel like it has really started for many Franklin area families until they’ve visited Gentry’s Farm. While still a working farm throughout the year, the Gentry family opens the gates to its 400-plus acre farm every fall to celebrate the harvest season. You’ll see the owners Cindy and Allen Gentry, along with their son Jase, welcoming families eager to wander the rows of pumpkins in search of just the right one.
There are far more activities than just pumpkins out at Gentry’s Farm though. You can test your wits, and navigational skills, by traversing your way through their four-acre cornfield maze. Once you’ve proven your ability to escape the rows of corn, have some old-fashion fun on a hayride, feel like a kid again on the tire swings, take a hike on the nature trails, or get hands-on in the barn or with some of the farm animals. You’ll want to make sure you meet Elvis, the goat, trust us!
If you saw the October cover of Southern Living Magazine, you also know that Gentry’s Farm makes the perfect place for a family picnic as well.
When you think of fall, one of the first thoughts is usually of those wonderful fall sweaters! One of the newest fashion rages of recent years is the alpaca wool sweater. Who needs cashmere anymore, right? Did you know that you can get up-close with alpacas right here in Franklin? All you have to do is head out to Mistletoe Farm, and you’ll be greeted by a heard of friendly – and beautiful – alpacas ready to hang with you for the afternoon. Owners Leanne and Tom Butchko, accountants by day, have turned a friend’s conversation with a stranger on an airplane into one of the area’s most intriguing destinations.
All visitors to the farm have to bring is a smile and a camera, the Butchko’s will take care of the rest. Visits to the farm are by appointment only, but when you show up the Butchko’s will introduce you to their heard of 20-plus furry alpaca friends and let you take a peek into the lifestyle of an alpaca farmer. All visits to the farm are free, but a donation is encouraged, so remember to take care of your local alpaca farmers when you go! If you have your heart set on learning how to make your own alpaca wool sweater; half-day and full-day weaving, felting, and spinning classes are available. However, if you prefer a bit more instant gratification, simply stop by the Mistletoe Farm shop to pick up some alpaca wool favorites.
MORNING GLORY ORCHARD
When you think of fall, a warm cider drink in your cup is just about as synonymous with the season as a smiling jack-o-lantern on a front porch. There are few traditions more deeply rooted in the fall months than roaming through the apple trees, searching for the perfect apples, then moments later tasting them in your cup. In nearby Nolensville, Morning Glory Orchard is your one-stop-shop for all things fresh. This decades-old, family-run farm has more varieties of apples than you may have even known existed. Each Saturday they open up for tours where you can roam the orchard rows and see up-close the fruits soon to grace you cider mugs!
The tours include one of the mother-daughter-duo owners, Christina and Alyson, as your guide who will share the incredible story of how the orchard began and now is a tribute to their late husband and father Curt. They will also teach you about the various apple trees and show you both how they protect them, and spoil them, so they provide the best farm-fresh produce year-after-year. Following the tour, you’ll head inside the farm shop for the best part, samples! It is a working farm, so there aren’t any u-picking options but don’t worry, the staff has already done the dirty work for you. Inside their farm shop, you’ll find bushels upon bushels of freshly picked apples, along with several flavors of cider, honey, apple butter, and more.
LUCKY LADD FARMS
A short drive from downtown Franklin in Eagleville, Lucky Ladd Farms is Tennessee’s largest petting farm & family fun park and attracts families from across the country to its 60-acre oasis. What started as the Ladd family inviting school kids out to their former farm in Franklin back in 2007, has evolved into a much larger operation that allows them to welcome visitors all year and share with them their agricultural roots.
When families arrive at Lucky Ladd Farms, they are immediately greeted with inventive attractions that appeal to all ages. There are acres of playgrounds, hands-on animal encounters, mega slides, pony rides, wagon rides, tractor train rides, nature trails, and educational exhibits to fill your day with good old-fashioned fun. Lucky Ladd Farms is home to over 100 friendly animals and exotic livestock, along with fall classics, a pumpkin patch, and corn mazes.
Not to be missed, the homegrown country store is stocked full of local gourmet goodies like caramel apples, kettle corn, and the not to be forgotten pumpkin and apple cider donuts. You’ll also find unique farm toys and what many claim to be the best sweet tea this side of the mighty Mississippi. There is no doubt why Lucky Ladd Farms has been called the “No. 1 Pumpkin Patch in Tennessee,” by the Travel Channel and has become a fall staple for so many around the country.